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Cartago, Costa Rica

Seal of Cartago, Costa Rica  Cartago is a province of Costa Rica that despite its small size is one of the richest provinces in colonial tradition. It is located in the central part of the country. Bordering provinces are Limón at E & N; and San José at S, W and NW. The capital of province is Cartago city, which was formerly the capital city of Costa Rica until 1823 when the capital was established definitely in San José. The province has an area of 3,124.61 km² and a population of 510,727. It is subdivided into 8 cantons and 51 districts.

(En Español: Cartago)

Province of Cartago

Map of Cartago in Costa Rica Location: At the easthern side of the central area of Costa Rica.
Coordinates: 9°48'N 83°39'W
Subdivisions: Cantons: 8, Districts: 51
Area: 3,124.67 km² 1 (1,206.44 sq mi)
Population: 510,727 (2010)2
Capital City: Cartago.
     Elevation: 1,435 m ASL (4,708 feet)
     Average Temperature: 12-20 °C (53-68 °F)
     Annual Rainfall: 1,500 - 2,000 mm (59-79 inches)
Features & Attractions:
* "Las Ruinas", "Basílica de los Angeles" Church, Liceo San Luis Gonzaga, Orosi colonial church & museum, Ujarrás church ruins.
* Irazú Volcano National Park, Irazú Volcano, Turrialba Volcano, Tapantí National Park, Orosi Valley, Hot Springs, Los Novios Waterfall, Reventazón river, Cachí dump.
* Cultural celebrations: Peregrination to Basílica de los Angeles (prior to Aug 2).
* TEC, CATIE, Lankester Botanical Garden.
* Mirador de Orosi (vantage point), Guayabo National Monument.
* Ecotourism: Hotel Quelitales, Guayabo Lodge (Orosi, Cartago).

The Province of Cartago and its Cantons
Notes & References for this table:   [1] IGN 2009.   [2] INEC (Jan 2009).  [3] Range of temperature throughout the province.  [4] Distance (in km) and direction, from the capital of province.  [5] Altitude (in m above sea level) and temperature at the capital city of the province.  [6] Capital of province.  [7] From San José.
 Canton Name  Area [1] (km2) Population (2009) [2] Temp. [3] Capital km from CoP [4] Altitude (m ASL),
Temp. [5]
Rainfall (mm/year) Foundation
1Cartago [6] 287.77 495,249 16-19ºCCartago 20, W [7] 1,435 | 18ºC 2,000 Dec 7, 1848
2Paraíso411.91 60,395 19ºCParaíso6 1,325 4,500 Dec 7, 1848
3La Unión44.83 91,553 19ºCTres Ríos10 1,345 3,000 Dec 7, 1848
4Jiménez286.43 15,937 20ºCJuan Viñas 1,165 3,500 Aug 19, 1903
5Turrialba1,642.67 78,753 28ºCTurrialba   646 3,500 Aug 19, 1903
6Alvarado81.06 13,955 18ºCPacayas 17 1,735 3,000 Jul 9, 1908
7Oreamuno202.31 44,704 14-19ºCSan Rafael 1,453 3,500 Aug 17, 1914
8El Guarco167.69 39,479  Tejar3 1,377 3,000 Jul 26, 1939

Map of Cartago
Irazú Volcano
"Volcán Irazú" (Irazu Volcano):
The largest active volcano of the country. Cartago, Costa Rica.

© 2010 (Derechos reservados) Costa Rica 21 S.A.

 Mountains in Cartago are in the Central Range ("Cordillera Central") at North, which includes Irazú and Turrialba active volcanoes, and Talamanca Range at South. The highest point of Cartago is Cerro de la Muerte at 3,600 meters above sea level and the lowest one is Turrialba, with only 90 meters above sea level.

Cartago city, the capital of the province, is located at the southern slopes base of Irazú Volcano, whose past volcanic ash coverings had made its slopes to be possessors of very fertile souls. Among the main products of the region are milk and cash crops as potatoes, onions, peach-palm, sugar cane and ornamental plants like orchids. These support the most of city economy, although other resources such as computer technologies have risen since the 90's decade.

Cartago city was established in 1563, and there are many colonial heritages from those years as the first church built in Costa Rica, which is known at present as the Ujarrás Ruins, and the Orosi Church. This latter at left, built in 1735 is now fully restored (using original materials and techniques) and still in use. Both of them are located into the Orosi Valley, which have another attractions like the Orosi Mirador or museums, natural hot springs, and even more the nearby Tapantí National Park as well as the Guayabo National Monument. Also this province is known for its rich ecological diversity and dense tropical rainforest throughout the mountain ranges near the Irazú and Turrialba active volcanoes. In Cartago has been located the Costa Rica Institute of Technology (TEC), one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in the country and one of Central America's most important engineering schools.

Notes & References:
(Repeated citations ordered in parenthesis)
1 (1,2) - Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN), 2009.
2 (1,2) - Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC), most recent publications.

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