Central Pacific

Hiding neatly between the peninsulas of Nicoya and Osa, the Central Pacific area is a well-defined lowland region hugging the western coastal lowlands from the extended sandy point of the Pacific transport hub Puntarenas in the north as far south as Palmar Norte. The last ripples of the Talamanca mountain range push up to the shore, creating a challenging blend of rocky outcrops and broad sandy beaches with the occasional fertile lowland used for plantation agriculture.

Much of the region's interest lies, literally, on the beach. The lively surf spots of Jacó and Playa Hermosa with their reliable waves, golden beaches and bustling nightlife, provide entertainment day and night for surfers and beach lovers. The hum of activity surrounding Quepos and Manuel Antonio is a little more swanky and upmarket. Further south are the quieter beach towns of Dominical and Uvita, with good budget accommodation and more exclusive and secluded hillside hideaways further south around the slowly developing Playa Tortuga.

Protected areas also entice visitors to the region. Carara National Park is a transitional zone between the dry forests to the north, and the humid tropics to the south. Its trails lead through an evergreen rainforest that teems with life. The palm-fringed sandy beaches separated by rocky peninsulas of Manuel Antonio National Park make it the most popular park outside those of the Central Highlands.

Beyond the beaches, hard agricultural living toils under the harsh tropical sun where endless lines of neatly planted African palms produce oil in plantations that are a world away - economically and socially - from the wealthy, vibrant tourist hot-spots of the region.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
Products in this Region

Costa Rica Handbook

Costa Rica is undeniably a nature-lovers' paradise: home to moss-draped cloud forest, rainforest...

Costa Rica, Nicaragua & Panama Handbook

The shifting landscapes in these three southern-most countries in Central America reflect the...

Central America Handbook

The Central America isthmus is home to exuberant swathes of rainforest and a tapestry of cultures....
PDF Downloads

  No PDFs currently available

Digital Products

Available NOW!
Read more...