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Hotels in Cartago, Costa Rica

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Best hotels in Cartago

Cartago Hotels

Costa Rica's former capital city boasts some of the country's oldest buildings, from the ruins of old parishes, to beautifully preserved basilicas that have become pilgrimage sites. Cartago's proximity to many national parks and mountain and volcanic landscapes make it popular with those who want to see as much of the rainforest as possible. You'll find lively marketplaces, traditional shops, and plenty of opportunities to explore the local area.

Things to see

The Our Lady of the Angels Basilica dates back to the 17th century, and is an important site for Roman Catholics. The exterior is in a grand Byzantine style in grey and white, which shines in the sunshine, and inside there are high ceilings covered in wood panels, huge arches, and dramatic columns. Visit the ex-military barracks turned into the Museo Municipal de Cartago, and you'll be able to learn about the rich history of the city. There are colorful murals and exhibitions by Costa Rica's talented artists, and interactive displays about the city's past, from soccer glories to war time. The serene Lankester Botanical Gardens are operated as a research project by the local university, and contain a large number of rare horticultural species. It's a great way to see some of the natural beauty of the rainforest confined within a few acres, and the delicate orchids are a particular focus of research, with many colorful varieties on display.

Hotels in Cartago

There's a wide selection of Cartago hotels to suit different traveling styles, from backpacker accommodation, to comfortable guesthouses. Outside the city center you'll find hotels with spas, outdoor pools, and even hot springs to help you relax. Many hotels offer free breakfasts to see you on your way, and free WiFi to keep you in touch with the world. There's often a selection of rooms, including cabins set in the gardens, as well as on-site restaurants, bars, rooftop terraces, and area shuttles. The area see a diverse bunch of tourists, so you'll find hotels in Cartago that have in-room childcare, kid's clubs, and concierge services for extra convenience.

Where to stay

Cartago is nestled in amongst mountains just south of the current capital of San José. Wander around this historic city and you'll see grand churches, colorful market places, and fascinating ruins. It's worth looking out for the local farmers' market, which has food stalls selling traditional favorites from outdoor grills and steaming bowls. If you'd rather enjoy a sit down meal, then there are many excellent restaurants around the area, many of which serve local dishes with plentiful rice and beans, as well as eateries with a more European, upscale atmosphere.

How to get to Cartago

Juan Santamaria International Airport is one of the country's biggest airports, with flights arriving from the USA, South America, and beyond. It's just under 2 hours away by car, with plenty of car rental desks, licensed taxis, and private shuttles available to take you to your destination. Costa Rica also has a number of private coach companies with air-conditioned vehicles that run between cities, making it easy to get to Cartago. There's also a public bus that runs all day from San José, making a few stops across the city.