San Isidro de El General

San Isidro Statue of Jesus Christ above interamerican highway

San Isidro de El General, the capital of the Canton of Perez Zeledon, is considered to be the gateway to the Southern Zone. This area offers the best of Costa Rica, in terms of scenery, flora and fauna, climate, tropical beaches, and personal safety. The southern zone is being discovered by both tourists and prospective residents who are seeking, and finding, something more than what either Guanacaste in the north or the San Jose area in the central part of the country has to offer. And what they are also finding is much more reasonably-priced real estate.  For many reasons, including the attributes mentioned above, infrastructure development that already exceeds that in the north, particularly in terms of roads, and the planned new international airport in the south, it is the opinion of many that the southern zone is the next boom area in Costa Rica.
The city of San Isidro itself, now with over 100,000 residents, is the fastest-growing city in Costa Rica, and perhaps in all of Central America. It is beautifully situated in the bowl of the huge Valle General, a very fertile agricultural area. The city is the commercial centre for a large area and offers a full array of services: Complete shopping including modern supermarkets but also farmers markets for fresh produce and many fresh fruit and vegetable stands, numerous building supply and hardware stores, many clothing and other retail shops in the city centre and a newly-opened shopping mall on the Inter-american highway. Among the many services are:
  • modern medical anSan Isidro Festival in Parkd dental clinics including medical specialists
  • a full-service hospital and Red Cross ambulance service
  • insurance, legal, and accounting services
  • libraries and bookstores
  • churches
  • movie theatres
  • several banks and ATM’s
  • recreational facilities including a park with public tennis courts and a swimming pool
  • Spanish language schools and two universities.
For mealtimes there are numerous restaurants and bars offering good local cuisine and fresh seafood but also some offering Mexican, North American, Italian, Argentinean, and Chinese cuisines. The city centre is fairly compact and easy to walk, with many pedestrians and much to see, and prices are generally low even by Costa Rican standards.

San Isidro de El General is ideally located on the Inter-american highway:

  • 2.5 hours south of San Jose, with modern bus service to and from San Jose every hour;
  • 35 km. from the Pacific coast, via a scenic paved road through the mountains to Dominical and the spectacular southern Pacific beaches south of Dominical including Ballena National Marine Park at Uvita and many others;
  • 2 hours south to the Osa Peninsula and the wilderness and adventure of Corcovado National Park;
  • direct bus service south to Panama for occasional 3 day getaway excursions that may be needed by non-residents of Costa Rica;
  • half an hour from the starting point for the trek to the top of Mount Chirripo in Chirripo National Park;
  • and, of course, close to VISTAS DE CHIRRIPO Country Estates.
The area around San Isidro includes a number of other interesting nature destinations, such as Las Quebradas Biological Centre, a 750 hectare reserve with birding/hiking trails and picnic/camping areas; Los Cusingos Neotropical Bird Santuary, a 78 hectare sanctuary operated by the Tropical Science Centre; Nauyaca Waterfalls, the most spectacular set of falls in the country; and the New Dawn Centre, a tropical medicinal herb farm dedicated to ecological living.
There are also many towns and villages in the vicinity of San Isidro that are picturesque and worth exploring. You may come across a local fiesta on a weekend or national holiday, and you would be most welcome to join in the celebration. Near to VISTAS DE CHIRRIPO Country Estates are the local communities of Santa Elena, Penas Blancas, and Palmares, which also offer many services.
Vistas de Chirripo
Vistas de Chirripo Phase 2
Vistas del Diquis
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