A lush green and charming town near San Jose, Atenas welcomes you with picturesque views and the aroma of coffee. The town has gained popularity as a tourist destination because of the perfect weather conditions, fun attractions and exciting things to do. It gives you a sneak peek into the authentic Costa Rican culture. This is the perfect destination if you want to leave the chaos and hustle behind and want to experience calmness, serenity and natural beauty in its full vigor. Here, we have thoroughly researched and curated a list of some of the best options for you to explore and learn more about the city and its culture. So, let’s explore this gem of Costa Rica together.
1) Kick Start Your Day With Coffee: Your trip to Atenas is not complete without a coffee tour and the best way to start is by taking the El Toledo Coffee Tour. It is a family-owned family coffee farm that grows coffee organically. The tour will give you an idea about an idea of the Costa Rican coffee passion and you will have an opportunity to interact with the farmers. The tour will expose you to every step of bringing a coffee from a farm into a cup. You can also taste the three different roasts of coffee. The fee for the coffee tour is 20$.
2) Feel The Beauty At La Garita: This exceptionally beautiful botanical orchid garden is one of the topmost tourist attraction in Atenas and is a perfect place to appreciate the natural beauty. The garden welcomes you with different varieties of vibrant orchids. It is surely a treat for your eyes but is also an educational experience, you can learn about the lifecycle of orchids and visit nurseries showcasing the different stages of an orchid’s life cycle. Apart from these beautiful flowers, you can also spot some colourful, chirpy and indigenous species of birds.
3) Relax In Central Park: The Central Park is one of the most favourite tourist destinations in Atenas and is filled with tourists and locals any time of the year. The park is situated in the heart of the town and is filled with green trees, vibrant flowers and a majestic fountain situated in the center of the park. The park is a complete family entertainment spot and is surely a must on your visit to Atenas.
4) Explore The Train Museum: It is a compact museum filled with artifacts, photos and interesting devices like radios, generators and railway parts that can help you learn more about the history of railways in Atenas. It is a great fun experience for children and you can take some great photographs in the railway coaches and it is open only on Sundays.
5) Visit Zoo Ave: This is a perfect entertainment spot for your family or if you are an avid lover of wildlife. You can spot some of the exotic wildlife species in the zoo. The zoo works towards preserving, nurturing and breeding animal species in order to help them grow. There are many exotic species of animals that you can interact with and learn about their habitat and food habits. Another great option to experience the varied variety of wildlife in Atenas is the Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center, this center is responsible for rescuing and rehabilitating animals that have been either injured or confiscated illegally. The center works in providing these animals with a valuable and fulfilled life with proper care, nutrients and love. If you are an animal lover you will definitely be inspired by this place and will fall in love with these animals at the very first look.
6) Admire The Natural Beauty: The Minas Waterfalls are a spectacular natural wonder in the Demonte village. The waterfalls are stunning and are an amazing escape into nature. The area also has some amazing swimming holes where you can enjoy swimming or just have a laid back day with a small picnic by the waterfall. The waterfalls are surely a hidden gem in Atenas and you will not be disappointed once you visit them.
7) Explore The Farmers Market: Every Friday you can see locals gathered around to shop some of the local produce. The market is filled with shops selling vegetables, fruits, coffee and freshly baked goods. A market is a place where you see people from different communities enjoying their love for food and also it makes you admire the different variety of food you can find in this small and charming town. While exploring the market do not forget to try some local dishes and sip on delicious Costa Rican coffee.
8) Visit Oasis De Esperanza Church: This church is a representation of Costa Rican culture and is decorated with marvelous architecture. This is the main church in Atenas and clearly depicts the traditions and history of Atenas. A visit to the church should surely be in your itinerary for an interesting peek into the history and culture of Atenas.
9) Enjoy Delectable Pizza At Pizzeria La Finca: This comfortable pizzeria is a perfect setting for an amazing evening with tempting wood-fired pizza and flatbreads. These are accompanied by some freshly brewed beer, El Granero. The most ordered food item is the parmesan pizza and bruschetta with sides of sun-dried tomatoes and arugula. The pizzeria is known for its calming ambience and exceptional service.
10) Enjoy Scenic View From La Casita del Café: This café is situated on a hilltop and offers you a scenic view of the lush green valley and the ocean on a clear day. The food is exceptional and will make your heart and soul happy. The food menu has authentic Costa Rican cuisine and also varied cuisines from all around the world. It is surely a must-visit place if you want to enjoy a breathtaking view along with delectable food items.
11) El Balcon de Café: This amazing café is heaven for people who are dessert fans. It is a popular German bakery and café that is always packed with locals as well as tourist. The breakfast options are amazing, delicious and you can find them only here at this bakery. They specialize in the production of some amazing homemade bread, the most famous is the potato bread which is usually always sold out because of its exceptional flavours. Without a doubt, this should be included in your itinerary for a tempting and flavorful experience.
12) La Trocha del Boyero: If you are looking for a fine dining experience with exceptional service and breathtaking scenery then La Trocha del Boyero should be a perfect place for you. Enjoy the flavours of authentic Costa Rican cuisine from spicy meat to exceptional variations in seafood. The most popular dish of this restaurant is the sea bass.
Atenas is a charming town in Costa Rica that is full of scenic views, amazing locations and great food options. If you are planning to go and explore Costa Rica, then Atenas should be on your itinerary. We hope that the options mentioned above help you discover the true essence of this stunning town and make your trip an unforgettable and memorable one.