Orosi Valley Top 10
The Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi is truly a national landmark. Built in 1743, this is the oldest church still in use in Costa Rica. Here you’ll find a small museum which houses some interesting Spanish Colonial artifacts and religious art. The paintings, the altar and the colonial architecture of this church take you back to another time. In front of the church you’ll find a soccer field, generally filled with Costa Rica’s partaking in the national pastime.
The Ruins of Ujarras
The ruins of Costa Rica’s oldest church are found near the town of Ujarrás. Built in 1693, the church is surrounded by tranquil gardens and is a popular place for locals to relax and enjoy a Sunday afternoon. Here you’ll find Señoras selling local delicacies, such as “arepas”, “choreadas”, “elotes”, etc. A lazy rivers flows through the gardens and chayote farms, while kids and families play in the large open field surrounded by mountains. The ruins of Ujarras are so impressive and they make one reflect on the passage of time and how settlers arrived here hundreds of years ago to “civilize” the native tribesman.
The Irazu Volcano is one of the most impressive natural wonders in the Orosi Valley. “Irazu” is an indigenous word that means “a thunder” or “place that shakes”, and due to the area’s volcanic activity in the past – this is certainly true! In 1723 a major eruption completely destroyed Cartago, which was the capital of Costa Rica at the time and San Jose, was completely covered in ash and heavy soot after an eruption in 1993. Costa Ricans call this sleeping giant “Colossus” due to the 23 eruptions that have been recorded since 1723. However today, the volcano at Irazu is considered dormant and activity here has stabilized. The area has become a prime location for agriculture due to it’s fertile soils. Here you’ll find many farms dedicated to strawberry cultivation, exotic flowers and dairy pursuits.
Irazu Volcano is a very popular destination for visitors as it is located less than sixty miles from San Jose. At the summit you’ll find several interesting craters such as “Diego de la Hoya”, which features a fascinating deep crater lake filled with beautiful green water. The Irazu Volcano is a national park that protects nearly 6000 acres, preserving a multitude of interesting animal and plant species. The facilities include places to get food and drinks and locations for hiking and picnics. The Irazu Volcano is definitely worth visiting on your trip to Costa Rica, and is truly one of the highlights of the Orosi Valley.