Cartago city

Discover the modern Cartago, the most important pilgrimage site of Costa Rica, and visit the Irazú volcano

Cartago city
Cartago city
© Andrzej Plichta

Cartago is located amid the beautiful mountains of the Talamanca range and in the shadows of the Irazú, and stands as a cosmopolitan and modern destination in the heart of the Central Valley.

Cartago city, Costa Rica
Cartago city, Costa Rica
© Daniel García Bañuelos

This city was founded in 1563, and was considered to be the Costa Rican capital from that year to 1823. Its history is plenty of vicissitudes, due to the volcanic eruption of 1723 and to the earthquakes of 1841 and 1910, which destroyed what had remained standing. However, Cartago has been able to start over again, thanks mostly to the success of the coffee production of the Orosí Valley. Nowadays, it has become a modern town and an important trade center that is also home to the most important religious site of the country, the Nuestra Senora de los Ángeles basilica. There, the statue of la Negrita, the patroness saint of Cartago and Costa Rica, assembles the fervour of the thousands of pilgrims that take part every year in a massive and colorful pilgrimage.

Besides, Cartago offers many other attractions. There, you can stroll along its Central Park and enjoy the quiet beauty of the commonly known as “Cartago Ruins”, the remains of a derelict temple after a terrible volcanic eruption; or visit some of its cultural institutions, such as the City Museum of Cartago or the Elías Leiva Ethnographic Museum, where you will discover interesting aspects about Cartago’s history and heritage.

Moreover, Cartago is an excellent starting point to get to one of the most well-known natural parks in Costa Rica, the Irazú National Park.

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Cartago canton, Cartago province, Costa Rica.

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