The name Puriscal comes from “purisco” meaning bean flower.  When these plants blossom they call this “the time of purisca” and it is celebrated by those from Puriscal.  This name also come from quechua, purutu or poroto, names that are also associated with the bean.  Puriscal sits on top of a volcanic fault. Those from Puriscal experience, “more than a little shake” (what they call tremors and earthquakes). In some places such as the church, the parks, streets and sidewalks you can see cracks that were caused by these tremors. Puriscal is enroute to many other districts and as mentioned in the previous paragraph, tourists and the resident population enjoy a quiet relaxed atmosphere. Taking in the views that surround this peaceful village.


How to arrive and leave.

By car

Via these routes it is also possible to reach Parrita, Quepos, Esterillos and Jaco.

1) San José-Desamparados, Aserrí-Tarbaca-Jorco-San Ignacio de Acosta-Sabanas-Parrita.

Take the route to the south of San José, arrive at the roundabout (y griega) passing by La Paz Park, continue on towards the center of Desamparados, until you get to Maxi Mercado, continue onwards until you get to Aserrí, Tarbaca, Jorco and San Ignacio de Acosta, you will then arrive at Parrita.

2) Parrita-Sabanas- San Ignacio de Acosta-Jorco-Tarbaca-Aserrí-Desamparados-San José.

This route is accessible if you have a 4×4, or a normal vehicle in the summer; a kilometer before you get to Parrita there is a sign that tells you where to turn to get to Acosta. First of all you will go through an oil palm plantation, there are signs on the road, and then after traveling 3 kilometers you will arrive at a concrete road. Continue onwards for a further hour arriving at Sabanas village, from here onwards the route becomes difficult, following the course of the Candelaria River, the bridge where the steep incline begins can be difficult if you are here during the rainy season. This is because there are very steep inclines and there is a lot of loose gravel on the road. When you get to the tarmac road shortly before you arrive at San Ignacio, take the usual route via Jorco, Tarbaca, Aserrí, Desamparados and San José.

3) San José-Sabana Sur-Autopista Prospero Fernández-Brasil de Mora-Ciudad Colon-Puriscal-La Gloria-la Palma-Parrita.

From San José, head east, take the Prospero Fernández Highway and continue until you get to Ciudad Colon there you will find a gas station where you will need to turn right, continue on for 200 meters, and then turn left, continue until you get to  Puriscal.

4) Parrita-La Palma-La Gloria-Puriscal-Ciudad Colón-Escazú

A kilometer before you leave the Palm Plantation (after Parrita) there is a tarmac road that veers off to the right. You will also see a sign on the right hand side that says Puriscal. Then continue on for 600 meters and then take a right. This route is on a good road, although during winter there are some difficult parts that can become difficult for low sitting cars. In general it is not necessary to use a double 4×4 car. The first well populated village is La Gloria de Puriscal where you will begin your ascent, on a concrete road, surrounded by green pastures with panoramic views of the mountainous area; you will also find restaurants, chicharroneras, public telephones, a gas station and the Red Cross. Some kilometers before Puriscal, there is an asphalt road, from Puriscal to Ciudad Colón, and Brasil de Mora, you can also access the San José – Caldera highway, Próspero Fernández, which ends in South Sabana.

