42 Km from San José, 25 Km from Alajuela and 59 Kms from Puntarenas. The small and beautiful population of Atenas, situated in the extreme west of Central Valley has one of the best climates in the world according to a study carried out by the United Nations. With a noticeably marked dry season the environments moderate temperatures are 26 ºC, with fresh and pleasant nights. A long time ago the huétares populated this region. Although objects found of chorotega origin makes it possible that there were influences between the two tribes. The colonization by the Spanish was late; from 1788 they were establishing their first populations. With the blossoming of the Coffee Industry; Atenas became a place of rest for those cart drivers that transported grain from the Central Valley to the port of Puntarenas. On the 7th of October in 1968 the area was elevated to a county. As well as being distinguished for its picturesque countryside, the kindness of its people, and the beauty of its women, and its excellent climate. It also has another trait: the famous “stuffed grapefruits”, which have become a symbol of this area.

To the west, via Atenas

To the west of Alajuela located on the road that takes you to Atenas, a small village located 25 Km after the crossing, known to Ticos as Manolo’s. On this route you will go past Zoo Ave and La Garita.

 La Garita

To the west of Alajuela towards Atenas, in the Dulce Nombre sector, you will find the Bird Zoo, throughout Dulce Nombre and La Garita; there are numerous garden centers along the way. A few kilometers ahead is the Bosque Encantado, an old children’s park with a pond and animal sculptures.

 The Zoo Ave Ph (506) 2433-8989, fax (506) 2433-9140.  Adults 2.30 US$/ foreigners 8.30 US$/ children 1.40 US$; Open from  9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m, everyday, 10 Km to the west of Alajuela, 100 hectare extension, exhibiting a collection of 100 tropical birds such as the Red, Green and Blue Macaw,  Quetzales, Guacamayo, including more than 80 Costa Rican species. You will also find four species of Costa Rican monkeys, Crocodiles, Deer, Ostriches and the smallest monkey in the world. By car you can go via the Interamerican highway to the west of San José en route to Alajuela, turn off at the exit to Atenas (Manolo’s crossing) and continue on for a further 2.5 Km to the east. The buses between Alajuela and la Garita pass every half an hour opposite the entrance. Some kilometers to the west of the zoo is La Garita, where you will find a restaurant that serves corn based meals. This La Fiesta del Maíz Restaurant Ph (506) 2487-5757 open Friday to Sunday from 6:00 to10:00 p.m.

How to arrive and leave.

The buses to Atenas leave from the Coca Cola terminal in San José, although you don’t pass via Zoo Ave. To get there and La Garita it is better to take one of the buses from the Alajuela terminal to La Garita. You can also continue on to Orotina via this route and the beaches of Puntarenas, Jaco and the Carara Park.

Coopetransatenas R.L. Ph (506) 2446-5767. Leaving from the San José Coca Cola Terminal. Monday to Friday from 5:50 a.m to 8:30 p.m. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 6:30 a.m until 8:30 p.m, tariffs are 1 US$. Departing 125 meters north and 50 meters west of the TUASA Alajuela Bus Terminal. Monday to Friday from 6.00 until 10:30 p.m. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 7:00 a.m until 10:30 p.m, the tariff is about 0.70 US$. Departing from Atenas 50 meters west of the Central Market in the center of the city. Monday to Friday from 4:40 a.m until 8:30 p.m. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 4:40 a.m until 8:30 p.m, the tariff is from 1 US$.