Living Costa Rica Independence day as a Tico

There are several interesting things that happened throughout history on September 15:

-On September 15, 1998, Google.com was registered as a domain name. (Random fact that I found interesting.)

-On September 15, 1928, Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin while studying influenza.

-And on September 15, 1821, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras & Nicaragua declared their independence from the Spanish Empire. (we can’t forget they also celebrate as well).

Yes! September 15 is Costa Rican Independence Day. And that is the important historical event I would like to explore on this blog. It seems to me that every year I enjoy this independence day holiday in a different way.

When I was in school, it was a day off … love it!

Then, when I was in high school, it was a day that I had to participate in parades to get extra points on my grades … not so much love!

Later, when I was in college, it involved a lot of questioning about the facts of the conquest (with respect to my Spanish friends) … I didn’t love realizing some negative facts behind Costa Rica’s history!

After I started working in tourism, I also started enjoying Costa Rica Independence Day more because I have learned so much in order to explain it. I can love and accept the good and the bad around what makes Costa Rica a free nation.

This year, 2017, since I work in an NGO with children, it’s been fun to see them practicing for hours to prepare songs, making lanterns from recycling materials (proud of them!) and also creating all the decorations!

Torch, lanterns, and parades

School children play an important role in Costa Rica’s Independence Day celebrations. People say that the future of the country’s freedom lies in the hands of the young people.

The torch: Students from all the schools around the country do the traditional run with the torch. This represents when Central America got the news of the independence—the news came with people on horses carrying torches.

Lanterns: Guatemala had lanterns when they got the news. Costa Rica celebrates by gathering outside, representing the crowd waiting for the news. At 6:00 pm, they sing the National Anthem and the children with the lanterns do a loop in town.

Parades: Children also parade with flags on the day of the 15th, and singing patriotic hymns. Costa Ricans have always celebrated the fact that their patriotic parties are an activity of school children, not military groups.

Interestingly, Costa Rica did not know of its independence until October of 1821, because in those days, it took a month for the news of independence to arrive from Guatemala.

I would like also to share the perspective from our friend from the United States who lives in Costa Rica and has experienced this tradition. We found each country celebrated differently, and it is interesting to see the context of each celebration.

Lantern´s parade

So here’s a small description living Costa Rica Independence Day as a new Tico:

Kathleen Coughlin, Florida, US 

I really loved attending the Costa Rican Independence Day parades last year (2016). In arriving into the downtown area, the excitement is contagious.

The whole town comes together to watch the students represent their schools and parade through town with the Costa Rican flag. Many of the schools also have a band with drums and lyres, which plays a mix of national anthems and popular songs that everyone recognizes.

Students dress in typical Costa Rican attire and dance to traditional songs. People stand on all sides of the road with their Costa Rican soccer jerseys on and flags in hand.

In San Ramon, everyone knows one another, so it’s fun to see the kids waving to friends and neighbors as they walk by. It reminds me a lot of Independence Day in the States, but one that takes place in a very small town.

The September 15th parades are a wonderful example of the youth recognizing the traditions of the country. I highly suggest attending the parades if possible to see what it’s like!

Teenagers getting ready for their performance at the parade

Typical “Campesino” outfit

Drums instead of arms since 1948!

Today we are celebrating 196 years of  Costa Rica independence and we feel our hearts thankful to be born in this land: Tikizia! Here’s a small paragraph of a poem by Mauricio Cruz Aguirre: 

Gracias le doy a mi padre bueno

por haber nacido en esta tierra

donde nunca se amara la guerra

donde, de paz, me siento lleno.”

Translation: 

Thank you, I give my good father.

for being born on this land 

where the war will never be loved

where, in peace, I feel full.

Traditional Festivals in San Ramon, Costa Rica



San Ramon is one of those towns that keeps a lot of the traditions of Costa Rican culture.

