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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.
No military since 1948 . . .
Beaches galore . . . Costa Rica ("rich coast" in English), 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!
(over 25% of Costa Rica's national territory is protected by SINAC (National System of Conservation
Areas), and Costa Rica also possesses the greatest density of species in the world (over 10,000
identified species of plants, 850 species of birds, 800 species of butterflies, and 500 species of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians combined
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 Ramón, "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 women and blacks 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.
Swiss author Mélanie Richoz was an ODYSSEYS writer-in-residence as a recipient of the "Bourse d’Encouragement à la Création Littéraire 2011-2012," from the Canton of Fribourg (Switzerland). During her two-month residency she enjoyed warm-water whitewater rafting and volcanic hot springs among other excursions, learned an amazing amount of Spanish, and of course worked diligently on her second novel, "Mue." We've never been so grateful for our French, as to read in the dedication, "Merci aux membres de la résidence d’Odysseys Costa Rica pour leur accueil . . . (Thank you members of the Odysseys Costa Rica residency, for your hospitality.) For more information regarding this and her other books, "Tourterelle," and "Je croyais que," we encourage a visit to her web presence, at http://melanierichoz.wordpress.com/