Locals say that the best climate in the world is located in Grecia, Costa Rica. “Grecia” means Greece in Spanish, and the town is a spectacular highland escape with a very safe and relaxed atmosphere
The Alajuela Province in Costa Rica is a very special one. It is an important tourist destination set amongst the mountains of the Central Valley. This clean and friendly city has a mild climate and fresh breeze year round making it a great place to visit to escape heat of the beach or the hustle and bustle of San Jose. Located northwest of Costa Rica’s capital city, this small farming town is only 30 minutes away in bus or car.
The most notable attraction in the city is the dark red metal church in the central park. This unique church called Cathedral de la Mercedes is a gothic style church created at the end of the 19th century.
Grecia’s Regional Museum is also worth visiting to learn about the history of the town and its people. One of the most popular tourist attractions is the “World of Snakes” serpentarium, which houses more than 50 snakes from all over the world. This is a great place for visitors to see the reptiles in their natural environment.
This agricultural center’s main crops are sugar cane, organic coffee and pineapple. Travelers can tours each of these crop plantations with local agriculture workers who explain the details of how each crop is grown and processed. The Los Chorros Waterfalls is another natural attraction in Grecia. Located on a private nature reserve these two waterfalls are only a short hike and a great place to relax and cool off. The Butterfly and Insect Museum is also worth visiting. Here travelers can see over 50,000 different insects and butterflies in a controlled environment. If tourists are short on time, this is a great stop to see the country’s national butterfly, the Blue Morpho if they are not planning to visit the rainforest.
El Tope is a local Costa Rican tradition, which is horse parade, followed by a fiesta. Each year in December, horse owners and farmers proudly show-off their beautiful horses, in traditional attire. In almost every “Tope”, there is an OX which pulls a beautifully painted ox cart, which is a symbol of wealth and prosperity and a legacy of the agrarian economy in Costa Rica.
Restaurants and Hotels
Grecia doesn’t have many sit down restaurants but there are a few nice places to fill up before your next adventure. Most of the restaurants in the center of town are “sodas” or small restaurants serving local food. All of the local food is fresh and you can find vegetarian as well as meat options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. La Casa de Miguel is a local steakhouse with fine dining and a small cocktail menu at the bar. Dona Carmen’s Café is another small sit-down restaurant with a variety of salads, pastas and exquisite desserss as well as a huge selection of hot and cold drinks including specialty coffee. For a more varied menu at great prices travelers can visit Cafeteria Arte Latte Grecia. This restaurant serves pastries, ribs and nachos as well as scrumptious breakfast plates.
Grecia and its surrounding area has many accommodation options for visiting travelers. Bed and Breakfasts like La Terraza Guesthouse Bed and Breakfast are very popular for their friendly, homey style. This luxury bed and breakfast offers all of the amenities at home in this beautiful mountain region. Hotel Aeromundo has more of a hotel setting with more rooms but still offers the family touch that makes you feel at home.
The small town of Grecia might not seem like it has much to offer from the tourist books, but there is definitely plenty to see and do here on a free day or two in the Central Valley. Once you visit, there will be no going back as many of the travelers who visit this precious city fall in love with its landscape and charm.