Atenas, Costa Rica
Just west of San Jose, located only 24 Km from the International Airport Juan Santamaria and a mere 30 Km away from Jaco beach on the pacific coast; Atenas, in the province of Alajuela, is a small traditional town that boasts the award of “Best climate of the world” since 1994 with temperatures oscillating between 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and in the 60s during the night. Situated 698 meters above sea level, on the Central Valley’s western edge, surrounded by green pastured mountains and coffee plantations.
Enjoy Costa Rica’s local arts and purchase souvenirs such as handcrafted jewelery or traditional Costa Rican clothing found in the nearby shops and market area. Delight in trying some of the typical delicious cuisine like the popular dessert called ‘toronja rellena’ (stuffed grapefruit) at the Central Park where you can do some people watching and expect to see a variety of birds including parrots and the occasional toucans that perch on the many palm trees planted within the park.
A wide range of recreational opportunities makes Atenas a great place to spend the first or last night of your trip; spend some time at the public swimming pool or the Zoo Ave, a wildlife rescue and breeding center home to more than 130 animal species; or take advantage of Atenas’ community health center, tennis court and fitness center.
Costa Rica has a lot to share and you, a lot to discover from this small country. Its history contains many important facts, lots of which are not so well known. As is the case of how mules, oxcarts, and trains, through time helped to create an important route for the future development and growth of the country, named “Camino Royal” the Royal Road, in the year of 1640 this was the only way to get around the countries of Central America. These paths and trails left San José and continued their way down to a narrow bridge that crossed the Rio Grande River in Atenas, making it all the way to Guatemala. During the XIX century, the coffee export expansion started to increase and became Costa Rica´s most important export product, which led coffee growers to put a lot more interest in the building of a new road uniting the Central Valley with the port of Puntarenas, where coffee was sent to Europe through the Cabo de Hornos in South America. The road was then built in 1843, replacing mules for oxcarts and oxen giving it the commonly known name of “Camino de Carretas” (Oxcart Road).
Summary: Rated one of the world’s best climates; home to Coffee Plantations
Landscape: City, Mountains
Attractions: Botanical Gardens, Zoo Ave
Activities: Mountain Biking, Spanish Study Programs, Volunteering
Caters to: Day Trippers, Families, Independent Travelers
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