Atenas, a small village, rich in culture and history...


A church across the valley.
"Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica"
The sun sets behind the mountains, viewed from the veranda.  It gets dark very early in the evening with no daylight savings time in Costa Rica.
There's no question...we always prefer to live in less-populated villages, far from the typical tourist communities.  Atenas, with a population of around 5000, does attract some tourists and a number of expats live here.
With plenty of opportunities for sightseeing within a two-hour drive, it couldn't be more ideal for our needs. As a matter of fact, we're in the process of booking our first sightseeing tour with Aad and Marian, the property managers and tour company.  
Hazy afternoon before the rains come.
Here are a few details about the region in Costa Rica from this site:
"Atenas (ah-TEN-names) is the capital city of the canton of Atenas in the province of Alajuela in Costa Rica. It is also the name of the distrito (district) that includes the city.
The district of Atenas covers an area of 8.93 km² and has a population of approx. 27,000 inhabitants. The city of Atenas itself has about 5,000 inhabitants. Its name means Athens (Αθήνα), the capital of Greece.
The city lies at an elevation of 698 meters above sea level on the western edge of the Central Valley (Valle Central), 25 kilometers southwest of the provincial capital city of Alajuela, 20 kilometers from Juan Santamaria International Airport, and 35 kilometers from the national capital city of San Jose. (Continued below photo).

Tomorrow night we plan to cook in the outdoor kitchen.
The town is surrounded by mountains and coffee plantations. It is located in a prosperous agricultural area which hosts a weekly farmer's market on Friday mornings. The town center features an immaculate white church and a picturesque park lined with palm trees. There is a community health center, pharmacies, doctors, dentists, tennis court, fitness center, swimming pools, parks, banks, shops, bed-and-breakfasts, and restaurants in the village.
Atenas is a popular place for North American and European retirees.  There are four major real estate developments with existing homes and building lots: Roca Verde, Vista Atenas, Lomas Al Paraiso and Hacienda Atenas. There are other real estate developments in various stages of completion.
In mid-October 2011, a major landslide occurred on the Atenas exit of the Autopista del Sol. The exit has since re-opened improving travel time to San José, Escazú and Pacific beaches.
It is popularly said that Atenas enjoys the 'best climate in the world'; the reason for this attribution is that climatic factors like temperature and humidity are stable all year round, with temperatures ranging from 19 Celsius at night (66F) to 34 Celsius (92F) during the day with a yearly average of 26 (79F) Celsius.
It also has varied sets of altitudes starting at 300 meters above sea level in the Balsa and the Rio Grande areas ascending to up to 1,200 meters above sea level in the San Isidro area. This wide spectrum of heights provides to marked and well defined climatic subregions within the greater Atenas area."

One of many varieties of plants thriving in the yard.
Some have asked why we don't stay in larger cities where there is an abundance of activities, restaurants, and nightlife.  From time to time, we do, when the city offers what we need at that point in our travels.

Over the next few days, we'll be pinning down a hotel booking for Buenos Aires, a city with a population over 15 million.  In this particular case, we're searching for convenience when we're only staying for one month and need a hotel where we can leave the majority of our luggage for the immediately following Antarctica cruise.

Valley side of the property.
A vacation home owner won't be able to accommodate keeping our luggage nor would we feel safe leaving it in a private home in the big city.  A hotel will definitely be the best option for these special circumstances.  Once we select a hotel we'd like, we'll contact them to inquire about the luggage storage before we book it. 

As for the city of Atenas, we are currently located in one of the above four mentioned gated communities of Roca Verda which has a guard at the main gate 24/7.  The house itself is gated but the area is known as safe and we aren't worried about crime although, as always we're sensible when traveling into town. 
The yard and gardens are amazing, definitely on a smaller scale to Bev ad Sam's stunning property in Kauai, Hawaii which was a former botanical garden.  We can see their personal touches in the gardens as well as in the interior of the vacation home.
As for this fabulous vacation home, we continue to appreciate all of it's fine features.  Bev and Sam left no stone unturned when they renovated and stocked this property a few years ago and we're taking advantage of it's many amenities.  There will be more details on the property as the days continue on.

Again today, we'll stay put with considerable research required in order to wrap up somewhere to live in Buenos Aires.  Hopefully, we'll be back with our final decision over the next few days.

Have a blissful day!
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Photo from one year ago today, August 4, 2016:
A fishing boat tied to tree at the beach in Phuket Thailand.  For more photos, please click here.

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