A cultural town
Atenas Costa Rica is located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, in the province of Alajuela not far from Grecia. In English Atenas, is Athens, but don’t get confused, this is far from the Athens we all know. This is a peaceful, close knit community compared to other Costa Rican Cities. It is situated about 40 kilometers from the capital, just on the very edge of the central valley.
Atenas may not look like the European Athens but it has a charm that you won’t see anywhere else. One of the best parts about Atenas is certainly the central park. You will see a lot of history come to life in the monuments and statues. Because Atenas Costa Rica is slightly outside of the Central Valley, you will notice a different variety of birds and animals. This includes famed bird species like the Toucan and Scarlet Macaw. Just sitting in the Park is a peaceful way to take a break from a long drive to some coastal cities and beaches.
Another part of Atenas is the annual fiesta usually held in April to celebrate their heritage and tradition. The Famous oxcarts of Costa Rica arrive in all their glory as two large oxen pull a colorful cart, hand-painted with extraordinary designs. The Ox Carts are a proud symbol of Costa Rica and has been declared by UNESCO a World Cultural Heritage. In the Central Park, vendors will set up for the big festival and sell all kinds of interesting goods. You will also see some traditional music and dance in old, finished garb. The big Fiesta lasts roughly four days in April.
Things to do?
Atenas is so much more than just a minuscule town of Costa Rica, it has many different things to do, and you will enjoy your visit here. One favorite excursion that many enjoy is a visit to Zoo Ave. This Place is more than your regular zoo. It is a bird sanctuary full of Costa Rica’s most exotic bird species.
If you are looking for something a bit more exciting, it might be worth while taking a day excursion to any of the coffee farms nearby. This area is known for its coffee farms and plantations. One tour takes place on the Doka Estate, they give you a full tour of the farm and then a first-hand experience of the refining process. You will finally get to taste the product after, probably the freshest cup of coffee around.
Where to stay?
Because Atenas Costa Rica is a smaller town, there isn’t a huge variety of hotels and resorts but don’t worry not far away in San Jose, there is a variety that is continually growing. Closer to San Jose one of our favorites is the Hotel Grano de Oro. This particular hotel is near central San Jose; it is a traditional building full of character. They have fully restored it to its historic potential and will give you an authentic Costa Rican experience. Another place is the Hotel Casa Conde, another traditional hotel in San Jose, they even have an oxcart out front. Last the Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel, located just north of Atenas. It is conveniently located so that you can experience the cloud forest yet not far from the Capital.
So why come to Atenas?
More than just the fact that this is the Athens of Costa Rica, Atenas offers you a great way to get to know how Costa Rica truly is. Atenas is quite the place because of its rich history in farming and the Oxcarts, also the Annual fiesta. It is a great rest stop when visiting the Pacific side and is not that far from San Jose. So now that you know all about Atenas when will you come visit?