Cigars from Vegas de Santiago Tel (506) 2416-6744/ 2416-4512. The cigars are made in the countryside. Taking one of the daily “Tobacco Tours” will allow you to experience the magical art of cigar making. The trip includes transport from San José and breakfast. The cultivators of the Puriscal area in Costa Rica grow tobacco in fertile land at an altitude of 1100 meters. All of the work is done by hand. This cultural tradition was passed on by the Huétares aborigines; the tobacco plant for them is sacred. To get a high quality cigar the curing & aging process is very important. This process is completely natural. Our families have been growing high quality tobacco in the Puriscal area for over 80 years. The special climate in this mountainous area offers the right amount of rain and humidity, which is combined with a period of dryness. It is an ideal environment to grow tobacco, dry and cure it naturally. A few years ago the Cuban Master of manufacturing premium quality cigars, Luis Santana, created the company. With a lifetime experience in sowing, growing, drying, curing and the manufacturing of cigars. This process needs a period of three years and a half to create a Vegas de Santiago Cigar. The mixture of the cigars is made from the tobacco that is grown in the plantation in Puriscal. The exterior of the cigar is especially picked from plants in Nicaragua. These cigars are not imitations of Cuban cigars; they are simply the best quality, in terms of their creation, taste and aroma. For fans of the best cigars in the world. The leaves have been left to dry for a minimum of 3 years to achieve an exquisite tasting cigar. Luis Santana, master of production, worked for 25 years in the factory of H. Uman from Cuba and advised companies in Central America, the Dominican Republic and the United States. The secrets of the master, the best Cuban techniques and the strict quality control ensure that the consumer receives an excellent cigar. The tobacco leaves get their veins removed once cured. Afterwards they extract the humidity from the leaf and pack them into sacks weighing approx 100 lbs. These are where they kept so they can be dried out. The Vegas de Santiago cigars are made by hand. They use a tubing technique and devein layers. For the making of the actual body of the cigar the “bonche” there are several techniques. It is believed that tubing the leaves is the best method; with this technique the cigar can obtain an excellent level of combustion. The dispatch process of layers and the selection of leaves for the rolling is one of the most important activities in the process of cigars. On the cigar the deveined layer is used to offer the best finish to the product. Cigars to your taste available for purchase 13 US$ to 86 US$.


Nacientes Palmichal, Cloud Forest

Tourist Hostel & Conservation Project Tel/fax (506) 2418-8920, Hernán Ramírez. Cell phone (506) 8847-9096 with Ana Beatriz R., fax (506) 2418-8920. E-mail: sanjoserural@racsa.co.cr. The installations and the reserve are located in the Palmichal de Acosta, only 43 kilometers from La Sabana Park. In less than an hour’s journey from San José, you will arrive at this rural place. At 1.325 meters above sea level this area has a pleasant climate of between 15°C to 25°C. The area is surrounded by lush greenery and century old trees and the Tabarcia River, which you can enjoy all year round. You will also be able to see the traditional adobe buildings and the gardens and fruit trees. Take a stop at the stalls of indigenous arts and crafts in Quitirrisí. There is a regular bus service from San José, which will take you to Palmichal. There you can go directly to the environmental school. In the right conditions access is possible for all types of vehicles.


How to arrive and leave


In the Coca Cola Station, get on the Contrasuli bus, Palmichal – Tabarcia, that will take you to the Palmichal de Acosta Environmental school. It is an hour long journey. In Palmichal you will be able to take the “Periférica” at the mango tree that is opposite the school, the Periferica will take you to San Pablo de Palmichal some 800 meters away from the Environmental School  Nacientes Palmichal.


