Costa Rica // The Valle Central and the highlands //


Nestled in a little topographical bowl between thick-forested hills and coffee plantations, OROSÍ is one of the most picturesque villages in Costa Rica. Its bucolic charms have a way of seducing visitors, and many end up staying far longer than they intended – on a clear morning, when the lush hillsides are drenched in sunlight and with Irazú and Turrialba volcanoes hovering on the horizon, Orosí can feel like the most idyllic spot on earth.

While Orosí’s laidback atmosphere is its top attraction, the village does also boast the Iglesia San José de Orosí (built in 1735), Costa Rica’s oldest church that is still in use, which sits squat against the rounded pates of the hills behind. This simple, low-slung adobe structure, single-towered and roofed with red tiles, has an interior devoid of the hubris and frothy excess of much of Latin American religious decor. The adjacent religious art museum (Tues–Sat 1–5pm, Sun 9am–5pm; ¢350) exhibits fascinating objectos de culto from the early 1700s such as icons, religious paintings and ecclesiastical furniture, along with a faithful recreation of a monk’s tiny room.

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