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An agricultural town famous for its cool weather, pine trees and organic veggies !!

One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other. ~ Emma, Jane Austen, 1775-1817

North from Naranjo is Zarcero, a little valley agricultural town famous for its cool weather, pine trees, organic veggies, peach jam, dairy farms, homemade cheese and the charming topiary garden in front of the town’s white and red church. In 1960, gardener Don Evangelisto Blanco began to trim the bushes in Parque Francisco Alvardo into fanciful shapes – elephants, birds, rabbits, oxen and cart, a monkey on a motorcycle and even a tunneled walkway with sides like giant Hershey’s Kisses.

Don claimed God told him which shapes to create. He deserves a medal for his outstanding work. Take a walk through this verdant fantasy land. Tiny Hotel Don Beto (. 506/463-3137), next to the church, is good for an overnight in town. It’s very clean and comfy, with two rooms that share a bath and two with private baths.

When you’re in Zarcero, remember you are in the highlands (1,700 meters/5,592 feet), where the climate is spring-like all year round.

Arenal and the central north are reached by two common routes: the first runs north through Zarcero and Quesada (San Carlos) and then on to La Fortuna. Another way is from San Ramón north through San Lorenzo and La Tigra to La Fortuna.

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