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Central Valley
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  • General information
  • About Central Valley
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The Central Valley of Costa Rica is located in the geographic center of the country and is where the most part of the population lives. More than half of the people live, study and work in this region.

This zone is located in the geographic center of Costa Rica, the most populated zone of the country. It includes the Great Metropolitan Area, composed by the province headers of San Jose, Heredia, Cartago and Alajuela. It has a great commercial and industrial development, third level education, and the reinstated railway is also found here. Theres a great variety of reliefs, altitudes and topographies that allow different microclimates and a very wide biodiversity.

This land has plenty of plains and a mountain system called the Central Volcanic Mountain Range. Towards the north you can find active and inactive volcanoes, such as the Poas in Alajuela, the Barva in Heredia and the Irazu and Turrialba in Cartago. Towards the south you will find La Carpintera Mountain Row, composed by a set of mountains.

These bluish mountains that surround the valley also form a chain that starts in the Desengao Depression, which separates the Barva Volcano from the Poas Volcano. Then you will see Las Tres Marias (The Three Maries), which are three mountain peaks, followed by the Paso de la Palma, which divides them from the Irazu Volcano. 

Towards the south you will find the peaks of Alajuelita and Escazu, decorated by a red color during summer, when the savannah oaks lose all their leaves and their red flowers bloom all over. Towards the west you can see the mounts of Ciudad Colon, and towards the east the Irazu Volcano.
San Jose

Here you will find the capital city of Costa Rica, San Jose, established as capital in 1838. It was founded between 1736 and 1737 as ordered by the Town Council of Leon, with the purpose of bringing together the residents of the Valley of Aserri. An increase in the number of businesses boosted the quick development of the zone, being the third city in the world with electric lighting, after New York and Paris.

It has many pedestrian passages, with the Avenida Central (Central Avenue) as the most popular, and more than 12 blocks surrounded by different businesses and historical sites. The blocks towards the southeast area of the Mercado Central (Central Marketplace), which go all the way to the 
Hospital San Juan de Dios, were recently finished.

The most important museums of the country are located in San Jose, like the National Museum of Costa Rica, which goes over the countrys history, including the pre-Columbian, colonial and republican periods. You can appreciate a beautiful scenery of San Jose from its upper plaza. It was built in the old Cuartel Bellavista.

Towards the west you can find the Gold Museum of the Banco Central, with one of the most important collections of pre-Columbian gold art in the world. It is an underground building that has the crowded Plaza de la Cultura in its surface. Towards the north you will find the Jade Museum, with an impressive collection of jade figures and ornaments made by native cultures of Middle America.

Another of its attractive sites is the National Theater, awarded as National Monument in 1965, then the church of La Merced with its neo-gothic architectural style and the Post Office Building, inspired in the design and structure of the post office building of Madrid.

Theres also the Melico Salazar Popular Theater, which has a classic industrial preformed design, and the Edificio Metalico, whose architecture took as an example the modern iron architecture of the Eiffel Tower. It is home to two public schools, and has the Parque Morazan in front of it. Next to this park you will see the Parque Espaa.

There are many parks spread through the capital that you should definitely visit, such as the Parque Central, Parque Nacional, Parque Espaa, Parque La Merced and Parque Morazan. These places are usually meeting points and relaxation sites, and work as green lungs thanks to the many trees they have.

Throughout the years, San Jose has had many changes in its architecture, with buildings that have been demolished and some others that have changed their location for their preservation. This is why the Old Correction House is nowadays the Museum of Children, and the La Sabana Airport has turned into the Costa Rican Art Museum.

More recently, the old Liquor Factory and the paseo de las Damas (Ladies passageway) were transformed into the Contemporary Art and Design Museum. They are working on the idea of using the large facilities of the Old Customs House for exhibitions, which are located next to the Atlantic Railway Station.

Chepe is what ticos call the city of San Jose, which has an altitude of 1.150 m and an average temperature of 22C with moderate rainfall (the Central Volcanic Mountain Range protects San Jose from the weather of the Caribbean). It has all types of facilities and services, with a very active nightlife (discotheques, nightclubs, bars, etc.).

