We met our friend Esteban in Atenas and his friend Yeimy (pronounced: Jamie) in San Jose and visited the Art Festival in La Sabana Park. Later we took a 2 hour bus ride into the mountains south-west of Cartago to a really beautiful and quiet little town of Santa Maria.
Esteban invited us to stay in his family’s summer home in the mountains where his mother grew up. Santa Maria is a town of about 4000 people at an altitude of 5100 ft (compared to Atenas which is at 2400 ft). The difference in the climate was significant. Daytime was 23-24 C – night time 14-15 C whereas Atenas is 28-29 C in the daytime and 18-19 C in the night.
The town is part of a 3-town community group in the area known as Los Santos (The Saints)…..Santa Maria, Marcos, and Miguel. The main activities are coffee growing and “birding”. One of the most amazing tropical birds nests in the area – the Quetzal.