Located in the lush Central Valley
, the province of Cartago
is one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica. This canton has a rich culture and history dating back to 1563, when the city of Cartago
was named the capital of Costa Rica by the then Spanish Governor Juan Vasquez de Coronado. A gorgeous region, Cartago today is home to largest active volcano in the country, the Irazu Volcano
, which sits in the Irazu Volcano National Park.
Cartago city itself is a wonderful place to spend a few days away from the hustle and bustle of San Jose
. A quiet and picturesque town, the accommodations here are rather limited, but do not let this dissuade you from coming, as this region is the perfect place for those looking to escape the humdrum of city life. While staying in Cartago don’t forget to visit the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles
, home of the miraculous La Negrita or Black Madonna statue.
Hotels in the Orosi Valley
Valley is the ideal place for those looking for a more rural vacation. Most of the hotels here are located near and in the town of Orosi, which sits just a few miles southeast of Cartago. The accommodations here range from all inclusive lodges to a number of cabanas or cabins, perfect for both the well to do traveler as well as those traveling on a budget.
sits just east of Cartago and is renowned for its incredible white water rafting
. Nicknamed the white water rafting capital of Costa Rica, this tiny town has a number of hotels to stay at ranging from budget accommodations to the more upscale mountain lodges. There are several sodas in town where you can grab a quick bite to eat as well as a Chinese restaurant, a few bakeries and a number of grocery stores.
Map of Cartago
From here you can head north to the Turrialba Volcano National Park
, which houses another active volcano in the area. What is so special about this national park is that here you can explore the crater of the Turrialba volcano. To visit this park you can stay at the Volcan Turrialba Lodge, 14 km northwest of Santa Cruz
or at the Rancho Naturalista, a Spanish-style ranch some 20km southeast of Turrialba
. This ranch offers some incredible bird watching opportunities for the avid bird lover.