Ciudad Colón, San José
Although the city is small, Ciudad Colon is one of the most multi-cultural towns in the entire world. Julia and David White’s Artist Colony attracts all types of artists, writers and musicians and the United Nations University for Peace brings in people from all over the world to pursue their master’s degrees. It gives this town a distinctive cosmopolitan feel while still keeping its Costa Rican culture.
Ciudad Colon is about 45 minutes away from San Jose. You can hop a bus or drive on the highway to get there from the capital city. The weather is typically warmer than Santa Ana, just 20 minutes to the east of Colon. Even though it’s not the beach, you’ll still enjoy plenty of sun if you stay here. The town has a good transportation structure, hospitals, and more to meet the needs of expatriates and students. It also has a lower cost-of-living than Santa Ana or San Jose.
However, there are not many larger hotels and resorts in Ciudad Colon, but Santa Ana and San Jose are close enough to make it a day trip. There are some bed and breakfasts and smaller hotels in the area, but you will want to make reservations before your trip. The town is particularly well-suited for outdoor activities. Biking, horseback riding and hiking are very popular in the mountains that surround the city. There are many mountain paths that you can take to see stunning views of the area, the flora and fauna in the region and the lovely waterfalls.
One of the most romantic trips you can take is to one of the mountain restaurants available in the area. Choose the best table with the best view while dining on a traditional, but upscale cuisine created by the best chefs. There are many unique restaurants here where you’ll find local flavors and wines to give you a taste of the Tico culture.
What to visit in Ciudad Colon
When you’re in Ciudad Colon, you can take a short drive to reach many of the most visited attractions in the country. The most prominent is probably the Poas Volcano National Park, home to an active volcano. The park is also home to one of the cloud forests in Costa Rica. Within the park, you can see quetzal, tanagers, toucanets and many mammal species. La Paz Waterfall is located 25 minutes always from Poas Volcano Park entrance. This ecological natural attraction offers a wide variety of flora and fauna, perfect to share with your family or friends. You’ll want to spend a day here enjoying all it has to offer. It has a strong environmental education program and many good hiking trails.
Ciudad Colon has a welcoming city center where you can sit on the boulevard and people watch. On Tuesdays, you can visit the local farmers market and try some of the best fruit and vegetables the region has to offer. Many visitors have the opportunity to see exotic animals, like sloths, quetzal and hummingbirds. There is a historic center that provides the heritage of the area. The Pacific Ocean is just about 90 minutes away from Ciudad Colon. There are many beautiful beaches where you can enjoy sand and sun, snorkeling and surfing. A Costa Rican getaway is one of the most relaxing vacations you can enjoy. You can enjoy nature, whether you like the water, a forest or mountains, sometimes, all in the same day.
- Information source (APA reference): Delfina Travel Group Inc. (n.d.). Ciudad Colón, Costa Rica – City Guide. Go Visit Costa Rica. https://www.govisitcostarica.com/region/city.asp?cID=227#
“Colón y El Rodeo, esperan por ti. ¡Ven! ¡Descubre! y ¡Disfruta!”
Because of the good road that connects it to San José, the central district of Colón is very influenced by the capital. It is there that its inhabitants go in search of work and other services. It could be said that Ciudad Colón is already part of the metropolitan area. In addition, as in Santa Ana, large farms are being sold to build middle and upper class housing developments, which are then inhabited by outsiders.
The case of Guayabo, Tabarcia, Piedras Negras and Picagres is different. These districts are under the influence of Puriscal, not only because of geographical proximity, but also because transportation to that city is better. In addition, there is a Transit Office, Civil Registry Office, Public Works and Transportation Plant, Regional Headquarters of the Ministry of Health, better schools and better stores than in Ciudad Colón. Something similar happens to Palmichal, which belongs to the Canton of Acosta: because it is closer to and better communicated with the Canton of Mora, it belongs to the Tabarcia Educational Circuit and the Mora Health Area.
But these are not the only differences between the central district and the other four districts. The inhabitants of the district of Colón are engaged in various trades or commerce, when they do not travel daily to work in Santa Ana, Escazú or San José, while the inhabitants of Guayabo, Tabarcia, Piedras Negras and Picagres are still farmers. However, they practice subsistence agriculture and are often forced to look for work in urban centers or even migrate to other regions. This is also true for the indigenous reserve of Quitirrisí, which belongs to the district of Tabarcia, but which, due to its peculiarities, deserves a separate chapter. It is precisely because of emigration that Piedras Negras and Picagres have been depopulating. They are the poorest and least developed districts of the canton. The few people who still live there tend to take care of cattle or fruit farms that belong to people from outside the area. Piedras Negras is currently the district with the lowest number of voters in the country. Its inhabitants, some 300 in total, feel as forgotten by their municipality as those of Picagres. Both demand more attention because, among other things, they have no paved road, which makes it difficult even for buses to pass through.
Traditionally, the Canton’s economy has been based on agriculture -especially sugar cane, beans, corn, coffee and citrus-, poultry and pig farming. There are still many sugar mills in the region, but their existence is threatened by the low market prices for sugar cane. To address this problem, the region’s producers have joined together in the Association of Sweet Producers (ASOPRODULCE) and have begun exporting brown sugar to Europe.
Looking to the future, Cantón de Mora is seen as an area with tourism and service investment potential, so its inhabitants are making great efforts to develop its culture and are very zealous in protecting its natural resources.
Information source (APA reference): Tico Index. (n.d.). Distritos del Cantón Mora| Directorio Comercial Mora San Jose Costa Rica. https://www.ticoindex.com/mora/datos/distritos_canton_mora.html
Tourist Services, Facilities and attractions
Bike Rental Information
Bike rental information available
Modality for renting a car in Costa Rica
Supermarkets available in Ciudad Colon area
Sea Food Market
Small sea food local market in Ciudad Colón
Oceanic Food Market
Green Market Ciudad Colón
GREEN FAIR is community, a meeting point between friends, producers and consumers.
Ciudad Colón Community Heath Center
Community health center of Ciudad Colón and Palmichal
Restaurants, bars, pubs and more
Restaurants in Ciudad Colón
Banks in Ciudad Colón
Banks and Financial Entities in Ciudad Colón
How to get to Ciudad Colón from SJO Airport
Students are advised to take an official cab (orange or red color) at the airport (24/7). The price to get to Ciudad Colon downtown from SJO Airport should be between $25USD and $35USD USD depending on your housing location. Service will take around 25-45 minutes from airport to Ciudad Colón, considering time and street traffic.
Gyms in Ciudad Colón
Gyms and Sport Centers in Ciudad Colón
Finca Caballo Loco is a Boutique Equestrian Events Centre located in El Rodeo.
Local Public Bus Service
Comtrasuli is the local Bus Service Company