Traditional festivals in Costa Rica have already started, and they make me realize how much people from San Ramon enjoy this time of the year.

It means a time where the families will hang out together, and friends and visitors from other areas will be here.

One of the main aspects that represent a culture is the festivals and social interactions in a town. Good music, food and traditions are some of the greatest ways to dive into a culture.

Costa Rica has holidays and festivals all year round in different towns through the country. There are religious festivals, music and art festivals, historical festivals and food festivals in Costa Rica.

Sometimes they are organized by the local communities to keep traditions alive and help the local economy, since people come from all over to participate.

There are three main festivals in Costa Rica during the year that are a good sample of our culture:

1. August 2nd – Virgen de los Angeles Day

How did the festival start?

The story goes that on August 2 in the year of 1635, Juana Pereira found a rock with the shape of the Virgin Mary while she was collecting wood in the forest. She took the rock home and it disappeared. The event repeated again the next day.

So Juana decided to tell her mom what happened, Her mother took her to the local priest, who asked for the rock with the Virgin Mary shape. BUT the rock disappeared again. So the priest asked Juana where to find the rock and he told another priest that they should build a church in that place. They called the place “La Negrita” because of the color of the rock.

What happens during the festival?

During this festival, many people walk from San Jose to Cartago, to the Basilica Los Angeles—the church on the spot where the rock was found.

The main festival pilgrimage usually starts in San Jose on August 1. However, here in San Ramon, we have a district called Los Angeles, so the tradition has been to visit the church there and see the Virgin Mary they have there.

The traditional experience of this festival has also changed over the years. You will see some devoted Catholics who celebrate the festival with faith. But then there will be people who will look more they are going to a party—they’ll be drinking and partying with coolers full of beer.

This is why I included this as part of the cultural experience of festivals in Costa Rica—you will see a lot of locals living the same celebration in different ways.

  • Distance from San Ramon to Los Angeles district: 4.6 miles (7.4 km) about 2 hours walking to get there and 2 hours back. Bus service is offered all day.
  • Food: There will be people from the local church and community selling typical dishes. There are also restaurants where you can get food and beers.
  • Activities: The streets will be full of people who are at the church thanking the Virgin Mary for miracles and asking her favor or just praying before they start the walk back. There will also be music, and for others, there will be party time with dancing.

Ligia and some volunteers enjoying the festival in San Ramon, Costa Rica

2. August 31st – San Ramon Day

How did this festival start?

The tradition of this festival started 169 years ago, and it represents pretty well what means be a “moncheño” (a person from San Ramon, Costa Rica).  The names of the towns are related to the name of a saint since Costa Rica is a Catholic country. So, in San Ramon, we celebrate Saint Ramon from Cataluña every year on August 31st.

What happens during the 2 weeks of the festival?

Year after year, San Ramon prepares the building of what we call “Ranchos” around the park. After that, the festival is divided into different areas. The main stage in front of the church always has live music and artistic performances, local cuisine, local arts and other activities.

There are 2 main days you may want to attend the festival:

  • Day of the saints (August 30): This day represents the celebration when all saints from different districts come to visit Saint Ramon (Protector of pregnant women and babies). So the statues that represent the saints will be going around the park with flowers and music to do honor to the saint.

 

  • Ox carts Parade: This part of the festival is usually celebrated on a Sunday. The rural areas of the town will exhibit their bulls to the town. Oxcarts represent the labor force of our past ancestors. This tradition celebrates the rebuilding of the church in San Ramon. After the church was destroyed by an earthquake, the new pieces were brought from Germany to Costa Rica. Several ox carts with bulls had to carry the materials from Puntarenas to San Ramon.

Usually, the festival has a daily program with music on the main stage including the activities that I just mentioned. It’s a very cultural experience. You will see a town alive with a lot of people, families, and youth also involved in the traditions. It’s the time of the year where people that live far come and visit their families and share in the festival.

