If you’ve never ventured out from downtown Cartago, this is a chance to do it. Get to know beautiful architecture, monuments, flora and fauna.

If you want to discover Cartago in a day trip, all you need is a car, gasoline, and a good attitude (in case you get lost).

Cartago is a province of Costa Rica. It is close to San José, so it is an easy trip to make for most people.[quote_box_right]DID YOU KNOW? Sanatorio Durán is considered one of Costa Rica’s most haunted places. Discover more spooks by reading Paranormal Pura Vida: Haunted Spots in Costa Rica.[/quote_box_right]

There you can visit: Basílica de los Ángeles, the Irazú Volcano, Sanatorio Durán, downtown Cartago, or maybe risk going out the city center and the usual places everyone goes and explore.

About eight kilometers from the city of Cartago is Paraíso, the second biggest canton in Cartago after Turrialba. Its name literally translates to “paradise.” Some places you can find in Paraíso, are: Cachí, Orósi, and Ujarrás — all of which are our upcoming destinations.

Ujarrás

First on the map is Ujarrás. Here you can go to the “Ujarrás Overlook,” and enjoy the beautiful view of Paraíso. This place has enough space to stay and eat in the picnic area with your family while the kids play outside. They even have an events room.

Cachí

Then in Cachí, after the dam, you can go to La Casona del Cafetal. Here you can eat lunch in the restaurant or just walk around, because entrance is free.

You can walk until the Lake Cachí, the beautiful result of the hydroelectric dam of Cachí.

Near there it is Jardín Botánico Lankester, a walk apt for all ages — even senior citizens. National Park Tapantí is also close and is one of the biggest National Parks in the country. Each of these stops, however, are visits for a whole day.

Next, drive to Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, the ruins of the first colonial church built in Costa Rica. It is a big place, perfect for relaxing and enjoy the culture, flowers and animals that can found. The site has even been nominated to become listed as a World Heritage Site.

Orósi

After the ruins, you can go to Orósi. It is a bit far from Ujarrás Ruins, but it’s still a beautiful little town you can go. If you are someone who likes to walk, you can stop in the Palomo Pendant Bridge.

Once past the bridge of Río Grande de Orósi, save gasoline and the planet and walk a few more meters and arrive at Orósi city.

Here there are some markets, a gas station and the Colonial Church of Orósi — a national monument of Costa Rica.

If you are lucky maybe you’ll run into some party or activity in town.

Heading Back

This trip is almost done.

When you return to Cartago, you can go to La Basílica and embrace the Catholic religion or maybe just the enormous and beautiful architecture there.

On your way to San José from the Basílica you can go to The Parish Ruins of Cartago located in front of the Central Park of Cartago.

And finally, if you still have time and sunlight, go to The Quircot Temple, a neo-colonial structure which has been listed as a historic site since 1986.

Enjoy your trip, relax, and get to know new places. If you like to take pictures, this trip is perfect too. Take your sunscreen and protect your body all the trip. It is important to prevent diseases.

Finally, do not get mad if you get lost during the journey. It is an opportunity know a place maybe others have never gone; embrace your luck.