Is Costa Rica actually an Island?

Yes, Costa Rica is an Island

If you are thinking of traveling to Costa Rica and wondering if Costa Rica is an island, this blog is for you. The quick answer is yes; I mean no. Well, if you already thought you knew the answer like us, you would have thought this topic was bogus because the obvious answer for any half-educated individual in geography would be that Costa Rica is certainly not an island. Everyone born in Costa Rica and people like myself who have lived here for over 20 years cringes at the sound of someone calling Costa Rica an island.

It wasn’t until recently that I had to question my last 20 years of thinking that Costa Rica was not an island. Without wanting to spoil the content below, I still feel having to cross both borders at the Nicaraguan and Panamanian borders; I certainly felt like I was crossing overland unless I wasn’t paying attention. Here is the recent news on the topic, and you can decide for yourself if you think Costa Rica is an island or not. 

What Experts are Saying

If you look at a map to the north Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua and to the Southeast it is bordered by Panama. Costa Rica has a Caribbean coastline of roughly 131 miles and a Pacific coastline of approximately 631 miles. This would qualify Costa Rica by many as NOT an island. But the plot thickens… 

According to the Ticotimes, a team of researchers from the University of Costa Rica made an astonishing discovery. It turns out on the Panama and Nicaragua border; there are uncharted networks of lakes and rivers that have concluded that Costa Rica is, in fact, an island. Anyone familiar with Costa Rica does know that the country has marshy waterways on each border but the fact the border on each end never actually crosses over land is hard to believe. This is pretty remote territory in some areas and waterways that get pretty thin so I think even google earth would most likely be hard to tell with all the foliage. You also have to ask yourself what makes an island an island? Is just 10 ft of the marshy river enough to consider an entire country an island? For most practical reasons, probably no,t but if you want to get technical, which sounds like the UCR students do, it might be hard to argue with them based on their findings.

Kardashians are Smarter than we think

The most fascinating part to all of this for me is that the Kardashians, Bachelorette reality show, and not so educated tourists have been hashtagging #islandlife for years when visiting Costa Rica, it turns out that they were just experts in Central American uncharted waterways; this I would have never ever guessed? 

Well, there you have it. Costa Rica is or is not an island. You make the call and live your island life no matter where you apparently and if we learned anything from this blog I think it’s that reality TV shows are where the facts come from.

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The POC camp is an extension of the POC lodge and while the POC Lodge is located with vast views of the Pacuare River Canyon the POC Camp is down on the river’s edge. While it might not have the view of the POC Lodge it sits on one of the calmest sections of the river making the POC Camp home to one of the river Pacuare’s best spots for taking a swim and relaxing on the river’s edge.

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Started in 2011 is the POC lodge. If you haven’t figured it out by now POC lodge is our own lodge and what we like to call the “baby” of the P.O.C. Adventure Company. We wanted a lodge on our favorite part of Costa Rica which is the Pacuare River and with the help of locally harvested supplies and labor, the POC Lodge was born.


This is a 180-acre property that runs over 1 mile of the Pacuare River. Our goal has always been to offer as much comfort as possible without steering too far away from our roots of just roughing it on the river’s edge. Our lodge has hot water, a splash of luxury in the rooms, and 5-Star service and attention to our guests.

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Shawandha lodge is set up with individual bungalows made out of local wood. You will be sure to wake up to the sound of the local residents such as the howler monkeys and green macaws. After your day of adventure, you will have a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful swimming pool at the Shawandha Lodge.

Hotel Villa Florencia, Turrialba

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Casa Turire has been one of our favorites since we started. The grounds are some of the lushest you will find anywhere in Costa Rica. Casa Turire sits in the valley of Turrialba surrounded by mountains and the beautiful Turrialba Volcano. The most amazing part about Casa Turire other than its great restaurant and home-made sugar cane ice cream is that it sits on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Angostura offering great morning hikes, birding, or SUPing around the lake.