I visited the smallest canton of Costa Rica with just 7 kilometers of area. While the territory is not impressive in terms of extension, the economic and social development of this canton is very enviable.
Streets are fully paved, nice neighborhoods with old but well-maintained houses, good restaurants and stores, and a low crime rate.
Do not expect big malls or fancy buildings, Flores is like a time machine. Most of the canton is an urban area, with some houses still using an early 20th-century style. Meanwhile, other houses are made of wood and retain a middle 20th-century look.
Quiet streets, small cafeterias, the busy San Joaquin downtown, people doing sports activities on the soccer fields. This canton is where the old meets the new.
A glimpse of Flores Geography
The geography of the canton is quite even, very flat. Hence, some slopes here and there. This makes the place very attractive for joggers and cyclists.
The canton has lost almost all the coffee farms that used to be the economic engine of the zone, replaced by highly valued residential areas. The canton is close to everything, the capital city, the most important industrial area in Costa Rica, and plenty of commercial areas to choose from.
Only three districts make up the canton of Flores, San Joaquin, Barrantes, and Llorente. San Joaquin is the most important city, while Llorente and San Lorenzo remain locations with their schools, convenience stores, and parks.
San Joaquin contains some of the oldest buildings still in use in Costa Rica: The Catholic church, made completely of stone, from 1865 and the Public School “Estados Unidos de America” which building is being used since 1943. The church of San Joaquin is the only one in the country to still celebrate the mass in Latin often.
Visit Flores and its towns
The canton is the right destination for a Sunday afternoon family trip.
Take the kids to a nice restaurant in San Joaquin downtown. Then after flying a kite or kicking the ball for a while, get a coffee cup or an ice cream in any of the cafeterias in Llorente, San Joaquin, or San Lorenzo.
All these towns have places for these kinds of mild physical activities with kids.
If you look for culture, Flores possesses many old buildings including houses and public buildings.
If you are a jogger, runner, or cyclist looking for nice and safe places to develop these activities, I highly recommend San Lorenzo.
A bibliophile? A book lover? San Lorenzo and San Joaquin have quiet places where you can sit and read. Including public places or cafeterias where you will be barely disturbed if not at all.
How to get there?
Both Alajuela and Heredia has bus services to San Joaquin every 20 minutes. Once there you can go to San Lorenzo or Llorente on foot or get a taxi. You can explore the canton by bicycle in just one day easily.
Visit the official website of the Municipality of Flores by clicking here for more info.