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Provinces of Costa Rica facts for kids

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The provinces (Spanish: provincias) are administrative parts of Costa Rica as in other countries.

The Constitution of Costa Rica says, in its Article 168, "For Public Administration purposes, the national territory is divided into provinces, these into cantons and cantons into districts."

As of 2016, there are 7 provinces (provincias), 81 cantons (cantones), and 473 districts (districtos).


The Law No. 36 of 7 December 1848 divided the country, for the first time, in provinces, cantons and districts, and created 6 provinces:

  1. San José
  2. Alajuela
  3. Cartago
  4. Heredia
  5. Guanacaste

The law made Puntarenas as comarca, an old category that does not exist any more. Puntarenas was made a province in 1858. In 1870, Limón was made a comarca with the eastern part of the Cartago province; in 1902, Limón was made a province.

List of provinces

Costa Rica provinces named
The seven provinces of Costa Rica
Flag Province Map ISO 3166-2 Capital Area
Bandera de la Provincia de San José.svg San José San Jose in Costa Rica.svg CR-SJ San José &&&&&&&&&&&04965.9000004,965.90 &&&&&&&&01404242.&&&&&01,404,242 282.8
Bandera de la Provincia de Alajuela.svg Alajuela Alajuela in Costa Rica.svg CR-A Alajuela &&&&&&&&&&&09757.5300009,757.53 &&&&&&&&&0848146.&&&&&0848,146 86.9
Bandera de la Provincia de Cartago.svg Cartago Cartago in Costa Rica.svg CR-C Cartago &&&&&&&&&&&03124.6700003,124.67 &&&&&&&&&0490903.&&&&&0490,903 157.1
Bandera de la Provincia de Heredia.svg Heredia Heredia in Costa Rica.svg CR-H Heredia &&&&&&&&&&&02656.9800002,656.98 &&&&&&&&&0433677.&&&&&0433,677 163.2
Bandera de la Provincia de Guanacaste.svg Guanacaste Guanacaste in Costa Rica.svg CR-G Liberia &&&&&&&&&&010140.71000010,140.71 &&&&&&&&&0326953.&&&&&0326,953 32.2
Bandera de la Provincia de Puntarenas.svg Puntarenas Puntarenas in Costa Rica.svg CR-P Puntarenas &&&&&&&&&&011265.69000011,265.69 &&&&&&&&&0410929.&&&&&0410,929 36.5
Bandera de la Provincia de Limón.svg Limón Limon in Costa Rica.svg CR-L Puerto Limón &&&&&&&&&&&09188.5200009,188.52 &&&&&&&&&0386862.&&&&&0386,862 42.1

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