Known for having the “best climate in the world,” the charming town of Atenas, Costa Rica is the perfect place to relax in the beautiful countryside outside the capital city of San Jose.
Nestled amid rolling green hills dotted with verdant pastures and coffee and sugar cane plantations, in the province of Alajuela, Atenas’ location is ideal. It’s only 30 minutes to the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) and cities like Alajuela and Escazu, while downtown San Jose is an hour away to the east. The Arenal Volcano is easily reachable in 2.5 hours. And if you want to go to the beach for the day, it’s only an hour’s drive to walk in the sand and swim in the warm Pacific Ocean. Because Atenas sits at the western edge of the Central Valley, you can see the Pacific coast from many of the hilltops.
CLIMATE IN ATENAS COSTA RICA
Best in the World!
Atenas is proud of its slogan, “Best Climate in the World!” Ask any resident and they’ll tell you it’s true.
Folded among low mountains and valleys, Atenas’ sprawling neighborhoods range in elevation from 2,200 to 4,000 feet (670 – 1,220 meters). This gives the region pleasant temperatures of 72 to 85 F (22 – 30 C) during the day, and 60 to 68 F (15 – 20 C) at night. Rainy season also is much milder here and Atenas tends to be sunnier and drier than many of its neighboring towns.
Atenas Costa Rica a charming small Town
Atenas, Costa Rica is a peaceful, coffee-growing and ranching town of about 7,000 friendly residents in the town center (27,000 with outlying neighborhoods), and a growing international community of around 1,500. Being a small town, the people are warm and welcoming.
Because so many international expats have settled full-time in Atenas from all over the world, there is a very good selection of restaurants, cafés and bakeries. The largest supermarket in town, CoopeAtenas, rivals any U.S. store with its big selection. It features a small café at the entrance serving specialty coffees, snacks and desserts.
The Atenas farmer’s market happens weekly on Thursday afternoons and evenings and Friday mornings. Vendors come from all over the Central Valley and nearby towns to sell a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and a host of other items.
Things to do in Atenas Costa Rica
There are many things to do in Atenas: weekly yoga and Tai Chi and Qigong classes at the Atenas Yoga center; aqua aerobics; cross-fit training, and two dance studios offering classes. Atenas has lots of hiking and is a popular place for mountain biking and road cycling. Atenas is known for its excellent quality coffee plantations, and the organic coffee farm El Toledo offers a coffee tour to visitors.
From Atenas, you can easily go on fun day tours to top attractions in the Central Valley and along the Central Pacific Coast.
History of Atenas Costa Rica
The town of Atenas was founded in 1868 along Costa Rica’s oxcart trail that transported coffee from the fertile central valley to the Pacific coast port of Puntarenas. Atenas was a main meeting point along the route. Traders from the coast would travel up the low coastal foothills to Atenas to meet merchants from San Jose and the valley, each side selling their goods to the other. As Atenas developed, citizens from neighboring cities of Alajuela, San Jose and Heredia relocated to the region. Atenas’ oxcart history is immortalized in the famous Oxcart Monument by sculptor Manuel “Manolo” Torrecillas Lopez, located on the main road through town.