Escazu, located in the west side area of the province of San Jose, is one of the oldest cities in the capital of Costa Rica.
The city owes its name to Itzcatzu, which is an indigenous word that means resting stone, and it was called that way because this location served as a resting place for Huaca and Huetar Indians who made a stop here on their way from Aserri to the village of Pacaca, located near Ciudad Colon at the time.
This place is known as “the city of the witches” due to the large quantity of myths and legends in this area, especially that one of the Zarate Witch, and also because of “La Bruja” a famous story by Carlos Salazar Herrera, one of the best-known writers of Costa Rica
When you go to Escazu, you will find out that this is a city with a lot of contrasts.
Luxury is synonymous with this prestigious address since it is filled with chic bars, restaurants, expensive condos; and other high-class housing developments.
If you go pass downtown Escazu and continue to the town of San Antonio; you will find a more traditional environment, with modest homes, coffee fields, and of course the well-known oxcarts.
Escazu has a population of roughly 15,000, and its economy is based on commerce and services.
Getting to Escazu
In order to make it to Escazu from downtown San Jose, you need to head to Paseo Colon, and from there to La Sabana.
Once you are close to the National Gymnasium, you can either choose to take the highway straight to Escazu, or you can take the old road adjacent to the highway, where you’ll find restaurants and supermarkets.
If you take the highway you will be there in 10 minutes, and if you take the latest mentioned route, you will make it there in 15 to 20 (of course this depends on how heavy the traffic is) minutes.
If you are at the Juan Santamaria Airport in Alajuela; you can take the bus there and get off at Paseo Colon, and at that place, you can take the bus to Escazu (blue ones).
Since there are many bus routes within the Escazu area, make sure that you read the signs on the front of the bus in order to verify that you are taking the correct one.
Or if you rented a car at the Airport, you just need to take the highway to San Jose and follow the directions for Escazu.
What to Do in Escazu
The nightlife in Escazu is probably the best in San Jose when it comes to refined bars and restaurants, so if you decide to spend a few days in the capital, to check some of these
places should be a must-do in your schedule.
The largest mall in the country is also located here, so, if you need to do some shopping or want to catch the latest flick in movie theaters, this is the perfect place to do both.
For a more Costa Rican experience, on Saturday morning you can visit the farmer’s market at downtown Escazu and buy your fruits and vegetables.
While there, you can also enjoy a traditional Tico breakfast: rice and beans with eggs and fried cheese on the side along with coffee or an “Agua Dulce” (another hot drink made out of sugar cane).
Important Numbers and Websites for Escazu:
- Municipalidad: http://www.escazu.go.cr/
- San Juan de Dios Hospital: 2257-6282
- Buses: 2289-8007