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The Central Valley is rich with sites and buildings declared National Monuments or of architectural or historical interest to appeal to appreciate of the country’s national heritage. Here is just a sampling of the many places to visit:

 


ARTS & CULTURE

ART GALLERIES
Art galleries have experienced a significant increase in recent years, not only in tourist and hotel districts but also in major commercial centers. For a list of galleries and exhibits visit CLICK HERE »

COFFEE PLANTATION TOUR – NARANJO
Surrounded by 640 acres of a prime coffee plantation, learn the secrets behind a real cup of coffee at the Espitiru Santo Coffee Plantation. For more information and to schedule a tour CLICK HERE »

SARCHI & OX CARTS
Sarchí is Costa Rica’s most famous crafts center. The town offers many small, family-operated woodworking factories producing wooden bowls and other tableware, rocking chairs of wood and leather, and a wide variety furniture and collectables. The most popular items on sale are “carretas”, elaborately painted oxcarts that traditionally carried coffee from the highlands down to the ports on the Pacific coast. Visit one of the oxcart factories to see how they are made and the beautiful hand-painting process.

MUSEUMS
The most culturally and historically diverse selection of museums in the country are located in this region including the National Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Children’s Museum, Museum of Costa Rican Art, Gold Museum, Popular Culture Museum, Juan Santamaría Museum, Orosí Museum, Entomological Museum, La Salle Museum, Jade Museum. For a list of all Costa Rica museums CLICK HERE »

CASA DE LA CULTURA
This small museum is for history aficionados, displaying Spanish-colonial artifacts and other souvenirs of times past. There’s also an exhibit on Grecia’s reputation as “the Cleanest Little Town in Latin America,” as well as a large insect collection. LEARN MORE »

GRECIA CATHEDRAL DE LA MERCEDES
The gothic-style church is constructed of brick-red metal panes, built in Belgium and shipped to Costa Rica in 1987. The panes were shipped as individual slabs to the port city of Limon where they were carried by oxcart, piece by piece, to Grecia. The iconic church is an unusual deep red hue and is adorned with gingerbread trim. To see more Grecia attractions CLICK HERE »

VALLE DE OROSI
This highly scenic tourism circuit features a series of viewpoints showing two different areas of the valley, including the towns of Orosí and Ujarrás, the first two Spanish settlements in the era of the Conquista. Here, visitors can see two of the only colonial buildings in the country: the renamed Ujarrás Ruins and the beautiful Iglesia de Orosí, with its considerable treasures in altarpieces, sacred images and other historical elements. LEARN MORE »

OROSÍ CHURCH AND COLONIAL MUSEUM
Built in 1743 by Franciscan missionaries, this is the only colonial building in good condition in Costa Rica. Many works of art can be admired inside, including paintings, sacred images and the altar. The adjacent museum houses pieces and artifacts used by the Franciscans during the evangelical period, displaying something of the lifestyle of that era. The site was declared a National Monument in 1985. For more information on the Orsi Valley CLICK HERE »

GUAYABO NATIONAL ARCHEOLOGICAL MONUMENT
The Guayabo National Monument archeological site represents one of the highest degrees of socio-cultural development achieved by the country’s pre-Hispanic societies. Declared a National Monument in August 1973 for being the largest and most important archeological site discovered up to that time, Guayabo was occupied through four cultural phases from 1000 B.C. to 1550 A.D. Based on the type of constructions—aqueducts, roads, retaining walls or bridges—and the area, it is estimated that between 1,200 and 1,600 people inhabited the site. LEARN MORE »

SAN JOSE WALKING TOUR
San Jose is the capitol city of Costa Rica. For a historic walking tour in this nearby city CLICK HERE »