My best memories of my child/teen years are from this 2 weeks of the year. So if you are planning to visit San Ramon, Costa Rica, consider coming during the last 2 weeks in August.

Oxcart cow parade

Oxcart´s Parade

    

3. December 7th – Melcochas de Maria                 

How did the festival start?

This is a really cool tradition that is unique to San Ramon. The festival involves passing out pieces of sugar cane candy (“melcochas”). The story behind the “melcochas” is related to the celebration in the Catholic church.

The immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, which is celebrated December 8th.

The tradition of melcochas was born in the house of an elderly lady in Bajo La Paz, an area that is well known for sugar cane production. Paula Mesén prepared some candies in order to honor her neighbor Maria Vargas.

She prepared the candies wrapped in lemon leaves, and when kids came to her house, she started tossing the candies to the kids, asking, “What is this joy?” And they replied, “Las Melcochas de Maria!!!!”

The festival is usually organized by the municipality and private houses that contribute to toss 10,000 pieces of the sugar cane candy (“Melcochas”) out to the crowds below. All ages participate running on the streets to get the candies.

Photo by: Jose Daniel Charpentier Montero

 

What happens during the festival?

The activity starts in the park. People start to run to the houses of the ladies in town who are named Maria. They throw candies to the crowds, and when they are done, the crowd runs to another house. Some tourists call this “Mini Halloween Tico” because of the similarity of kids asking for candy at each house.

The tradition represents the beginning of Christmas festivities. With the characteristic winds of December, it also means to us that the rain is leaving to let the dry season begin.

What do locals think about traditional festivals in Costa Rica?

We think they are really important because they represent the union of the family. Costa Rica culture is very family-oriented, so it’s pretty great to see mothers, fathers and kids participating and enjoying these festivals in Costa Rica.

The festivals usually have a religious background. But they are also an important part of helping rescue values in society, such as family and also the traditions. The little ones get to learn these traditions and values by participating.

So Costa Ricans enjoy these festivals a lot and hope the traditions never die!

Whether you’re a local, new in town, or just passing through. Be sure to find some time to get to know locals and their traditions.

When we have tourists in town that decide to spend some time in the festivals, it shows honor and respect for our culture. We admire it when someone shows such interest to understand our traditions!!!

Photo by: Jose Daniel Charpentier Montero


A Guide to the Weather in San Ramon, Costa Rica


One very strange thing about San Ramon is its weather. If you leave San Jose and travel north along the Pan-American highway, you will notice an immediate change in the weather when you get to the top of the hill just beyond the town of Palmares: It suddenly feels slightly colder.

Some people love the weather in San Ramon! Some people hate it! We live in the tropics, so visitors often get surprised by the colder weather in San Ramon. The cold is thanks to altitude: at higher elevations, you experience lower temperatures.

Facts about the weather in San Ramon:

Temperature: 13 to 27 °C (55-80 °F)
Altitude: 1057 meters above level sea (3468 feet)
Daylight: 5:45 am until 18:30 pm

Rain in San Ramon

The rainy season starts in mid-May and lasts until November—similar to the hurricane season in the United States. We are lucky to have sunny mornings and rainy afternoons. Usually, it pours rain for a couple of hours after midday and then stops, so we have hot mornings and chilly nights. October is the worst month—it rains almost all day every day.

San Ramon: cool, misty weather

San Ramon is well-known because it is surrounded by a cool mist and fog at least part of the day for most of the year. People in Costa Rica recognize the town for this characteristic. However, the older people in town say to us younger generations that the weather in San Ramon is not the same anymore. They say now we have hotter days more similar to coastal towns like Puntarenas.

We always joke that when San Ramon is really foggy and misty, it looks like a “Ghost Town.” But we have learned to love it. Those rainy or misty days are perfect times to stay at home, have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and watch movies.

