Area: 3,769.1 sq. miles
(Third province in size: 19% of national area)
Population: 716,935 (2000)
Main City: Alajuela
Population Density: 190.2 per square mile
Elevation: 3,123 feet
Average Temperature: 74,4°F
Annual Rainfall: 59-83 inches

Bosque Alegre Wildlife Refuge

The Bosque Alegre Wildlife Refuge protects both primary and secondary rainforests, as well as some wetlands and three beautiful crater lakes. In addition, special herbs are grown and cultivated here for medicinal use, shampoos and herbal teas.

Arenal Volcano National Park

Volcán Arenal is arguably one of Costa Rica’s greatest natural wonders. This massive, cone-shaped monster is not only Costa Rica’s most active volcano, but it is one of the top 10 most active volcanoes in the entire world. With daily lava flows and a sparkling lagoon at its base, Arenal is a must see if you visit Costa Rica.

Poás Volcano National Park

Volcán Poás is one of the largest geysers in the world. The national park offers trails that take you through beautiful forestscape, filled with rich vegetation and wildlife, right up to crater itself. There is also a magnificent lagoon within walking distance of the crater. The visibility of both the crater and the lagoon vary depending on the level of fog, so be sure to call ahead.

Tenorio Volcano National Park

Tenorio is the national park of the infamous Rio Celeste. This unbelievably beautiful river actually glows a light blue color. This magical effect is caused by the volcanic sulfur and calcium carbonates. Lined with beautiful rainforests and tropical wildlife, Rio Celeste is perfect for river tours.

Monteverde Nature Reserve

With over 25,000 acres of untouched forests, the Monteverde Nature Reserve is a nature lover’s paradise. The reserve is home to over 2,500 species of exotic plants, 400 species of colorful birds, 100 species of rare mammals and 120 species of tropical reptiles and amphibians. If you want to see the brilliance of the Costa Rican rain forests, Monteverde is a great place to do it.