Community and Lifestyle

Things to do in the community of Cartago, Costa Rica.

The warm community of Cartago is what draws in people ready to retire in Costa Rica. It’s easy to find people laughing, joking, and chatting throughout the streets of Cartago. Here, you will meet families who have lived in city for generations or expatriates who have decided only recently to call the city their home. Regardless, a familial culture is the heart of Cartago.

The agricultural industry is alive and well in the province. Many residents make their living by farming the rich soils of the Orosi Valley and the other central valleys. The area produces plenty of coffee and orchids as well as potatoes, onions, and dairy products. Travel the region and you’ll see roadside stands, markets, and shops selling Cartago’s finest products.  A sense of pride in the town’s natural bounty can be felt throughout the area.

Other important industries include technology and tourism. Cartago is home to Costa Rica’s Institute of Technology, one of the best higher learning institutes of its kind in Central America. The Orosi Valley and nearby Irazú Volcano bring in a steady number of tourists throughout the year.

Points of Interest and Attraction

Orosi is only ten miles south of Cartago, making it the perfect place for a weekend getaway. The community offers a variety of activities within the small town. Popular activities include visiting the Orosi Colonial Church, the oldest of church in Costa Rica, and hiking to cascading waterfalls. Rustic cabins and luxurious villas are available to rent.

Every year on the second of August, thousands of people make a religious pilgrimage to the Our Lady of the Angels Basilica in Cartago. As local story has it, a small statue of the virgin Mary and the baby Jesus were found by a local peasant girl on a rock. Despite being moved several times, the statue was said to have been found back in its original place at the rock each day. The statue, or La Negrita as it is known, represents the official patron saint of Costa Rica. It is kept safely within a golden casing within the basilica.


Hospital Universal:  Hospital Universal is the first private hospital in Cartago. Services include general surgery, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, OBGYN, radiology, internal medicine among others.


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