Depression of Desengaño (geology)

As an interesting fact, San Ramon’s weather is influenced by trade winds coming through the Desengaño Depression. A depression is a sunken area. Trade winds are winds that blow constantly toward the equator from the northeast in the northern hemisphere. The Desengaño Depression funnels the winds through Costa Rica’s Central Valley, bringing colder weather to San Ramon.

So that is the better and more “scientific” explanation about why San Ramon has this particular weather that you will find in some areas of the country like Monteverde, Zarcero, Poas Volcano, Barva. San Ramon also has a cloud forest and species of animals similar to Monteverde.

San Ramon can be a great option for those who want some warm weather, but aren’t looking to stay the whole time in the hot weather. During the mornings, you can experience some of the hot weather, but then it cools off in the evenings!

To finish, I will describe the weather in San Ramon as NICE AND WARM!

Read more about: Self-Guided City Tour in San Ramon, Costa Rica


Top 5 foods in Costa Rica



As a quick introduction of Costa Rican food, let’s begin with two main facts: 1. Costa Rican food isn’t overly spicy like Mexican food as many people think. 2. Yes! It is true that we eat a lot of rice and beans and have fresh fruits. Our food may not be as exotic as other countries’ traditional dishes, but there’s something decidedly comforting about Costa Rican food.

Read on to find out about our favorite traditional Costa Rican foods, and why they’re definitely not boring or bland:

Gallos (“Tortillas” and something else)

According to urban history, Gallos got its name from an ex president, Rafael Yglesias. His nickname was “Gallo,” which means rooster. He had lived in Europe, and right before presidential elections, he had the tradition to invite people for a meal. His cooks were trying to replicate the “Canapes” that are served in Europe. Canapes usually use bread or crackers, but the cooks used tortillas and beans to get as close to a canape as they could provide to the guests. Later, cooks started to change the ingredients, and now you can put cheese, meat, eggs in Gallos and and mix it in whatever way you prefer.

We learned more about the history of “Gallos” at Corso Lecheria, this plate is their specialty.

Food of Costa Rica

“Gallos”: Different styles of picadillos

Ceviche

You have probably heard about Peruvian Ceviche. Ceviche is raw fish cooked in lemon juice, but it is more than that. Costa Ricans have our own version of ceviche—in fact,most Latin American countries have their own version. Ceviche is best made with extremely fresh fish. The ingredients we use are: Onion, sweet pepper, cilantro, fish and we add ginger ale to marinate the ingredients and and lemon juice to cook them. These details make ceviche a very different dish from raw sushi. Many people feel safer eating ceviche, as its citrus preparation is believed to kill any diseases carried by fish. Finally, we put ketchup and mayonnaise or spicy sauce on the fish to get the final taste.

Gallo Pinto

There’s nothing that says “Costa Rican Food” like rice and beans. Costa Rican food often revolves around rice and beans, such as Gallo Pinto, a dish that translates to “Spotted Rooster.” Gallo Pinto is a dish that includes black beans at a three to two ratio to rice. It also has onions, garlic, and salt. People often add Salsa Lizano to get extra flavor. Sour cream can also be added. In the past, most jobs required hard physical labor, so a big breakfast with Pinto and coffee was crucial to get through the day.

Food of Costa Rica

Gallo Pinto with tortillas, plantains and … Meat!

Casados

Lunch is Costa Ricans’ main meal during the day, so we need a big lunch. “Casados” are rice and beans again but separated and accompanied by meat, salad and plantains. Chicken, pork and beef are the more popular meats. Other staples of Costa Rican food choices include fresh fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes and plantains and a variety of beans and rice.

The name “Casados” is because the relationship between the beans and the rice is like a marriage (Spanish: Casado). Also, an old Costa Rican story says that when the farmers at the fields meet for lunch time you can tell who is married and who is not. The married ones brought rice and beans and meat and salad while the single farmers only have a small gallo.

One of our favorite local places for eating “Casados” and “Gallo Pintos” is Cafeteria Flory in San Ramon.

