Santa Ana Overview
Located just 20 minutes from downtown San Jose, the city of Santa Ana was founded back in 1658; and used to be a town of ranchers dedicated to cattle breeding and the cultivation of onions.
But now the local economy is mostly centered on real estate, with many luxury residential developments and business centers already established here.
Although Santa Ana is constantly sprawling, the town has managed to retain the traditional feel of a typical Costa Rican town, which is much different from the bustling neighbor city of Escazu.
For a close look at the Santa Ana of old, you can visit the church, the most historic building of the community, which was built in the late 1800’s.
Back to the pre-Columbian era, Santa Ana was inhabited by Huetar Indians, but the subsequent Spanish conquest allowed the establishment of the first official Costa Rican city, known as Garcimuñoz, by Juan de Caballon in 1561.
There are approximately 10,000 inhabitants in the city of Santa Ana, and around 37,000 in total in the whole county.
The city is well known for counting with one of the best municipalities in the country, which means that the taxes collected are turned into better services for those paying them.
Getting to Santa Ana
To get to Santa Ana from San Jose, you can take one of the many buses (the blue ones) at the Coca Cola Market, near the San Juan de Dios Hospital.
The trip is fast and the fare is cheap. If you are driving, you need to make it to Paseo Colon, from there to the National Gymnasium in La Sabana Park, and then take the Próspero Fernández highway.
Just follow the road and you should be in Santa Ana in a few minutes.
What to Do in Santa Ana
Here are some of the most interesting activities in Santa Ana:
Tope Santa Ana:
This is a cowboy-style parade with a lot of horsemen riding the streets of the town. You can expect a lot of people and a lot of partying with loud music all over. It takes place in July, so if you are around, it is worth a try.
The largest mall in the country is located just a few minutes away from Santa Ana. It has
more than 300 stores and it counts with eating options for all budgets, from their food court restaurants to more fine dining choices.
You can also come here to watch a movie at one of their modern cinemas or to do your shopping at the supermarket.
If you happen to be in Santa Ana during April, you’ll have the chance to check out the different activities related to this festival (which was created to honor the onion plant, the pride of the city). There are concerts, typical food stands and more.
Also, if you are in town and want to hit some golf balls, as here you will find one of the few golf courses open to the public in Costa Rica, and the only one in the Central Valley.
It is a championship-caliber 18-hole course that was designed in 1994 by no other than renowned golf architect Tracy May.
Important Numbers and Websites of Santa Ana:
- Municipalidad: http://www.santaana.go.cr/
- San Juan de Dios Hospital (San Jose): 2257-7922