Rica Attractions / Central Region / Ciudad Colón, Canton Mora
Ciudad Colón & Surroundings - Cantón Mora
Colón – Home of the Tierra Verde head offices since 1995
Only 12 miles West of the capital San José and with a good route into the capital, Ciudad Colon is one of the few towns near San Jose that still maintain their carisma and charm. With an altitud of 0.46 to 0.55 miles above sea level Ciudad Colon is located just a bit below San Jose. Both, its location between mountain canyons as well as its proximity to the central pacific region (coastal air flow is only about 31 miles away) give the town a pleaseant weather with a summer up to 32 to degrees during the day and tropical rains during the winter which is from may until october. Altough Ciudad Colon only has a population of 10.000 there is a wide range of supermarkets, restaurants, banks and public services such as a a hospital, red cross, schools and kindergardens.
Characteristic of almost all Costa Rica, the church is located in the center of town and right across it there is a soccer field where on weekends games are held as well as other activities. In the year 2004 in a historic wood building the “Casa de la Cultura” was inagurated, where concerts as well as numerous other cultural activities are held. Every Saturday there is a little market where fruits, vegtables, and traditional products of the region are sold. Aside from the friendly, very open and service oriented people that live in the town there is a small group of immigrants, moslty european, as well as many international students that attend the University for Peace who live in apartments or familes, all living in Ciudad Colon and which give the town a very multi-cultural atmosphere. Anually Ciudad Colon hosts the “Fiestas Patronales” which take place during August and are celebrated during the course of several weekends. There are various activities such as horse parades (topes), concerts, rides and food stands.
Casa de la Cultura, Ciudad Colón
In January 2010, a new highway connecting San José with the Central Pacific Region has been opened, passing nearby Ciudad Colón. Avoiding the mountains and serpentines of the Cordillera Central, the Pacific Ocean now can be reached within 60 minutes.
Only 32 km away from the capital of San José, taking the highway towards Puriscal, the Indigenous Community of Quitirrisí has its home – hidden away in the mountains, the indigenous still preserve their spirituality and costums that they have treasured for more than 500 years until the arrival of the Spanish conquerors.
Visitors can enjoy walking on the paths leading through the indigenous community and visit the important cultural sight like ceremonial altars and tombs. Visitors will have the chance to get to know more about the original population of the country and their way of living.
The indigenous community of Huetar living in the same area, welcomes visitors with open arms and allows them to get to know several types of indigenous medicines, take part in workshops about the cycle of life and the processing of the sweet corn, about the stones, natural colorings handicraft works.
The indigenous community awaits you in Quitirrisí, only 30 minutes away from San José!
Historic Tour of Cd. Colón & Masquerade Workshop / Cimarrona
The tour consists of two parts:
Visiting the historic center of Ciudad Colón
Getting to know the most important folkloric traditions of the Central Valley, the masquerade and “Cimarrona”, as well as the traditional food of our nation.
The visitor gets to know the three oldest buildings of the district:
The school of Ciudad Colón, which was inaugurated in 1936 and later turned into the town hall in 1970. Since 2005 it houses the Casa de la Cultura (“House of Culture”)
The “Palestra” which was built in 1943 and used as a theater.
The Old Market which was founded around 1900 around a large Calabash tree and which ever since was used a meeting spot and commercial center.
In the second part of the tour, a masquerade workshop will be visited where the visitor receive an explanation of the elaboration and beginnings of the masks and its meanings.
In short, the masquerades came to Costa Rica with the Spanish conquistadores originally, but not until 1824 the first masquerade as we know it today took place in honor of the celebrations for the Virgin of Los Ángeles. The “Cimarrona” is the musical ground that accompanies the masquerade.
El Rodeo Protected Area
Located at about 3 miles outside of Ciudad Colon, sorrounded by coffee plantations, you find the protected area of “El Rodeo”. Established in 1981 it protects ca. 2000 hectares of sub tropical forests with altitudes that go from 700 to 1000 meters above sea level, and numerous types of trees with and altitud up to 30 meters such as the Pochote, Guanacaste, Cedro, Guayacan all part of the vast flora of the region. Deer, Racoons, Coati mundis (pizotes) and Capuccin monkeys can also be observed as well as various bird species like tucans and different kinds of raptors. The park has many trails altough a a park ranger station and other facilities are not yet offered. The University for Peace as well as the “parque de la paz” and a typical restaurant with horse stables and guided tours to nearby sights are all located at the border of the park.
University for Peace
Costa Rica was one of the first countries to abolish its army in 1948. Countinuing with this tradition the United Nations begann, under the direction of that the president of that time Rodrigo Carazo, efforts to establish a international unversity for peace in Costa Rica. These efforts were concluded in 1980 with the resolution 35/35 of the general assembly of the UN. Kofi Annan, secretary general of the UN, has been since 1990 the honorary president of the university. Since then Mr Annan has made numerous efforts to consolidate the university as a institution for consultation about research issues and maintanace of security for the UN. Today nearly 120 students off all regions of the world attend courses which focus on studies of human rights and individuals, research on peace and solutions to conflicts among others.
La Paz Park (Parque la Paz)
It is located right next to the campus of the university and it is a tropical park with lakes, picknick areas and a monument for peace in honor to the abolition of the army in 1948.
Purriscal - Tobacco
The Puriscal region is located aproximately 25 miles east from San Jose and is home for the tobacco industry of the country. It is about 1100 m above sea level which gives it an ideal balance of sunny days and some precipitation ideal for the cultivation of tobacco and its production. An old fashioned tobacco factory called “Vegas de Santiago” offers a guided tour through the facilities where you can see how they choose the leaf, dry it and produce the final product.
The Tour is given from Monday through Friday from 08:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. and from 13:00 p.m. until 03:30 p.m. and at the time it can only be given in Spanish and it has to be preserved a day ahead of time.