There are many cultural activities performed throughout the year, reviewed by the press or in specialized websites, such as redcultura.com, where the visitor can check the latest updates regarding the cultural agenda that offers the Great Metropolitan Area.

In San Jose you can also find the headquarters of the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary powers of the Republic, the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) and the University of Costa Rica, as well as many state and private banks.

The populations surrounding the metropolitan center are urban zones with commercial development such as San Pedro, Tibas, Guadalupe, Moravia, Pavas, Desamparados and Rohrmoser. Escazu and Santa Ana have experienced an incredible real estate development in the last decade.

The zone of the Central Valley has other cities with their own charms, like their weather, lifestyles and different cultures.

Alajuela
The city of Alajuela (La Lajuela) was founded in 1782 at the base of the Poas Volcano. The common stone slabs in the rivers Ciruelas and Alajuela gave the name La Lajuela to this city, which means place with stone slabs. With time, the words were put together and the name of the city is now Alajuela.

Its main tourist destination is the Poas Volcano National Park, which protects an active volcano in its extension of 6.506 hectares. You can drive all the way up to the crater, unique place on Earth where you can do that. This zone is covered by exuberant vegetation typical of the cloud forest, with species that reach 20 m in height and are covered by mosses.

It also protects about 72 bird species, a short forest and the Laguna Botos, which used to be the former active crater, and is currently a cold-water lagoon of an amazing beauty. During clear weather you can appreciate the incredible and unique sight of both oceans, Pacific and Atlantic. It is easy to access, close to the capital and has facilities and lunch areas.

The well-preserved Parque de los Mangos is also located in this town. It was named after all the huge mango trees found in its surroundings. This place is perfect for having pleasant conversations with friends and telling jokes, something people from Alajuela are very good at.

Alajuela is the birthplace of the national hero Juan Santamaria, from the campaign of 1856 against the freebooters. Here you can also find the Juan Santamaria Historical Museum, which describes the battles of Santa Rosa and Rivas, in Nicaragua, where Juan Santamaria burned the porterhouse where the freebooters were hiding, defeating them.

Alajuela is the main gateway to international flights through the Juan Santamaria International Airport, which is in constant growth and development. It used to be known as Del Coco International Airport because it was built in the Plain of El Coco. This is the most modern airport in Central America.

When going from Alajuela in direction to the Poas Volcano, you will find very nice places to have lunch, with beautiful panoramic views of the Great Metropolitan Area. In the northwest section of Alajuela you will find the towns of San Ramon, Sarchi, Naranjo and Palmares, where agriculture and handcrafts are combined together.

The agricultural city of Sarchi is also the national hometown of handcrafts. The best typical carts of Costa Rica are made and hand-painted here, where you can find the cart factory of Mr. Joaquin Chaverri, which has used a water mill for its production since it opened in 1902. Historians believe this art was born here.

The central park of Zarcero is a place you should definitely visit, located in front of the main church. The bushes of the park have different forms, such as impressive figures of animals and dinosaurs, among others. The designer of this precious scenery is Evangelisto Blanco, who gives maintenance to this garden and to the rest of the park since the decade of the 60s. 

This unexpected place is frequently visited by local tourists.
The peaceful city of Palmares is known for the design and manufacture of classic and modern wood furniture. Once a year, the Civic Feasts of Palmares are celebrated on the second week of January. These festivities last for more than one week, with rides, fireworks, horse parades and a lot more. These feasts have become one of the most popular celebrations of Costa Rica, where thousands of people from all over the country come to party to this city.

Sam Ramon is considered the hometown of poets and political leaders, many intellectuals, public square speakers, teachers and thinkers, who were born and also grew up here. Also some ex-presidents come from this town, like Rodrigo Carazo Odio and Jose Figueres Ferrer.

Among its interesting sites theres the San Ramon Museum, the marketplace, the church and the School G. Washington. Its old houses give a particular feeling to this city.