Take the Próspero Fernández highway, which begins at La Sabana Park and drive towards Puriscal, 9 kilometers before arriving at Santiago de Puriscal you will find a turn off that leads to Tabarcia – Palmichal. Once you are in this area, drive three kilometers east towards the community of San Pablo de Palmichal, where you will find the environmental school. The road from San José to the Center of Palmichal is asphalt and is in perfect condition. From Palmichal to Nacientes Palmichal the road is mostly gravel but any car can access this road. At only 43 kilometers from the capital you can discover beautiful areas of incomparable beauty, crystal waters cutting through the countryside, where there is a prime forest with diverse flora and fauna. This is the face of rural San José. Being here will give you a chance to see the other side of San José and discover the more quiet and simple life of the people who live in the countryside. You will learn about the techniques used to cultivate coffee, oranges and other fruits. Chat to residents and share out the fruits of the land while you discover more about the history of this area. You can also learn about the process of the beneficiary and enjoy a cup of coffee in the company of the villagers. Rural San Jose is a community experience.  You will also have the opportunity to get close to an example of community organization promoting the use of natural resources. This has managed to persuade and motivate public and private institutions to protect the valleys of the Rio Negro and Tabarcia and at present they have a strategic plan for sustainable development. Protecting the water and the forest. You will firstly discover a reserve with 42 hectares of prime cloud forest secondly a hydro electric valley with species of flora and fauna that find refuge there. The valley is in harmony with nature. When you get closer to the work of ADESSARU you will have the opportunity to meet the cultivators in their pig farms, where they use the biodigestive process to produce bio gas. They also produce vegetables by means of organic agriculture and lombriculture. Nacientes Palmichal an open environmental classroom. The association ADESSARU offers a variety of natural resources and provides an infrastructure with comfortable installations where you can have meetings, take courses, tours and stay in rooms will all the necessary commodities. Nacientes Palmichal offers a variety of activities. Customers can go on walks along footpaths to look at the forest, take a trip to the waterfalls and natural springs, take trips to farms, orange juice companies, learn about the benefits of coffee and learn about the culture of the Huétar, among many other things.


Where to eat and sleep

There are 8 spacious rooms, 6 equipped with two comfortable bunk beds and the other 2 with comfortable double beds and one with a bunk bed. The 8 rooms have a private bathroom and hot water. The rooms are distributed on two floors. All the rooms have large windows for ventilation and offer views of the rainforest. As well as an area on the third floor where you can house a group of 25 additional people on mattresses. In the surroundings of the school and the reserve there are attractive foot paths which are accessible throughout the year. This is where you can enjoy the fresh streams and rivers, the vegetation and regional fauna. There is a large kitchen, a dining room with river and forest views, with a capacity for 70 people. In this dining room you can enjoy traditional meals such as chopped meat, homemade tortillas, tamales, ripe plantain, cheese, sour cream, aguadulce and much more. There is also a lecture hall fully equipped with audiovisual technology, and with a capacity for groups of up to 45 people. Its objective is to invite school and college groups with a view to create a consciousness about the importance of protecting the environment.


La Cangreja National Park Sub Regional Office of Puriscal Tel (506) 2416- 6576, fax (506) 2416-8282.Office Address ACOPAC Tel (506) 2416-7068, fax (506) 2416-5017. E-mail: acopac@minae.go.cr www.sinac.go.cr. FUNDACIÓN ECOTROPICA. Tel/fax (506) 416-6359. E-mail:ecotropi@racsa.co.crb. Park La Cangreja. Puriscal, is the fourth county of the province of San José. In the first half of the XX century its territory was covered in primary rainforest, decades later the situation has changed as a consequence of the misuse of natural resources. Nevertheless this is still an important area of protection. The Park was the last significant Rainforest Park named by the government of Costa Rica on the 5th of June 2002, decree number 30.479 – MINAE. Its extension is 2.204 hectares outlining the new limits of the park. Signed on the 13th of June 2003. Studies carried out in this area have shown the existence of a diversity of species of flora and fauna, found in this very small area. There are two species of endemic plants, the Cangreja la Plinia puriscalensis and the Ayenia mastatalensis; As well as other endemic species of Costa Rica, there are other species of fauna such as the white faced monkey, the mountain chicken, the paca, the green black frog, a variety of butterflies and birds and others are part of the biodiversity of this small biological paradise. Working with civil society, involving communities and organized groups for the protection and development of the Park. The purpose is that the communities become conscious of how important it is to protect natural resources and furthermore develop sustainable productive activities.


