Strikingly beautiful with a mild and dry climate all year round, it is no wonder that Costa Rica’s Central Valley is where over two-thirds or 70% of the population resides. Located just south of San Jose Metro Area, the Central Valley or Meseta Central covers a large portion of the interior of Costa Rica. Lush and green with many plantations, farming is one of the main occupations here, as the soil in the area is very fertile and rich in minerals from the presence of the two active volcanoes namely; Irazu and Poas.
More than just a visually stunning area, Costa Rica’s Central Valley has a lot to offer in terms of arts and culture as well. In this region you can find the oldest church still in use in the country, the Iglesia de San Jose Orosi which was built in 1734 in Orosi. Another famous town of this region is Cartago, considered to be among the oldest towns in the country founded in 1563 where it was the capital of Costa Rica until 1823. One of the finest cities in Central America till its destruction in 1732 by the eruption of the Irazu Volcano. Cartago is also an important pilgrimage site as it is home to the La Negrita, or ‘The Black Virgin’, it is now located in the same town at the Nuestra Señora de los Angeles Basilica church.
Smack-dab in the middle of the nation, the Central Valley contains the heart and soul of Costa Rica, incorporated suburbs, and prominent surrounding towns such as Heredia, Alajuela, and Cartago. The San Juantamaria Airport (SJO) in Alajuela is the country’s largest international airport, and the region’s central location serves as an ideal take-off point for destinations throughout the country.