Cartago Province, Costa Rica
The Cartago Province of Costa Rica is located in the central part of the country, bordered by the Limón and San José provinces to the east and west respectively. The capital of Cartago shares the same name as the province and is the former capital of Costa Rica. The city was founded in 1563 by Juan Vasquez de Coronado and was the first Spanish settlement in the country.
Central Valley Region
The Central Valley region of the Cartago Province has a mild and dry climate year round and home to more than two thirds of the entire population of Costa Rica. The Central Valley is just south of the capital city, San José and home to many plantations that work the lush soil of the valley. The good quality of the soil is a result of the minerals deposited by the two active volcanoes in the region, the Irazu Volano and the Poas Volcano.
The Volcan Irazu is the main reason that the capital moved from Cartago to San José. In 1723, the eruption of the volcano nearly destroyed the entire city of Cartago, located near the Volcano’s foot. It is the highest and most active volcano in Costa Rica and is situated in a national park that shares its name. Easy to reach from San José, the startling views and natural beauty are popular destination for tourists.
Monumento Nacional Guyabo/Ancient Ruins
For those interested in the past, the Cartago Province is home to some of the most spectacular ruins dating as far back as the 16th century. The valley region was home to pre-Columbian inhabitants that farmed the rich soil. The Monumento Nacional Guayabo is a stunning tourist destination that lets visitors dive deep into the past and see these ruins first hand.