Off the Beaten Path – Cartagena

Off the Beaten Path – Cartagena

Last month I wrote about Tempate, town of 500 people and 3000 cows. Now we’re going to tell you a little about Cartagena.

Cartagena, is slightly larger than Tempate, but still a very typical Costa Rican Pueblo. Meaning (not tourist oriented). The main feature in Cartagena is the prominent, well attended Catholic Church. But as an adage says- “wherever the lord builds a house of prayer, the Devil builds a chapel” there to the former consternation, the latter often has the larger congregation. We note there are no less than seven bars in and around town. One of which is known locally as the lost ass bar. Which I’m sure refers to somebody’s confused mule. Mules and oxen powered carts are still quite common. Which congregation you choose to attend is of course your choice, but be careful not to lose your mule.

The small bar in the center of town often has more horses out front than cars. Coming into town from the main road (Huacas to Belen) is Nany’s restaurant. You won’t find a cheaper, better lunch or breakfast in Guanacaste. A mile outside of town on the road to Tempate, is the large community center and football (soccer) stadium. The Community center and field also hosts dances, roller skating and bull riding fiestas.

Backtracking brings us to Potrero across the bay from Flamingo. This area harbors a large mixture of expats, from around the world, mixed within a local population. There are many great beach areas here. One is Playa Penca, just past Potrero Center. It is a beautiful long beach with shade trees and clean water. Usually no big crowds. Hope you find the time to enjoy these out of the way spots, they are worth the trek.

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