Cartago, with its 100,000 inhabitants, is Costa Rica’s third largest city and the best starting point for trips into the eastern section of the central highlands. Cartago, just 22 kilometers southeast of San Jose, is located at an altitude of 1,440 meters above sea level. It is easy to reach the city along the toll highway, called the Autopista Florencio del Castillo.
Cartago is known for two famous sights: a church ruin and a basilica. But most travelers go there because it is the ideal place to start excursions to the spectacular Volcan Irazu and to the Valle Orosi.