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Detailed Road Map of
Cartago County Costa Rica
founded in 1563 by Juan Vásquez de Coronado, was the capital of
Costa Rica until 1823. The main reason for the city's fall from
preeminent status is its location. Located at the base of the 11,000
foot high Irazú Volcano, the area was nearly destroyed by
eruptions and earthquakes several times.
The city of Cartago is a half hour drive from
San José and there is good bus service to and from. Because
Cartago sits at nearly 4,800 feet it is much cooler than the other
central valley towns. In Cartago you can visit the Basilica, perhaps
the most famous and unique church in Costa Rica.
The drive from Cartago to the visitor center at Irazú Volcano is
entirely paved, and an excellent sightseeing tour.
There are 13 different botanical gardens and over 2 km of trails at the
Gardens, famous for its collection of orchid varieties as well as its