Interesting Statistics

Geographic location of the conservation area: Province: San José. County: Puriscal. District: Chires 42 Km to the south of Santiago de Puriscal, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes by 4X4. Area: 2.204 hectares. Climate: it is in the category of Tropical Rain Forest, raining in the months of May to November. The dry season is during the months of December through to March. Precipitation: The average yearly precipitation fluctuates from between 2000 to 4250 mm. What does it offer? The opportunity to carry out investigations, volunteer work and eco tourist visits. Natural Resources Ecological heritage of the County of Puriscal. Genetic Bank. Endemic species of Flora and Fauna, at a world level the only Plinia puriscalensis and Ayenia mastatalensis. Hydro Energy. Importance of biology at a world level. Civil Society: Productive Agriculture. Communal Organization. Indigenous Reserve of the Zapatón (Huétares). Tourist Attractions: When you enter the park you will be able to see the exuberance of flora that is so common in this area. You will also see the benefits of hydro resources for a fee of 1.12 US$. Negro River and Quebrada Grande: Visitors can bathe in the clean waters that come directly from the Cangreja Mountains. You can also enjoy the beautiful scenic waterfalls. The Bird Observatory: If you are a bird lover you will able to see all sorts of colors and species, such as toucans, humming birds, yiguirros and others. Camping Area:  There is a clean area in the open air where visitors can camp using a tent for a cost of 1.12 US$. Footpaths: There is a 9 kilometer path that will take you through the natural beauty of the primary forest. Visit the highest rocky hills of the Park they will give you an excellent panoramic view of the Pacific Coast and bordering areas. The walk is 7 kilometers long and the hills are very steep, so it is perfect for adventure and exploration lovers. Annual Project: There are important efforts made within the community, developing different projects focused on the protection of resources that this important area offers. These projects are both short and long term. La Cangreja is known as much in international as well as the national sphere. It has the largest expansion and forest coverage and has increased the production of water. It has protected and recuperated 3.000 hectares of forest, which are joined to other rural areas through biological corridors. It is also an important genetic forest in the country.


Where to eat and sleep.

 Hotel Paraíso Carlisa Phone (506) 2778-1112, fax (506) 2778-1190. E-mail: reserva@hotelparaisocarlisa.com www.hotelparaisocarlisa.com . Within 100 hectares of Virgin Mountain, you can find a tropical forest. Especially for bird watchers and nature lovers. 16 Km from the beach, close to the National Park “La Cangreja” and the Indigenous reserve “Zapatón”. Offering luxury rooms.  There are 4 apartments, 2 bungalows for couples, six bungalows for families and a family cabin. “Los Mangos” restaurant, serves exquisite Spanish cuisine and typical Costa Rican dishes. There is an ample selection of liquor, wine and other drinks. Just by looking through your window you will be able to see a whole new world of nature, singing birds will usually wake you in the morning, enjoy a spectacular view of the wildlife from the comfort of your room. Your children can explore and enjoy the ecological paradise, walk through the beautiful natural jungle and explore the hidden waterfalls. The hotel offers guests the following facilities: Salt Water swimming pool, laundry facilities, private parking, internet, safe, swimming pool bar, private transportation, mini bar, horse trips, telephones, private bathrooms with hot water, a mini cinema. Including breakfast. There are traditional ox drawn carts dotted around the hotel. Tariffs for low season:  Villas for 1 and 2 people 68/ 80 US$, villa carlissa for 2 people (couple) 68 US$, apartment 2 and 3 people 76/ 85 US$, additional person 25 US$. High season: Villas for 1 and 2 people 78/ 95 US$, villa carlissa 2 people (couple) 78 US$, apartment 2 and 3 people 90/ 105 US$, additional person 25 US$.  Children from 2 to 12 years of age 15 US$ and children under 2 years of age do not pay. Ox Cart trip 40 US$ per person, micro-bus 40 US$ per person.

How to get to the Hotel: The hotel is located in the Central Pacific, between the villages of Los Angeles on the road between Jaco and Quepos.  8km before, turn onto a gravel road that heads towards Puriscal, drive for a further 16 Km. The hotel is signposted all along this road.