Cartago
Towards the east of the Central Valley you will find the city of Cartago, which was founded in 1563 by the Spanish conqueror Juan Vasquez de Coronado. However, Alonso Anguciana de Gamboa gave the city its current location. When Costa Rica belonged to the Captaincy General of Guatemala, Cartago was its capital city, but stopped being after the Civil War of Ochomogo, in 1823, where the military, politic, economic and commercial superiority of San Jose was evident.

This city has been rebuilt after suffering three earthquakes that destroyed it in 1822, 1841 and the worst of them all, on May 14th, 1910. The remains of the old parish of Apostle Saint James are evidence of this last earthquake.

A few blocks from the remains you will find the Basilica of Our Lady of Los Angeles (1921), considered the most important of Costa Rica. It is the sanctuary of La Negrita, which is the image of the patron saint of the country. Every year, on August 2nd, thousands of Costa Ricans perform the romeria (pilgrimage), an act of devotion to honor the Virgin.

Cartago was established at the base of the Irazu Volcano, the largest and tallest active volcano in Costa Rica, with 3.432 m above sea level, and is part of the Irazu Volcano National Park (1955). It protects more than 2.000 hectares from its top to the base, and in clear weather you can see both oceans, the Altantic and the Pacific. You can also see the Talamanca Mountain Range and the towns of Tierra Blanca, Valle del Guarco and Valle de Orosi.

The Irazu Volcano releases vapor clouds, ashes and other materials, and also causes strong local earthquakes. It has lagoons with gray sands or dunes that give the landscape a moon-like appearance, in contrast with the dense vegetation of the Poas Volcano. Theres also a green lagoon that turns to an almost glowing color under the bright sun.

Its last period of strong activity took place between 1963 and 1965, and had ash eruptions that paralyzed the capital and affected the lifestyle of thousands of Costa Ricans. Its easy to access, close to the capital and has facilities and lunch areas. It is also very cold especially in December and January, so its better of you bring a thick coat.

The Valley of Orosi is also part of the Central Valley, where you will find the communities of Orosi and Ujarras, where the first Spanish settlements were established in Costa Rica. The Remains of the Church of the Immaculate Conception for the Rescue of Ujarras are the traces of these settlements. They were declared National Monument in 1920.

Close to the ruins you will find the Lankester Botanical Garden, which displays an impressive collection of orchids. The best time to observe them is when they bloom, in April and May. It is part of the University of Costa Rica.

There are important constructions such as the dam of the Hydroelectric Power Plant of Cachi, which is functioning since 1966 and was the first of its type in Central America. It is 79 m tall and 186 m wide. Its building formed a huge lake that is nowadays a tourist destination, where you can have different gastronomical options among typical and international dishes.

Theres also the Church and Colonial Museum of Orosi, unique colonial construction that is still very well preserved, where you can see daily-use artifacts that the Franciscan friars used in their evangelization campaigns. It was declared National Monument in 1985.

Heredia
The city of Heredia has been known for decades as the city of flowers because of all the beautiful women that live there. It is located at the base of the inactive Barva Volcano and most of its towns were named after saints, such as Santo Domingo, Santa Rosa, San Pablo, Santa Barbara, San Joaquin de Flores and San Rafael.

It has a historical center composed by the School Republic of Argentina, the Post Office and Telegraph building, the Rectory, the church of the Immaculate, the Fortin (Fort) and the building of the Lyceum of Heredia. It used to be the former Normal School, considered the intellect center of the country until the creation of the University of Costa Rica (1940).

Among its interesting sites, theres El Fortin (The Fort, 1876), designed by the sculptor, drawer and photographer Fadrique Gutierrez. It is a symbol of the city and also declared National Monument on November 2nd, 1974. 

Heredia has a train that goes to San Jose, where you can enjoy picturesque sceneries on your way. It is home to the National University, the second most important state university of Costa Rica.

The community of Santo Domingo of Heredia has a square of almost three blocks that ends in the towns public school. The architecture of the school dates from the early XX century, with impeccable gardens. From the square you can see an imposing basilica with silver domes, as well as an impressive view of the Irazu Volcano behind it.

