Grecia is a city which is located in the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica. This town has a considerable population at around 82,000; and its economy is fueled by the cultivation of both sugar cane and coffee.
This region, which was populated by Huetar Indians back in the Pre-Columbian era; was rediscovered by local explorers in the 1820’s; on their way to the northern side of the country.
Such people were stunned by the natural scenic beauty and by the fertility of the soil.
And so they decided to establish their homes in here.
In 1838, and during the government of former president Manuel Aguilar Chacon; Grecia was officially named a town and got its first official hermitage.
In July 1867, it officially became a canton (county) of the Alajuela province.
Getting to Grecia, Alajuela
You can pick the daily buses departing from calle 20 at downtown San Jose every 30 minutes.
Or if you’re driving, just take the Pan-American Highway and follow the signs for the Juan Santamaria Airport.
Once you’re there, continue on the highway and follow it until you reach the exit for Grecia. The trip from the capital should take about 1 hour by bus and 40 minutes by car.
What to Do in Grecia, Alajuela
As with many Costa Rican cities, the local church is one of the main attractions in Grecia.
The church of Grecia is called Iglesia Metalica Las Mercedes; and it is the only one in the country that it is completely made out of metal.
It was built back in 1984 and it is considered one of the architectural jewels in the province of Alajuela.
Puente de Piedra is a natural bridge completely made out of stone. You can visit it for a nice couple of pictures of an interesting structure that at first seems to be man-made.
Los Chorros recreative park, which is located in the district of Tacares; counts with trails that leads to 2 waterfalls (of 160 feet each); both of which are fed by the Zamora and Peralta rivers.
This is a great place to spend a few hours and take a swim in the natural pools formed by the waterfalls.
Close to Grecia
You can also leave Grecia and visit Sarchi, a nearby town of artisans where you’ll have the option of picking up a souvenir at one of the many crafts shops
We recommend you one of the colorful oxcarts, as this is the emblem of Sarchi.
Another option is to visit Zarcero, a small town where the main attraction is the local park; which is decorated with all sorts of gigantic figures shaped out of cypress trees.
Bosque Del Niño Forest Reserve is located 7 miles from downtown Grecia.
This is the perfect place for those who want to take a hike through stunning panoramic trails; all of which lead to designated camping and picnic areas.
This place is home to many species of flora and fauna; and the animals which you might spot includes:
- The Common Opossum
- Gray Foxes
- And birds such as the Anis, the Squirrel Cuckoo and the Black Guan.
Getting There: You can get there by bus, which you can pick up in Grecia. Or you can also take the short drive to the reserve; which is open from 8 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon every day.
Important Numbers and Websites:
- Municipalidad: http://www.grecia.go.cr/
- Buses: 2258-2004
- Hospital San Rafael de Alajuela: 2436-1001