Parrita is the number 9 canton of the Province of Puntarenas, on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It is located in the Central Pacific region of the country. It has an area of 478.79 km² and is the last Costa Rican canton with the particularity of constituting a single district. It limits to the east with Quepos, to the north with Puriscal, Acosta and Aserrí, to the northeast with Tarrazú, to the northwest with Turrubares, to the south with the Pacific Ocean, and to the west with Garabito. It was founded on July 5,1971. Its head is the city of Parrita. According to the 2011 National Census, the population of the canton was 16,115 inhabitants, of which 7.6% were born abroad.
The same census highlights that there were 4,833 occupied dwellings, of which, 51.4% were in good condition and there were problems of overcrowding in 6.3% of the dwellings.53.2% of its inhabitants lived in urban areas. Among other data, the literacy level of the canton is 94.6%, with an average schooling of 6.5 years. For the year 2012, it had a human development index of 0.768 according to the United Nations Development Program. The economy of the canton depends on agricultural production, especially the cultivation of African palm for export. Another important source of income is tourism, due to the existence of beaches such as Playa Esterillos, as well as being a transit area to the beaches of Quepos and Manuel Antonio. Parrita suffers an acute socio-economic gap: it is one of the 15 cantons that grows the most in Costa Rica due to tourism projects and hotel zones, but this does not improve the living conditions of the population.
Among the cultural aspects, every year in February the Festival de la Mulas is celebrated in the canton, popular festivals that include concerts, food sales, exhibitions, tope, bullfights and the traditional mule race.