It is home to the first theme park dedicated to biodiversity, the INBio Parque. The National Institute of Biodiversity recreates some of the types of the forests of Costa Rica, and also studies species of flora and fauna. It is known worldwide for its investigations and publications.

San Rafael of Heredia has a large white church of gothic style with an important collection of vitrals. You can see this church from many sites of the Central Valley, like San Jose, San Pedro and Guadalupe.

Barva of Heredia is located at the base of the Barva Volcano, has a central square and the Municipal Palace that reflects the life at the end of the XIX century, with authentic and well-preserved constructions. Many old houses have become restaurants and small businesses.

Other important sites
In the agricultural region of Turrialba you can find the famous Guayabo National Monument, considered the largest and most important anthropological discovery in the country. About 50 different stone structures have been found in the four excavated hectares. There are stone pavements that were used as roads and that also had a drainage system. 

These extend in different directions through several kilometers.
There are steps, bridges, retaining walls, inclined planes and mound-shaped bases used under the houses. It has an open-closing aqueduct system that leads the water to the tanks, which is still functioning. This settlement dates back to the year 1000 B.C., even though the most important development of the chiefdom was between 300 and 700 A.D.

The Rio Turrialba flows into the Rio Reventazon, with a strong slope that produces great acceleration spots in the water, ideal for practicing rafting. There are also large sugar cane plantations, and the popular Turrialba cheese is produced here. It has a wide variety of altitudes and microclimates, which are ideal for maintaining a rich and changing biodiversity.

The town of Coronado is located at the base of the Cerro Zurqui, and a small section of the canton is part of the Braulio Carrillo National Park. The scenery of this town is decorated with cypress trees and pasturelands for milk production.

The church of Coronado is a work of art inspired in the French gothic style, designed by the Costa Rican architect Teodorico Quiros in the late 1920s. The preformed metal structure was made in Germany, came to Puntarenas and was unloaded in the Plaza Gonzalez Viquez. Later it was carried in ox carts by the residents of Coronado.
The weather is cold, very cloudy and foggy. It was named after the Spanish conqueror Juan Vasquez de Coronado.

The Braulio Carrillo National Park has a section in the Pacific side and another one in the Atlantic side, which can be easily seen from the Zurqui tunnel because the vegetation is very different between sections. It was named after the third Chief of State of Costa Rica and Well-Deserving of the Country, who made great efforts to communicate Puerto Limon with the Central Valley.

Tall volcanic complexes covered with a dense, evergreen primary forest compose most part of the protected area (47.583 hectares). Here you can also find large rivers, about 6.000 species of plants and an abundant fauna.

It is crossed by a road that goes to Limon, with viewpoints that offer beautiful panoramic views. The Rio Sucio passes through this park.
There are many protected areas in the Central Valley, such as: Irazu Volcano National Park, Poas Volcano National Park, Braulio Carrillo National Park (which includes the Barva Volcano), Turrialba Volcano National Park and the Protective Zone of the Hills of Escazu. Theres also a great offer of adventure tourism, with canopy tours, rafting, horseback riding, biking, walking and a lot more.

 
 
Weather
Due to its extension, the region of the Central Valley includes part of the provinces of San Jose, Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago. In order to explain the weather of this region, they take specific points for weather analysis. These points of reference are Pavas in the center of the valley and Fraijanes for the mountain section. 

The amount of registered rainfall changes with the zone. For example, in the central section (Pavas), the altitude is of 997 m, and the average annual rainfall is of 1.967 mm (1 mm is equivalent to 1 liter per 1 m). In the mountain section (lagoon of Fraijanes), the altitude is of 1.850 m and the average annual rainfall is of 3.230,8 mm.

In the mountain section and towards the east of the Central Valley the registered amount of rainfall is larger than the rainfall in the valley and the west section, in towns like Santa Ana, Ciudad Colon, etc. Cartago has a special situation, where the average annual rainfall is of 1.400 mm, being the province header with the least rainfall.

