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Recent Cartago reviews

  • Perfect for our family!

    "We really enjoyed our stay at this home for a week. We stayed with us and our 4 children making us a family of 6. Let me tell you who this house is perfect for. This home is perfect for those who want to experience what it is like in a small Costa Rican Community. It is set among a tiny village in the mountains above Turrialba. We enjoyed the friendly atmosphere of the locals who always greeted us with a smile and a wave. This home is perfect for anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The peaceful view overlooking the valley is not done justice in the pictures. The View is breathtaking. This home is perfect for anyone or people with children who want to explore the mountains in Costa Rica. We enjoyed taking hikes on the property and surrounding area. We found our way down to a beautiful river near the property and the children did not get tired of exploring. This home is perfect for those who want room to spread out. With three large bedrooms and plenty of extra room to relax we felt quite comfortable. When the kids had been hiking all day and were worn out or were kept in with the rain we enjoyed some family time playing on the WII provided. Although some of the games didn't work, enough did to provide adequate down time. The children also enjoyed hours in the pool on a sunny day. IF you don't like to be in the wilderness, and don't want a true Costa Rican experience then this house is not for you. IF you are not comfortable driving up mountain roads this home is not for you. If you don't understand that being surrounded by woods is going to lead to things like a few bugs then you shouldn't stay here. The house is clean but being where it is even with every day sweeping a few creepy crawlies will make their way in. You must understand that while this house is modern, clean and comfortable, it is a Costa Rican style home. This means you can't flush paper down toilets, you have no running hot water at the sinks, and the showers are heated by small electric heaters. The road getting to it is a dirt road on a Mountaintop, rugged and steep. How else can you expect the beautiful view? We really enjoyed Tatiana bringing our Costa Rican style breakfast every day. She was wonderful to us and the children. The neighbor Joseph is a treasure! YOU MUST arrange a tour with him. He is so knowledgable. Our horseback ride with him was our highlight of the trip. We would stay here again!"
    Guest: Salinda W. Date of Stay: March 2014 Review Submitted: March 10, 2014
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  • A short but sweet stay...

    "We only stayed for one night, as we were headed back to San Jose to leave the next day, but the house was just as advertised and reviewed by many (lucky) others who stayed there - a nice place to stay! Jose was particularly welcoming - meeting us after dark to ensure that we could get to the house (it's well tucked away!!), and then turning up for breakfast the next day, cooked by his Mum. He was able to tell us lots about the area & the country and he certainly made a nice addition to our breakfast gathering. Next time we come, we'll stay longer & do some adventurous stuff!"
    Guest: Mike R. Date of Stay: November 2013 Review Submitted: December 6, 2013
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  • Truly Unique Mountain Adventure!

    "We were lucky enough to find Finca Good Life, and spend a fantastic two weeks with Michele & Ray, and their menagerie of animals... including 14 goats, 3 and sometimes 4 dogs, 4 geese, a cat, a rooster and 10 hens. We stayed in their beautiful cabina, and were made to feel like family as they welcomed us into their daily lives. And those goats!!! OMG!!! We learned so much about the goats and their adorable individual personalities! Who knew??!!! We recommend Finca Good Life... if you want a unique, restful, stress free vacation in a peaceful, serene setting!"
    Guest: Barbara M. Date of Stay: July 2014 Review Submitted: July 24, 2014
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  • Great Birding!

    "Five days in Costa Rica was a dream come true for me—102 species and 84 new life birds. Most of them I saw from the front porch. Accommodations were first class: three bedrooms, dining room, modern kitchen and dining room, with all the conveniences of home. And I was in Costa Rica on a hillside at 4,000 feet with a view of beautiful mountains! Anyone who wants a good birding trip in Central America should come here."
    Guest: JP Date of Stay: March 2014 Review Submitted: March 26, 2014
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Cartago Travel Tips

Historical Ambiance at Cartago Vacation Rentals

Cartago is a historical delight and those that love to immerse themselves in history and culture will thoroughly enjoy visiting this destination. The city of Cartago was Costa Rica’s first capital city and founded by Spanish colonist Juan Vasquez de Coronado in 1563. Although it was almost completely destroyed by the eruption of the Irazu Volcano in 1723, it remained Costa Rica’s capital for another 100 years before this honor was moved to the modern day capital of San Jose. The entire city of Cartago is a World Heritage Site. The beautiful architecture and old world charm transports you into the past as you meander through the streets.

Sights to See near Cartago Villas

Perhaps the best way to get oriented in the city of Cartago is to join a guided historical tour. In this way, you can learn about the history and culture related to the different sights. Thereafter, you can seek out specific interests and explore further on your own. The city’s largest church is the Basilica de Nuestra Senora des Los Angeles. This impressive building is home to the famous Black Madonna who is believed by the locals to have healing powers. Each year many pilgrims come to visit the statue on the feast day of the Virgin of the Angels which is August the second.

Just to the north of Cartago is the smoking Irazu Volcano. An active volcano, its last eruption was in 1963. A visitors' center is located in one of the inactive craters and a short trail takes you to the rim of the volcano’s two active craters. Irazu is Costa Rica’s tallest and largest volcano. It’s said that on a clear day you can see both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean from its summit. A second volcano is located not far from Irazu and known as Poas. Poas can be found in Costa Rica’s oldest national park and is one of the country’s most active volcanoes. The last time it erupted was in 1950 but its crater steams and bubbles on a regular basis. An observation deck has been built from where you can look down and see inside the bubbling crater.

Seasons to Visit Cartago Villas

Because of its location in the Central Valley, Cartago enjoys Costa Rico’s best climate. The dry season is from December to April and the greener, rainy season is from May to October. In general, the temperatures vary depending on if you are in the highlands or nearer to the coast. You can expect warm days with temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit at the coast, and slightly cooler temperatures that drop to around 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night in the highlands. Most visitors come to Cartago in the dry season as the temperatures are mild and it’s easier to get around in the dryer conditions

Traveling to and Around Cartago

The city of Cartago is located close to San Jose which is the gateway to the rest of the Cartago province. The Juan Santamaria International Airport is also known as simply San Jose International Airport. It is a short 40-minute drive by car from the city of Cartago. Most North American and European carriers have regularly scheduled flights into San Jose. The airport also hosts other regional airlines from South America. Because it is so centrally located, the Juan Santamaria International Airport is the perfect travel hub into the region. Even the furthest attractions and cities are within a six-hour drive of the airport.

Local tour companies can provide transfers from the airport to most major tourist areas. Taxis provide service for shorter distances within towns and cities. If you want to explore independently, you may consider renting a car. This is often considered the best way to travel around as it is quite affordable and gives you the opportunity to get a more authentic experience of the country.

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