Food in Costa Rica

Casado de Pollo and natural fruit juice!

Arroz con pollo

The famous Rice with Chicken. This dish is usually cooked using natural flavors like onion, pepper, garlic and cilantro (Costa Ricans love to cook with cilantro, btw). Then you add the chicken and rice with tomato sauce or annatto and voilà!!! Costa Ricans often eat arroz con pollo for dinner. It’s a quick and easy recipe that represents our culture in birthdays, parties or weddings. This dish can’t miss. It even became the joke and called it “arroz con siempre” (rice with always).

There are many more options for traditional Costa Rican food. It was hard to come up with the top five, but these are the ones I most encourage visitors to try to get a taste for Costa Rican food. Costa Ricans definitely love food. In our culture, love is expressed through the food. So I highly encourage visitors to try food in a local restaurant like a soda, where usually the cooks are ladies who cook with that homemade-mom love. If you want to find a good place for local food, just ask a taxi driver or someone in town which place is their favorite soda. Then check if the place looks busy during lunch time and enjoy the delicious food.

We hope that you enjoy it, and like we say here: Buen provecho!


How to visit the Fiesta de los Diablitos



Tourists often ask me where they can see Costa Rica indigenous tribes.

When this happens, I always mention the fact that indigenous people make up less than 1 percent of Costa Rica’s population.

How much do you know about the history of your people and your DNA? Do you think it is important to learn about ancestors? If you visit a country, do you want to learn more about their history? I do.

Those of us who grew up in Costa Rica learned about our ancestors in school. We hear about our history all the time, but I never took studying my roots seriously until I visited an indigenous community for a traditional festival.

Imagine that you’ve been invited to a party where you don’t know anyone. I felt like that when Rodrigo proposed the idea for us to go to “The little devil’s festival”. I have heard about the festival, and it always sounded like a nice cultural thing to do, but I wasn’t sure what to expect.

When I started to research about the topic, most the information I found was in Spanish. So I thought it might be helpful to create an idea of what to expect from the festival so you can visit when you come to Costa Rica.

So let me tell you about my journey exploring my roots.

Location: Rey Curré

How to get there?

By Car

There are two ways to get here if you are coming by car.

Cerro de la Muerte (“Mountain of Death”) Route #2 

  • From San José, take the Inter American highway and follow the signs to Pérez Zeledón. Keep driving until you get to Buenos Aires de Puntarenas and then keep going for about 30 minutes more on the same route # 2. Then when you get to Paso Real (main entrance to San Vito de Coto Brus) you need to keep going on the Inter American highway 7 km (10 minutes) more to Curré.

Costanera Sur Route (*We did this one)

  • From San José, take the 27 highway—the same one that you take to go to Jacó or Manuel Antonio.
  • You will pass the towns of Dominical and finally get to Palmar Norte de Osa, where you will see an intersection in Palmar Norte. Take a left, go 28 km Northeast, and you will see signs for Curré.

By Bus

According to the Facebook page REY CURRÉ YIMBA, you can take a bus from Tracopa Terminal (http://www.tracopacr.com) (22214214). You have to order your ticket to Curré through Cerro de la Muerte. DON’T TAKE ROUTE 27 IF YOU ARE GOING BY BUS.  Buses leave from San José at 5 a.m., 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 6 p.m. Always double check the schedule before your trip because buses change all the time in Costa Rica.

Other information

Duration of the trip: To give you an idea, the trip took us around 6 hours (with about 1 ½ hours of rest time for restrooms and lunch). So I would estimate that it takes approximately 5 hours from San José. Of course, it will be closer if you decide to stay in Manuel Antonio or Dominical area.

Approx. Distance from San José:290 kilometers – 150 miles

Best dates to go: The festival in Rey Curre usually takes place during the last week of January or the first week of February.

What to expect?