The Central Valley has well-defined seasons: a dry season that goes from December to March and a rainy season that extends from May to October (during normal weather). The months of April and November are transition periods from one season to another. In July the rainfall decreases, and this phenomenon is known as veranillo de San Juan (small summer of Saint John). It is caused by a change in wind circulation, which can last from one to three weeks.

Temperatures
In the low part of the valley and using Pavas as point of reference, the average temperature ranges from 22C to 24C and remains constant throughout the year. The maximum temperature reaches 29C and the lowest temperature can get to 18C. In the mountain section of the valley, the maximum temperature reaches 23C in March and April, but during January and February can get as low as 7C.

Geography
The Central Valley is a plateau surrounded by mountains with a slight slope that goes in a north-south and east-west direction, being east San Jose and Cartago the highest regions. It is a relatively flat topography with shallow rivers, except for some like the Rio Virilla, which has a deeper canyon. The Central Valley is a tectonic depression that limits to the north and east with the Central Volcanic Mountain Range, to the west with the hills of Escazu, La Candelaria and El Tablazo, and to the south with the hills of Aguacate. 

The mountains of Ochomogo and La Carpintera divide the Central Valley in two parts. The first one is the eastern section or Valley of Cartago, which is a little bit higher and occupies a third portion of the territory, and the second one is the western section or Valley of San Jose, which takes up the other 1.000 km. This depression is mainly filled by volcanic materials, and the irregularities it has are due to fractures and fluvial fillings and old sedimentary and volcanic deposits.


 
 
 
San Jos, Capital City
San Jos, Capital City
San Jose had already won this title before being officially named capital of Costa Rica, after the civil war of Ochomogo, where Cartago lost this title. It was denominated capital on 1838. The commercial zones that were established faster in this region than in Cartago made possible the quick development of the region and since half of the XIX century San Jose was the commercial, civil and social center of the young country of Costa Rica. The city was funded between 1736 and 1937 by order of the Leons council; the objective was to gather all the scatter population of the Valle del Aserri, as they called in that time, reason why a chapel was built on the sector called as the La Boca del Monte. The same year San Jose was elected as the Parish Leader giving birth to the community of San Jose de la Boca del Monte. The region presented problems with the supply of water which provoked a slow initial development, later on the construction of channels and irrigation ditches promoted the water supply that together with the fertility of its soils and the construction of the Tobacco Factory resulted on an important concentration of people towards the end of the XVIII century.

Therefore, San Jose is one of the youngest cities from Latin America but since its beginnings as an urban center it presented important development issues, was the third city of the glove, after New York and Paris in having electric illumination, inaugurated its municipal pipes on 1868 and its architectonic development at the beginning of the XX century has being always internationally well known. Many of these architectonical pieces have survived and live among modern buildings that many times overcomes in size, in here, the modernism combines with the classic and republican. In any corner of San Jose it can be find memories of a none very far away past that fights for not being forgotten.
In the actuality, a real fight for the rescue of the city has started, which between the years of the 60s and 80s, had an accelerated development that wasnt well regulated. The city nowadays has important pedestrian crossings as the one on the Avenida Central (Central Avenue) that cover over 12 blocks and has being the most significant change of the city. The Central Avenue Boulevard was started shyly towards the end of the 70s interrupting the car transit in some blocks but that later on were reopened. Recently were concluded the blocks that goes from the southeast part of the central market up to the San Juan de Dios Hospital completing this important commerce street. The Central Avenue Boulevard also started the construction of other pedestrian crossings, with the intention of clearing the city of cars. These journeys nowadays are routes where you can appreciate important touristic and historic issues from the city.

