By Ivo Henfling
On New Year’s Day 2012, it was such a beautiful day, Dany and I decided to take a day trip to Poas volcano. As usual, because we never use a sweater in Costa Rica, we forgot to bring any and I was cold for the first time in years.
It is normal that instead of snow, we get a lot of wind in December and January and the weather was no different on this 1st of January.
I always find the trip to Poas one of the nicest daytrips in the Central Valley, no matter if you live in Escazu or anywhere else. Even after 30 years living in Costa Rica, I still enjoy the beauty of this country. I drive to the courthouse in Alajuela and from there, drive up to Fraijanes de Alajuela (I marked it on the Google Map below).
On the way, I always stop in Pilas de Alajuela, where you have views to die for of the Central Valley. In fact, I have a great property for sale in Pilas, one that you should look at if you love your views and gardening.
For those who have a lower budget and like the 70ºF average temperatures in Pilas should also look at this home for sale that can serve as the B & B it was for years. To get a better feel of the area, you should stay a couple of nights in the Buena Vista Hotel that is located on the same street.
If you want to visit the national park on the volcano, you need to get up early and be at the entrance of the park at dawn. If you go too late, the clouds will move in and it will be a wasted trip.
I have been there, done that, do we prefer to enjoy the beautiful scenery and buy some cheese and local fruits like strawberries and plums.
View Strawberry Fields Forever in a larger map
As you drive up to Fraijanes, you will find little restaurants left and right, where you can eat a casado or a nice steak very well for less than $15. A casado is a tipical Costarican dish that always has rice, beans, some salad, plantain and a choice of meat or fish.
The area of Fraijanes and Poasito is mostly dedicated to agriculture and you will find large strawberry fields and fern that export most of their crop, to the US and Europe. The average temperatures are around 40ºF but the day of our trip it was just under 10ºF. The road that takes you to Fraijanes and Poasito offers many little fruit stands where they sell these huge red strawberries that you see in the fields everywhere.
You'll find this time of the year, also fields full of Agapanto or Flower of Love and Santa Lucía flowers.
You can also buy the famous “queso palmito” which is a cheese that is made in the area. They make this cheese in long strips and roll it up in a ball the size of a baseball. You can either eat it in pieces or put it on tortilla, pastas or salads or on a sandwich and melt it in the toaster over.
From Poasito, you can either go to the National Patk and the volcano or turn to La Paz Waterfall Gardens, which is a longer trip than we had planned. There are many smaller hotels, cabins and B & B in the area if you want to stay a couple of nights. There is plenty to do in the area as going to the volcano or go tilapia fishing in one of the many small lakes in the area.
You can come down back into the Central valley through San Pedro Poas, another beautiful area where I have this awesome home for sale on 4 acres of land.
For those who are looking to live in a tropical country like Costa Rica and can’t stand the heat, the altitude of Fraijanes and San Pedro Poas, just like some places you will find around Grecia, is perfect. It rains a bit more than in the lower parts of the Central Valley but the temperatures are very mild.
If you just keep going downhill, you will end up in barrio San Jose in Alajuela, where you can turn left toward Alajuela or just keep going and stop a the Bird Zoo “Zoo Ave” in la Garita or stop to buy some plants for your garden in any of the greenhouses there.
By Ivo Henfling, your Escazu real estate agent who also has some really nice Costa Rica real estate for sale in the Alajuela area for lack of a good agent in that area.
I invite you to make a tour on your own in the Poas area and if you really like it there, shoot me an email and with pleasure I will show you the properties mentioned above.