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Costa Rica ResortsResort in Costa RicaAtenas Resort

Why Poco Cielo Resort?

  • Based in the Heart of Costa Rica
  • Situated in the "Best Climate" small town Atenas, which still mostly rural in nature.
  • Atenas is nested right up to the mountains just before one climbs over Alto Del Monte to drop down into Jaco, about an hour away, and the rest of the Pacific coast.
  • Poco Cielo means "Just a little piece of heaven"

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About Costa Rica

Why Poco Cielo Resort?

Atenas Bridge near Poco Cielo Resort, Costa Rica

About Atenas

Atenas is located in the western Central Valley, a small rural town, and municipal seat for the Canton Atenas, which includes many outlying barrios and pueblos. It is located about 25 minutes from the airport on the road from Manolo's Junction with the Panamericana to Orotina.

Census 2010 put the population at over 32,000 people, a healthy growth over the previous decade. The town is strongly religious, mostly Catholic and is served by three banks and four medium-sized food markets and many small ones.

The main activity here is agriculture and in fact the Central American School of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (Escuela Centroamericana de Agricultura y Ganadería) is located in barrio Balsa. Mangoes, coffee, and sugar cane are three of the core crops. We have all the necessary goods and services here, now that the new medical clinic is in final stages of completion.

 Atenas Catholic Church

Weather

We thought you'd never ask! Actually, we live in a tropical paradise here… usual temperature is between 75 and 85 F ( 24 and 30 C )… great weather for shorts and T-shirts! We can't have all that greenery without rain… but at least in most parts of the country rain is predictable to certain times of the day.

In early invierno, the morning’s dawn is sunny and cheerful with very little breeze, rain coming mid-afternoon, often in a short downpour. In July we even get veranillo… called “little summer” which is about 7 to 10 days of sun and no rain. In later invierno, approaching the worst of the hurricane season on the Caribbean all bets are off and when we're under the effect of a hurricane whose effects can stretch for hundreds of miles… it can rain steadily for days and totally soaking the ground. Thankfully this is rare and totally unheard of.

Atenas Courthouse near Poco Cielo Resort, Costa Rica

Schools

In addition to public schools, there are 2 private grade schools in town, thru 6th grade, both offer English with all required subjects.

For high school… only public education is offered in Atenas. La Garita (to the east) has one private high school. For the MBA aspirants… INCAE a Harvard affiliated business school… is located nearby in La Garita. There are no Costa Rican accredited colleges or universities in Atenas, but in Barrio Los Angeles there is a School for Field Studies CSDS, affiliated with a US university.

Restaurants

Atenas offers a lot of choices for food and socializing. There is a large array of Comida Tipica restaurants, many little Diner-style countertop "sodas" offering Tipica again but in a faster-food mode. There are three Pizza restaurants one of which has recently broadened its menu to other cuisine.

Kay's Gringa Pastries around Poco Cielo Resort, Costa Rica

There is a Chinese restaurant on the park and a new hamburger place. Additionally, many bars offer food and some of it is quite good. Kay's Restaurant offer several different snacks and home cooked meals including a hardy breakfast started at 7:00am… even biscuits and gravy is on the menu!, Try the delicious McKay breakfast sandwich and perhaps a plate of great French toast! On Sundays… “soul food” for lunch such as meat loaf or pork roast!

All the little”sodas” around the bus stop offer breakfast from about 6:30am and the girls make good Gallo pinto… to which you can add an egg, sausage or bread and needless to say… a hot cup of coffee. Try the fried farmer cheese, Queso Frito.

Don't be shy to order the unfamiliar local food. Casado is a mixture of foods based in rice and beans and… trimmed with meat. Pipcadillo (a hot potato salad), green or pasta salad perhaps with an egg or a fried plantain. Try the chicharrones… they are excellent at Don Yayo!!! Something totally different and very tasty is ceviche which is raw fish marinated in lemon with cilantro and onion!.

Old School at Atenas, Poco Cielo Resort, Costa Rica

Banks

Atenas has three banks, Banco Nacional, Banco de Costa Rica, and Banco Popular, all of them national banks. Most stores take US currency... however, typically they don’t accepts bills over $20.00. The currency in Costa Rica is Colones… basically 500 Colones is $1.00US.

Shopping

There is no large Supermarket in Atenas where you can go to buy everything in one trip; that would be Alajuela… approximately 35 minutes by car. But you can buy almost everything now in Atenas by visiting the local food stores and at the various stalls in the Mercado market (vegetables, fish, meat and even a butcher) and the Farmer's Fair every Friday morning on the plaza (get there early) for fresh vegetables, meats, cheeses, condiments and plants. Zarcero palmito cheese is available in the Fair most Fridays; look for the round rolls of cheese. The Zarcero is better than the rest of the palmitos.

The Parada Market at Atenas

One of the bakeries called Musmanni (it is the one under the orange sign in the photo) is located in Atenas Central where all the Taxi’s park… is one of the better bakeries in town! They have a variety of breads, buns, cake and pastries plus the basics… milk, butter, eggs and juice.

There are three household goods and appliance stores now, and two building supplies, and three agricultural supply stores. Goods and services have grown with the town.

There are three household goods and appliance stores along with two building supply centers plus three agricultural supply stores. Goods and services have grown with the town.

You don’t have to travel far because Atenas has many services to offer! You can get insurance here, do your legal business in Spanish, get your hair cut, get your car fixed and take your pet to the Vet. There are at least 3 Internet Café’s in town that offer a variety of different services as well as International calling availability.

Atenas has several Doctors and an excellent Medical lab. The National health system has only one clinic in town… however, 50 minutes away in Escazu is the CIMA hospital! This modern and professional hospital is affiliated with the local health insurance program provided by INS!.

Small town life

Friday Farmer's Fair at Atenas
Atenas town near Poco Cielo Resort, Costa Rica

As you might expect, small town life in Costa Rica has many similarities to that in the States and Canada. Gossip is a very commonplace recreation. When you live in a small town and you will be commonly greeting folks you know with a handshake or air kiss as you go about your errands.

Costa Ricans… have their own culture and attitudes, formed mainly by the small size of the country and the dominant religion as well as the independence and sense of equality among the early settlers under the Spanish colonial system. Many people enjoy the book called The Ticos" by the Biesanz family… it is a very good book explaining the culture and differences in courtesy, business customs among other things! The Costa Ricans are friendly, helpful and warm people and that makes it extra special to visit Costa Rica!

Atenas Photos >

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