San Antonio de Escazú, San José

Beautiful Church in San Antonio de Escazu
Beautiful Church in San Antonio de Escazu

The country of Costa Rica has a great deal to offer visitors, from breathtaking nature reserves to white sandy beaches to urban attractions. Right in the center of it all is the capital city of San José, which features historical sites, shopping and luxurious resorts. The capital is surrounded by suburbs, including the upscale area of Escazú, which is made up of three smaller towns.

San Antonio de Escazú is one of the trio, and it has a definite feel all its own. The village has an agricultural focus, which can be observed and felt during visits, but it is also famous for its beautiful and charming church surrounded by a rose garden. In fact, Costa Rica churches in general are a major attraction for tourists, but the building in San Antonio de Escazú is particularly striking.

Getting There

The town is not a long trip from San José, and is considered part of the capital’s metro area. To get to San Antonio de Escazú, tourists can take a half-hour bus ride from the capital, which leaves from the Coca-Cola bus terminal. Those who like to drive on their own can rent a car and drive up from San José.

The town does include several resorts and hotels for visitors who wish to have an extended stay to enjoy the breathtaking view. There are restaurants and outdoor activities to be had in the town as well, so tourists may want to consider more than just a day trip to the town.

The Historical Place of Worship

The small town of San Antonio de Escazú is not booming city; it has a limited number of resorts, houses and dairy farms, along with the church. But it is worth visiting because of its high perch on the hills above the San Jose Valley and the nearby Escazú Mountains. In the center of it all is the church, with its striking architecture and contrasting colors that make it stand out from the rest of the village. Around the building is statuary, iron railings and a landscaped garden complete with a well-tended rose garden.

Wood Carvings

Visitors to San Antonio de Escazú will find plenty to see in the town in addition to the beautiful and historical church, however. Wood carvings created by the native Biesanz people can be discovered all over the town as well as in shops in the capital city. The carvings’ distinct style makes them the perfect keepsake to remember one’s visit to Costa Rica.

Festivals in the Town

Because San Antonio de Escazú has a rural history, its residents pay annual homage to the workers in the area with a festival called the Día del Boyero, or “Day of the Oxcart Driver.” On the second Sunday of every March, a parade through the village helps its population grow into the thousands, as colorful oxcarts, dancers and musicians celebrate the day with tourists and locals alike.

City Residents

Because the town has an agricultural background, it may seem sleepy by some standards. But there is another side to San Antonio de Escazú as well. Because it is part of an affluent area (Escazú), the town is where visitors will find a large population of ex-pats and the high society Costa Rican residents. Houses in the forested hills are priced in the millions of dollars and attract mostly buyers who want to relocate to the Central American city. Still, for visitors who want to experience more of the historical, small town life of Costa Rica, that opportunity exists in the city, too.

Whether visitors venture up toward the mountains for a day trip or stay for a while, San Antonio de Escazú is an area that offers many delights, proving that a beach isn’t necessary to have a good time in Costa Rica.

Guanacaste Escape Adventure Tour
7 Days / 6 Nights
Starting at $932 per person
Around Beautiful Costa Rica Tour
10 Days / 9 Nights
Starting at $1,071 per person

Where to Stay near San Antonio de Escazú

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Quality Hotel Real San Jose
Starting at $73 / night
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Hotel Bristol Aeropuerto
Starting at $78 / night
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El Rodeo Country Inn & Steak House
Starting at $77 / night
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Best Western Plus San José
Starting at $90 / night
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Irazú Hotel & Studios
Starting at $122 / night
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Adventure Inn
Starting at $100 / night
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Rincón del Valle Hotel & Suites
Starting at $68 / night

Things to Do near San Antonio de Escazú

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Cafe Britt Coffee Tour
Starting at $175 for 2 people (min 2 people)
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Vip City Bus Cultural Tour
Starting at $86.1 / person
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Intercultura Language School & Cultural Center
Starting at $35 /lesson