Central Highlands

As one winds up the coffee-shrouded slopes of Costa Rica's Central Highlands, the dramatic climb gives way to spectacular views. If the mountainous peaks are not shrouded in enchanting cloud, it is even possible to simultaneously view the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. Amid its mountainous terrain, the region contains a number of fascinating destinations. In the northwestern area, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve stands as pillar of conservation biology and nature travel.

Not far from San Jose, visitors can find Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall. In its southeast, the region contains both the Irazu and Turrialba Volcanoes. Bordered by lowlands to the north and the Central Valley to the south, the Central Highlands Region of Costa Rica awaits with beautiful discoveries around every corner. Home to national parks and protected reserves, the region supplies ample resources to nature-enthusiasts and outdoor-lovers. Its terrain boasts superb wildlife havens and thriving vegetation up to altitudes of 11,260 ft (3,432 m).

Rivers slither their way down the upper slopes of the continental divide, and misty clouds saturate the forest oaks and pines. Epiphytes and mosses decorate the trees, and ferns lounge along the forest floor. The Highlands' tree canopies are home to fantastic birds, such the Three-wattled Bellbird and elusive Resplendent Quetzal. Dotted with some of the most unadulterated and enthralling natural terrain, the region offers plenty of natural wildlife areas to explore.

The Highlands Region extends from the northwest town of Tilaran to the southeast Turrialba Volcano. It encompasses an elliptical expanse of spectacular green hills with unparalleled biodiversity, and many of the country's most important rivers bellow from high in the Central Volcanic Mountain Range to Costa Rica's fertile Central Valley. Birthing from high atop the crisp mountain ranges, these rivers supply the Central Valley Plateau (Meseta Central) with vital nutrients for flourishing crops.

Many of the country's active volcanic peaks are found along the Highland's Central Volcanic Mountain Range (Cordillera Volcanica Central). Volcanoes such as Poas and Irazu are some of the most spectacular and accessible volcanoes in the country. Easily accessible from San Jose, destinations such as Poas Volcano can be visited with day trips from the capital city.

Many serendipitous adventures await visitors to the Central Highlands. Experience the terrain's pure beauty as it unwinds along the road in front of you. The region's immaculate views and stunning scenery may entice you to spend your entire vacation in the Central Highlands.

Central Highlands, Costa Rica, Central America

Guided Tours

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Nature Walks

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Butterfly Gardens

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Central Highlands

Top Attractions

Destinations in Central Highlands

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Costa Rica Attractions

Heres a list of Costa Rica's Amazing Sights and Attractions

Attractions
Destinations
Flora Fauna
Flora Fauna
 

Rhinoceros Beetle

 

House Gecko

 

Monkey Tail (Guaba chilillo)

 

Glass Frog

 

Common Basilisk

 

Great Green Macaw

 

White-Faced or Capuchin Monkey

 

Glasswing Butterfly

 

Spectacled Caiman

 

Armadillo

 

Hawksbill Sea Turtle

 

Leatherback Turtle

 

Pink Shower Tree

 

Fishing Bulldog Bat

 

Scarlet Macaw

 

Stinking Toe Tree

 

White Leadtree

 

Long-tailed Hermit

 

Boa Constrictor

 

Olingo

 

Common Dolphin

 

Fiery-billed Aracari and Collared Aracari

 

Spiny Green Lizard

 

Ice Cream Bean Tree

 

Leaf-Cutter Ant

 

Margay

 

Puma

 

Blue-jeans Frog

 

Millipede

 

Walking Stick

 

Resplendent Quetzal

 

Monarch Butterfly

 

Long-tailed Manakin

 

Tayra

 

Green Turtle

 

Brilliant Forest Frog

 

Sperm Whale

 

Assassin Bugs and Kissing Bugs

 

Spanish cedar (Cedrela odorata)

 

Magnificent Frigatebird

 

Jaguar

 

Panamanian Night Monkey

 

Common Tink Frog

 

Zopilota

 

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan

 

Green Page Moth

 

Two-Toed Sloth

 

Fer-de-Lance

 

Green Heron

 

Narrow-headed Vine Snake

 

Bare-necked Umbrellabird

 

Collared Peccary

 

Loggerhead Sea Turtle

 

Turquoise-browed Motmot

 

Oncilla

 

Red Brocket Deer

 

Agouti

 

Jaguarundi

 

Ocelot

 

Orca, Killer Whale

 

Bottle-nosed Dolphin

 

Coati

 

Milk Frog

 

Guanacaste Tree (Elephant Ear)

 

Red-Eyed Leaf (Tree) Frog

 

Andiroba

 

White-lipped Peccaries

 

American Crocodile

 

Chestnut-fronted Macaw

 

Capybara

 

Baird's Tapir

 

Owl Butterfly

 

Blue-and-Yellow Macaw

 

Tonka Bean Tree

 

Black Ctenosaur

 

Keel-billed Toucan

 

Helicopter Damselfly

 

Vampire Bat

 

Humpback Whale

 

Barbachele

 

Fin Whale

 

Scorpions

 

Turkey Vulture

 

Green Iguana

 

Cook

 

Black Witch

 

Spider Monkey

 

Squirrel Monkey

 

Three-wattled Bellbird

 

Ground Anole

 

Saman (Samanea saman, aka Albizia saman)

 

Brown Pelican

 

Mantled Howler Monkey

 

Blue Morpho

 

Tarantula

 

Army Ant

 

Arboreal Termites

 

Chestnut-headed Oropendola

 

Violet Sabrewing

 

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

 

Bananaquit

 

Giant Toad or Cane Toad

 

Spotted Longwing

 

Three-Toed Sloth

 

Kinkajou

 

Central American Bushmaster

 

Pacific Spotted Dolphin

 

Bullet Ant

 

Golden Orb Weaver

 

Paca