Country Guide » Geography
Cartago is a Costa Rican city that serves as capital of the eponymous province. Founded in 1565 by Spanish settlers, the city served as the first capital of Costa Rica until the year of 1823, when the national government was transferred to San Jose. The city suffered great damages by the earthquakes of 1822, 1841 and most recently 1910 and had to be rebuilt on all of those occasions.
Cartago houses the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles, Costa Rica’s principal church which receives more than two million pilgrims who come each year to honor the Virgen of the Angels. Cartago is also lovingly known as “the city of the churches” because of the many historical churches scattered all over town, some of which go back to the 17th century.
The town center is a booming economic hub featuring shops, banks and other urban services. The modern Terramall Shopping Center is located a few minutes away from Cartago, on the Panamerican Highway. Cartago is surrounded by mountains which provide it with a perfect climate throughout the year.