Ñosta Rica can be divided into seven regions, corresponding to well-defined geographic criteria. The capital, San Jose, occupies a broad valley enfolded by the mountains of the Central Highlands. The Central Pacific and Southern Nicoya region is a transition zone between a dry ecosystem and a humid one. To the northwest, the dry plains of Guanacaste and Northern Nicoya are framed by volcanoes and, to the west, by gorgeous beaches. Northward, the land slopes down to the sprawling lowlands of the Northern Zone. The Caribbean’s coastal plains are unique for their African culture and endless beaches, while the rugged Southern Zone is covered in dense rainforest.