Esparza, North Puntarenas

View from Esparza
View from Esparza

Located just 80 kilometers west of the capital city of San Jose on the Pan-American Highway, Esparza boasts one of the largest population sizes in North Puntarenas with approximately 25,000 people.

With the Nicaraguan border just 4 hours away, Esparza is part of the Costa Rican countryside with its rolling hills, breathtaking mountain views and deep river valleys.

History of Esparza

The second oldest city in Costa Rica, Esparza was founded by Spanish explorers in 1574. The initial site chosen for Esparza by the Spaniards was located on a bluff overlooking the Nicoya Peninsula, but the site was abandoned and moved further inland to ward off any potential attacks.

Things to Do near Esparza

Some of the recreational activities in which visitors to Esparza can participate include surfing, golfing, deep sea fishing, scuba diving and dancing. Each of these recreational opportunities can be enjoyed in the community or after just a short car ride to a nearby destination. Popular beaches in close proximity to Esparza include Playa Doña Ana, Caldera and Mata de Limon.

Traditional Restaurants

In addition, there are a number of restaurants located within Esparza that showcase Costa Rica's traditional fare. Aside from the magnificent terrific food and drinks, these restaurants provide tourists with a comfortable atmosphere and scenic views of the town's natural landscape.


Shopping is another significant part of visiting Esparza as the community boasts a wide range of stores that provide travelers with everything they could possibly need during their vacation. A fresh fruit and vegetable market is also available in Esparza every Saturday, allowing visitors to the town to enjoy some local Costa Rican produce.

Esparza locals are also typically well-educated as the city offers a variety of public and private educational facilities. The town was the first community in Costa Rica to offer computer courses in its schools and it is also home to a branch of the National University in Puntarenas.

Historic Esparza

For history buffs, the town of Esparza is the perfect destination because it was established so many years ago. One of the most impressive historical landmarks in the community is the Puente de Las Damas (Bridge of the Ladies), which is located towards the outskirts of the city.

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