Cartago, a mountainous province in Costa Rica

Cartago, a mountainous province in Costa Rica

This week we visited Cartago, a mountainous province in Costa Rica. Even though this province does not limit with the sea, it has a lot of hidden gems in its geography. To get to Cartago, from San Jose.  Is a simple drive through the center of San Jose until you reach “Ochomogo” and drive over this mountain descending on the other side and you’ll reach Cartago.

   Cartago, a mountainous province in Costa Ricaunnamed

 

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So what is there to do if there are no beaches to surf in Cartago? Well you could go and visit either of the two volcanos Irazu, or Turrialba.

unnamed (6)  volcan Turrialba

unnamed (5)    Volcan Irazu

But for the one that look for a little more action you can go mountain biking. Right as you’re about to go over Ochomogo, you can take a early exit and go into the mountains of Ochomogo, and into “La Angelina Bike park” this is new trail project. This bike park is actually located in a property that protects is forest as part of the conservation of nature in Costa Rica, the also breed cattle. This helps the property owners not only be able to maintain this mountain with its indigenous forest but also, provide the mountain bikers a safe environment, to practice this sport. As of today, there are only 3 dedicated bike parks in the country, 2 of which are of the same organization (the owners of the Angelina own another one in San Jose)

unnamed (11)—the very top of the trail system in La Angelina, only if you look very  closely you can notice the parking lot at the very bottom.

 

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Local bike shops organize night rides in the parks during full moons, La Angelina hosted this one that went from around 6pm, where the moon was at its fullest to around 8:30pm.

Another interesting fact about this bike park is that the property is the actual location where the first civil war as held at during the 1800s, in 1823. San Jose and Alajuela fought Cartago and Heredia. In the end San José and Alajuela won, and San Jose became the Capital of Costa Rica .even though the death count was not very large for a small country like Costa Rica the number of people who fought represented a larger scale than other country are used to.

Cartago, a mountainous province in Costa Rica unnamed (8) Cartago, a mountainous province in Costa Rica — this is the hill side were  the battle took place, Cartago came from the bottom of the hill, San Jose was on the top. You can notice the trail that goes on the top and into the forest to go higher into the mountain. In 1948 the army was abolished our country went for peace, decided against employing violence as a means of control. Ever since our country abolished we have been, regarded as a peaceful country and los “ticos” said to be the happiest country. And I agree. I know ride this trails, and help preserve not only forest but this untouched mountain side, which has only seen a hand full of people. And hold rich cultural history of our evolution towards a more peaceful country.

unnamed (2)– here you can see and old house, were the workers of the “finca” used to leave a couple of decades ago; it’s now abandoned but its holds up for a nice picture.

unnamed (3) – one of the parts of the trail, those roots have blown a few tires.

 

unnamed (12) —this road leads up to the main house of the state, which is entirely made of wood, two story house.

unnamed (13) —view from second story, sadly it was very cloudy if not we would been able to catch San Jose. This is the house that the owners use when they come visit, I’m lucky enough to know their kids.

unnamed (14) —wouldn’t you want all the parking lots to look like this?

unnamed (15) unnamed (17) unnamed (16) —images from la Angelina bike park, the pump track that is located in there parking lot.

unnamed (18) —House at almost the top of the state

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