San Ramon de Alajuela, COSTA RICA
Exploring Art and Culture in Costa Rica
IMAGINE. NO MILITARY SINCE 1948
--An eight-lane swimming pool in the center of downtown
--A branch of the University of Costa Rica
--A hospital and numerous clinics, both medical and dental
--Banks, some open on Saturdays and until 7 p.m. weekdays
--Restaurants and a variety of internet cafes
--Coffee shops with amazing pastries and espresso drinks
--Our own little mall with a new 3-cinema movie theatre
--Nightclubs for the occasional night out on the town
--Bajo Caliente--large swimming pool under a mesh roof for indoor/outdoor feeling, close to downtown, soccer field, bar & restaurant plus green picnic space and several poolside stationary bicycles for spinning
--The Muses Waterfall (Catarata Las Musas): San Ramón's most famous waterfall located in the hills of LasMusas, just a five-minute taxi ride or 3-mile walk from the center of town, named of course, for the muses of local legend; also sporting a gigantic pool, water slide and trails in the cloud forest for a vigorous hike or ride by horseback.
--Los Angeles Cloud Reserve: 1,975-acres of primary cloud forest with rushing waterfalls and myriad flora and fauna. Just 12.5 miles north of San Ramón toward Arenal Volcano, this spectacular Reserve is a hidden gem and one of the best places in the country to explore the tropical cloud forest in peace and quiet. Bilingual naturalist guides help spot the reserve's many bird and mammal species, or visitors can opt to hike on their own. Also available are a canopy tour on site, and horse rentals offered by Lodges nearby.
What we're glad those conveniences don't overshadow . . .
The charm of traditional Costa Rica; slow-paced life with family and friends at its center; weekly farmer's market of locally grown fruits, vegetables and flowers; and surrounding villages of family-run coffee, sugar cane, and dairy farms.
Beaches galore . . . Costa Rica (Rich Coast) flanked by the Caribbean Sea to the east and Pacific Ocean to the west, boasts nearly 300 distinctly different beaches along its stunning coastlines. We at ODYSSEYS are only a 45 minute drive by car or about twice that by local bus from Puntarenas Beach in the Gulf of Nicoya. This terrific day or overnight beach trip is perfect for a quick fix of sun, palm trees, sand and surf, not to mention cocktails overlooking the waves at sunset (or sunup?)--and check out the other amazing beaches you can get to from Puntarenas by Ferry!
While Nicaraugua to the north and Panama to the south often struggle to achieve peace and economic stability, Costa Rica has enjoyed a stable democracy for more than 100 years, with an international reputation for peace--a neutral country since 1987.SAN RAMON, "CITY OF POETS"
DRIVING OR BY BUS
One hour northwest of the capital city of San José, 45-minutes from San Jose's International Airport, 1-1/2 hours from Arenal Volcano and volcanic hot springs,
45 minutes from Puntarenas, a lovely beach that attracts surfers and beach combers from abroad, and is also the casting off point for Ferry departures to the Nicoya Peninsula and other spectacular Costa Rican beaches and nature reserves.
Average temperatures in San Ramón run in the mid-70sF (25 degrees C) year-round. Yet, on even the sunniest days, as if to remind us that we are indeed in a tropical cloud forest, a soothing mist rolls in, bathing the surrounding mountains, including the nearby hills of Las Musas (The Muses), with an impression worthy of the finest Monet. San Ramón runs dry, warm and sunny half the year, and green the other half. The green season is known for sunny mornings with showers at night and heavy downpours for about two hours some afternoons
THINGS OF WHICH WE ARE ESPECIALLY PROUD
Costa Rica has no army, abolished by José María Hipólito Figueres Ferrer (25 September 1906 – 8 June 1990) in his first term in office, along with nationalizing the country's banking sector, granting previously marginalized minorities the right to vote, and guaranteeing public education for all. "Don Pepe," as he was affectionately known, is also famous for a phrase we love: "Why tractors without violins?"
The Figueres Museum and Cultural Center of San Ramón honors his memory with all manner of concerts, exhibitions, workshops and contests covering the gammet of literature, visual art, and of course, music and dance.
Our local institute of SiNEM (government-sponsored National System of Musical Education). And perhaps our favorite venue for our own events that combine readings, music in concert and visual art when possible, the Costa Rica Regional Museum of San Ramón.