On a sunny Saturday of January, we drove down south to enjoy the Festival of “Little Devils.” We arrived around 1:30 p.m. It looked like a party with music and people outside. We quickly found the spot where the afternoon session was going to start at 2:00 pm. After parked the car and started to follow the crowd, which included people from town, visitors like us from other parts of Costa Rica, foreign tourists, journalists, and photographers (Rodrigo included). We were all there to observe the games, so we just mixed with them and went with them from house by house.

The dance

The dance and the place with the millenary dust under the summer sun produce almost a hypnotic effect on the visitors that immerse themselves in a 500-year-old ancestral tradition.

There are two actors in this game: “The little devils” represent the indigenous people, warriors against “the bull” who represents the Spanish conquest.

According to the anthropologist Jose Luis Amador (Revista Herencia Vol. 18, Núm. 1 (2005); Amador, the Game of the Diablitos is the traditional party of the Boruca people.

In it, the Boruca are symbolically reborn year after year. The Game of the Diablitos takes place at the end of December in the community of Boruca and at the end of January in the community of Curré. It is an auspicious occasion to know aspects of Boruca culture. However “the little devils” are much more than a game. This game/drama/ancient ritual tells a story that has the following parts:

  1. Birth of the diablitos
  2. Appearance of the bull
  3. Fight, walks and stops between the bull and the devils
  4. Tomb of the devils
  5. Flight of the bull
  6. Rebirth of the devils
  7. Pursuit of the bull
  8. Capture of the bull
  9. Death of the bull
  10. Triumph and celebration of the devils

People mentioned that after the festival, people end up with injuries like bruises and cuts. In the worst cases, some of the players get a broken nose or get knocked unconscious.

After the dance finishes in each house, 18 previously selected families from the community  give the devils and the visitors a drink called “Chicha.” It is disrespectful if you don’t drink if they offer, so make sure that you bring a plastic cup, or get your “Guacal” (calabash gourd) to drink out of. They sell those as part of the crafts that they created.

 

The Chicha

To define it in the best way, I will transcribe the oral description that was given to me by Margarita Rojas:
“[Chicha is a]” natural drink based on corn extracted from the plant, which the next day is semi-dried, then wrapped in a banana leaf and expected to begin to sprout.

When it becomes a plantlet, it is ground and converted to some sort of paste, then is mixed with water in a large bowl. Then they add sweet sugar cane and leave it for 2 days. When served, ice is added. It has a soft taste, but be careful.” Chicha is alcoholic. The chicha is given by the families that opened their doors to the dance that day.

The masks

I’ve seen the Fiesta de los Diablitos masks in most of the souvenirs stores around the country. They are made by indigenous people and represent the animal of the spirit.

But really there is a lot behind the mask. The Boruca style is different than other indigenous communities. They use masks made from balsa wood that probably has been manufactured by each of them with their particular motivation.
The lively painted masks are intended to infuse fear in the opponent.

They have faces of wild animals. The characters in the festival have large eyes with“gangoche” (gunny sack)bodies and banana leaves until the ground. We saw a kid putting his clothes (leaves) and they told us that this is a very private moment that needs to be respected (like when you go to the bathroom for #2. LOL).

As the day passes, the game intensifies. Even the children, in tiny masks, try to fight with the bull. It was so interesting to me to see the kids learning about the tradition. They also have their turn to measure forces with the invading giant or play an instrument.

Accommodation

The game was almost finishing and then we were planning to go back to Uvita to spend the night because I couldn’t find a lot of information about accommodation in the area.

However, after a quick stop to the restroom, we found that they were selling traditional food in the area, so we decided to make a stop for coffee and taste the traditional food.

We can have called that moment a coincidence. Or, looking in a more mystic way, the vibes took us to this house. The people there were the nicest people ever. They fed us and offered a very reasonable price for us to put up our 2 tents and spend the night on their patio.