In San Jose are gathered the most important museums from the country in an eight block tour you can visit the Costa Rica National Museum, built on the past Bellavista Headquarters when years ago the military forces that supported the Government were gathered and was in here where the December  1st of 1948 Jose Figueres Ferrer gave its symbolic hammer strike against one of the walls of this headquarters abolishing the army from Costa Rica. From its plaza superior (highest floor) is obtained a very beautiful view from the capital city. Following to the east in the Central Avenue Boulevard we can find the Central Bank Gold Museum which gathers one of the most important Pre-Columbus gold art collection from the glove, is the only subterranean building of the city and on its surface is located the Plaza de la Cultura. This space was designed this way to clear the north part of the National Theater, built between 1890 and 1897 and considered as the most valuable architectonical jewel from Costa Rica. The National Theater was possible thanks to the tax over the coffee exportation and later on to the importations. It was named National Monument in 1965. Towards the north of the Plaza de la Cultura we find the Jade Museum with an impressive collection of figures and ceramics made of this precious stone by the Mesoamerican natives.
San Jose has a block structure very similar to the ones from the last century, keeping almost the same distribution from the National Park on the east of the city, next to the National Library and the Pacific Train Station up to the west Sabana and the Barrio Amon and Otoya in the north up to the Pacific Train Station and the Cleto Gonzales Viquez Square on the south of the capital city. With the improvement that the city had on the last decade, the parks had the greatest attention and are the perfect places for taking a little rest. The Central Park, National Park, Spain Park, Merced Park and the Morazan Park are the most important and each one of them contributes with a little oxygen help to the city thanks to its great number of trees.

Some buildings like the theater, churches and schools are in charge of giving a very peculiar and unique characteristic to this small city; among the churches the prettiest are: La Merced, built in 1900, neo-gothic architecture, was built with the purpose of substituting the old temple that suffered many damages due to the 1888 earthquake. Clearly one of the most beautiful buildings of the city is the Mailbox Building, inspired on the one from Madrid, it was constructed in 1910 and gave an old looking to the young city. Another beautiful architectonic display is the Melico Salazar Popular Theater; with a classical design this theater in one of the main Costa Rican cultural scenario. One of the most representative buildings of the industrial and educative revolution of the country is the metallic building that homes the Buenaventura Corrales School. Inspired by the Eiffel Tower with a pre-formed industrial design, Costa Rica chose a building made of metal from outside the country for being utilized as a school. This was in charge to the architect Charles Thirion and the elaboration was made by the company Societe des Forges de Aiseau from Belgium. By this way one of the most beautiful buildings from the country was born located in one of the greenest areas from the capital, in front of the Morazan Park and next to the Spain Park. Its construction was finished in 1896 with many critics by the conservative sectors that only see metal instead of its main purpose.

The capital city has been characterized in the last 20 years by changing the purpose of the buildings instead of destroying them, as it was made on the 50s, when they fell against the modernism like the antique library and the Artillery Square; this an example of this is the Bellavista Headquarters that was turned into the National Museum, the Central Penitentiary transformed into the National Children Museum, the Sabana Airport turned into the Costa Rican Art Museum and more recently the antique Liquor Factory next to the Paseo de Damas turned into the Contemporaneous Art and Design Museum, another project that has been started to take into consideration is the creation of an important place for exhibitions on the very big installations of the old Custom Office, next to the Atlantic Train Station. With these transformations the city has earned a great number of spaces for the joy of its citizens and visitors and has granted the survival of these historical buildings.
The Great Metropolitan Area is the result of a sustained growth of the city in where its neighbors and suburbs have being mixing generating this great residential, commercial and industrial zone. Most of the surrounding populations to the Metropolitan Area are in this process, of the mix of urban zones with commercial developments over their main streets, this is the case of San Pedro, Tibas, Guadalupe, Moravia, Pavas, Desamparados, Rohrmoser and Escazu, that are the districts nearest to the capital city and their limits long ago were erased due to the urban growth. The south mountains from the capital have began to urbanize on its limits, and in the cases of the mountains of Escazu and Santa Ana are the ones with the most real estate development during the last 5 years.

