Northern Plains Travel Guide


Photo of Northern Plains Photo: Sportster, member

Plan Your Northern Plains Vacation

Whether you come here from San José or Liberia, prepare yourself for some spectacular scenery—and a bumpy ride. As you bounce along on your way to Arenal, you may discover that "paved" means different things in different places, and that potholes are numerous. Any discomfort you experience is more than made up for by the swaths of misty rain forest and dramatic expanses of the Cordillera Central. Schedule at least 3½ hours for the trip.


Northern Plains Hotels

A few sumptuous resorts hold court in northern Costa Rica, but this region is largely the province of smaller, nature-themed... read more


Northern Plains Restaurants

You'll never go hungry in this region. The north is the country's breadbasket, and the hotels and restaurants out here make... read more

Things To Do

Things To Do in Northern Plains

Explore the best sights, entertainment, and shopping with our top choices and insider tips.


Northern Plains Experiences

  • Top Reasons to Go to the Northern Plains

    Arenal Volcano: You can hear the rumblings of the world's third-most-active volcano for miles around, and, on clear nights, watch... Read more

  • Caño Negro

    Think a smaller version of Florida's Everglades and you'll have a good picture of the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Caño Negro.... Read more

  • Arenal Volcano

    The 2-km-high (1-mile-high) Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica's youngest and most active volcano, dominates the region's landscape.... Read more

  • Poás Volcano

    Towering north of Alajuela, the verdant Poás Volcano is covered with a quilt of farms and topped by a dark green shawl of cloud forest.... Read more

  • Eco-Lodges in the Northern Plains

    This territory as a whole doesn't garner the attention in eco-circles that other parts of Costa Rica do, but the country has a no more... Read more

  • What Is a Cloud Forest?

    Cloud forests are a type of rain forest, but are different from the hot, humid lowland forests with which most people are familiar.... Read more

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