We met other visitors from the surrounding areas and even our new friend Daniel, who was doing a work away in Costa Rica and had the great chance to explore the area. It was the best day ever having one of my first experiences in an indigenous community and doing rural tourism that will benefit that family. Staying with the family was an awesome way to finish the day. We stayed the next day to explore the museum and enjoy more things to see around the area. It is a beautiful place.

My impressions about my journey into my roots

My heart was touched by the people’s humility and the fights of these people who don’t want their roots to disappear. I always felt welcome. So going there was like visiting a port that took me to deep waters to explore the roots of my country. In conclusion, I realized I have more in common with my roots than I expected. The Indian pride is imprinted on my breath and carved in my skin. I will always remember the images of a people who struggle every day to preserve what belongs to them. It’s a pure image of the force for continuing to belong.

My idea with this blog is to share my experience but also to invite you to explore your roots. In Spanish, we have a phrase that says: “to know where we come from is to know where we go.” If you come to Costa Rica, feel free to contact us. I will be happy to assist you to take a trip like the one that I just described. Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Typical food at Cafetería Flory: San Ramón of Alajuela

 

 


Here is one of my favorite places to enjoy the typical food. It´s a rustic but very welcoming restaurant.

It´s  a small and rustic but very welcoming restaurant in the middle of the cloud forest mountains.

One of my favorite things to do is eat…. I know there are probably thousands of people in the world who love to eat! One of my favorite styles of food is typical food …. especially when it tastes fresh and is made with love from mom.

I loved the crafts and traditional ornaments of Costa Rica, such as old coffee cups and candy molds.

You could tell they had been used in the past; which adds extra value and makes us feel that a bit of history is kept alive there.
Editado-Dona-Flory

You can learn about the traditions and visiting restaurants is such a help to local families to keep our roots alive and to pass on something to the next generation.

So…. who is Mrs. Flory?
Floribeth Araya Perez or just Doña Flory, is a neighbor of La Paz of San Ramon, she has had this small restaurant-diner for 10 years, after years of effort and struggles it has become a family business and a well-visited place for the residents of San Ramon and foreigners who are visiting the area.

The warmth and helpful people working in the Soda will make anyone feel as if they were part of the family.

On the menu, you can find Casados(which are traditional Costa Rican dishes that include rice, beans and a meat of some kind), minced meat soup, chicken soup and more.
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Helpful information

How to get there?

By Bus:

First, go at the local bus stop that is in front of the Mercado de San Ramón.

From there you can ask a person in one of the local stores to show you specifically where the bus to La Paz is located.

Then once on the bus you can tell the driver you are going to Bajo La Paz and you want to get off at the Soda Flory, the driver knows where the Soda is.

The trip usually takes about 40 minutes, because the bus stops often (well… too often). The landscape is full of mountains and passes through several rural areas where coffee and sugar cane crops can

By Rental Car or personal vehicle

Cafetería-Flory-map

Hours

Tuesday to Sunday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm

Groups

 You can book a more private space for tourists groups or large families. If this is the case is better to call ahead and let them know probably will be a good tip to take into consideration. We have seen birthday celebrations and locals doing their parties there.

What else can I find?

Birds: They have a feeding place for birds.  From the tables, you will see a variety of birds that you can photograph.

Trapiche: Just off to the Soda you can see one of the few remaining artisan mills in the area. You can read more about this here mill.

Saturday Nights: Live music and chicharrones!

Other details

-You can only pay with cash

-You can buy yeast bread, “Sobado”, tapas de dulce.

-I recommend you ask for the “Peinado pa atrás” drink and try it!!!!!

–  They use the wood stove to prepare the food

Contact

Phone: 2447 3580

Email: [email protected] (in the message you can write in English)

It is definitely a wonderful place. Beautiful scenery and traditional food that will make you feel welcome and at home!

PS: Tell us if you tried the “Peinado pa atrás” drink and let us know how it tastes 🙂

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