San Jose is in an average height of 1150mt and has an average temperature of 22C and the north mountain and volcanoes chain of the Cordillera Volcanica Central protects it from the climate influence from the Caribbean, resulting on a more moderate rains than in the Atlantic Region, this characteristics makes of this region one of the most popular from the country, especially to the east of the city that has a more fresh weather. The music is also present on each side of the Central Valley and the offer is as same of wide as of the menu. You can enjoy as from the classic music on the National Theater up to the cheering up marimba of the Chicharronera (cracklings) of Aserri. San Jose is full of activities where the music is the main character or an important complement. A very big selection of discos, night clubs, bars, dance floor and places for live music and many places destined to the recreation are part of the wide entertainment activity offers that are added to a long list of cultural activities inside the capital city such as theaters, dances, speeches, art expositions or music concerts for all genders, which are exposed by the press or specialize places on the cultural activity like redcultura.com where the visitant can be in contact with the cultural calendar that offers the Great Metropolitan Area.
On the capital city the feeling of being surrounded by mountains isnt just an expression, almost from any side you look you can fell the presence of these giants; depending the epoch of the year, especially on the months of December to March when the humidity decreases and there is almost no clouds, the feeling is even stronger. This because they are actually close, is the atmospheric perspective that gives its blue color and far away feeling. Up to the north are shown the most popular terrains from the Central Valley, starts on the Desengao Depression that divides the Barva Volcano with the Poas Vocano, overwhelms three peaks called the Three Marias, ending on the Paso de la Palma that divides this group from the Irazu Volcano. To the south, the peaks of Alajuelita and Escazu have been inspiration reasons for painters since the last century, especially in summer when the savannah oaks floods with its red color the limits of these mountains. The west is the one with the lowest mountains on the Ciudad Colon scrublands. And finally towards the east is the unmistakable figure of the Irazu Volcano that rises dominating the entire Central Valley.

In general is a calm city where the warmness of its citizens is still present regardless that is a city with a certain lifestyle. People always smile and are willing to give you any type of help or providing you some kind of indication, even if it is a a la tica indication. In here lives and coexist all types of social classes in diverse economic activities. Walking is the best option on short distances because since the disappearance of the tram on the 50s, San Jose doesnt have an efficient urban transport system. Walking is also the best way of discovering hidden places from the city of San Jose. This city that is commonly called as Chepe as a nickname for Jose is the main center of the country, where the three powers of the Republic are located: the Executive, Legislative and Judicial power, beside other important public entities as the Electricity Institution of Costa Rica or the Costa Rican University that are located in San Jose. The financial center is gathered on six blocks where the most important banks have their locals.



 
 
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News
Observe beautiful birds in the Juan Castro Blanco National Park
Octuber 31, 2012

The park is one of the newest in Costa Rica, and has an impressive water resource very important for the Northern Zone of the country
Relax in middle of the rivers and nature of the Tapanti National Park
Octuber 29, 2012

In Tapanti visitors can enjoy a rich flora and fauna, representative of Costa Rica
Puntarenas has new Balneary
Octuber 12, 2012

Infrastructure is one more tourism attraction in the province
58 artists will exhibit their photographs at the Expo Foto 2012
Octuber 11, 2012

Besides appreciating 130 photographs, the audience can participate in a commercial encounter and in seven conferences for a greater professional growth
Costa Rican theater celebrates during October
Octuber 09, 2012

At the VII National Theater Encounter there will be workshops and courses that bring the creators close to meditation for the improvement of their works and the promotion of artistic exchange
World Tourism Day recognized companies committed with sustainability
Octuber 08, 2012

59 hotels, 10 tour operators, 1 rent-a-car and 1 sustainable theme park received this year the Tourism Sustainability Certificate (CST)
Pentadrama is at the Teatro Vargas Calvo
Octuber 05, 2012

The play responds to several questions of the Costa Rican society of the early XXI century. The season ends on November 18th.
University Theater of the UCR returns with the play Woyzeck
Octuber 04, 2012

The play of the German playwright Georg Buchner tells the story of Franz Woyzeck, a private that is submitted by the army for different experiments. Enjoy this play until October 21st.
Calderon Guardia Museum exhibits Images of the sky, the Earth and the unconscious
Octuber 03, 2012

Luis Chacon presents the retrospective work of 45 years in the field: A retrospective is like sharing your lifes album with the rest of the world.
Amarillo Cian y Magenta is offering concert in the UCR
Octuber 02, 2012

The band is known for a combination of rhythms of different places and cultures in the world, resulting in fusion music, just like Costa Rican culture