Cachi and the Orosi Valley

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We took a short but sweet little trip to Cachi and the Orosi Valley, which are both just outside of Cartago.  Cachi is a small town, where our friends Mike and Michael are moving (from Dallas, TX) over the next couple of months.  It is a tiny town, population of only about 3,000, and set in the beautiful Orosi Valley.  Elevation of about 3,500 feet, and the temp’s seemed actually cooler than what we’re used to in El Cajon de Grecia. We loved it!  There’s virtually no loud motorcycles there, and the cars are few and far between.  The people are nice and wave to you, and they have LOTS of cute little soda’s and fabulous restaurants – even more so than Grecia, which was surprising!

The trip happened at the last minute, as our friends found out that only one of them (Mike) would be able to be here in Costa Rica the day that their container arrived, and they needed some extra hands to help.  We had wanted to visit them at some point anyway, and we happened to be free for a couple of days – so of course we said YES!  We are always up for an adventure!  Here’s some highlights of our trip.

Upon arriving at their house, we discovered two new little German Shepherd type puppies who were the sweetest little puppies ever! Gerardo, the caretaker, is a real animal lover and takes care of these pups as well as Daisy, an adult German Shepherd.  Here we all are, totally in love with them all:

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A little glimpse inside their super cool house, which was built with the intent of being a B&B and restaurant (huge, open, and eclectic!).   Our friends have plans for massive construction improvements (Mike is super talented with construction; as well as playing piano, cooking & baking, knowing plants and flowers, oh and he’s also a doctor!).  Actually, I think their house is super cool as-is, but that’s just me:

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 And the outside, with it’s own river running along one whole side of the house??  TO DIE FOR!!

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So, here’s the container after it’s arrival (right on time, I might add):

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Me at my checkpoint doing my job, checking items off the inventory list as they came quickly by (Gerardo set me up with this table and chair so I wouldn’t have to stand, so sweet):

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After the container work was done, Mike took us to this magnificent place called El Cafetal for lunch – look at this view!  (Note:  there is normally a lake in this picture, but it was drained because they were working on the dam.  Still beautiful!)

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IMG_2192What I had to eat:  chicken breast with a mango salsa (divine!) with rice and roasted vegetables.  For dessert?  Ice cream with a coffee bean & bourbon sauce – omg amazing.

That evening we had pizza at “Pizzero” in Orosi– SOO good!  We had one meat lover’s pizza and one “tuanis” pizza (which means “cool”) with tomatoes, oregano and peperoni on it.   The pizza came out with a thicker crust, in these cool pizza pie type pans – was muy rico (very delicious)!  We also got to meet Milo, who works there and Mike knew well.  Milo chatted with us in English and was really nice.

The place we stayed at – Orosi Lodge – was charming and adorable!  Cute, comfortable, clean and nice.

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This was hanging in our room, they have a local artist paint different pictures on these old coffee sacks – they were super cool: IMG_2125

 The next morning Mike took us to one of their favorite places for breakfast – Cafe de Chumi, where we met Mirta – the owner and chef.  She was super sweet and her breakfast and coffee were yummy!  And she had some parrots who live right outside her window!

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Next we drove to the Mirador Orosi, a place to stop and walk around and enjoy a really cool view of the valley:

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Look at this view behind us!

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Here you can see the little city of Orosi:

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And here’s a video capturing the WHOLE view:

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We drove briefly through Cartago.  Cartago USED to be Costa Rica’s capital until 1823, when the then Republican leader moved the capital to San Jose, as San Jose and Alajuela better supported the Republican system at that time.  Also, Cartago was harshly damaged by a major earthquake in 1822, so I’m sure that didn’t help…

This church in Cartago, Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles, is famous because every year pilgrims walk to it (from EVERYWHERE in Costa Rica) on August 2nd – the feast day of the Virgin of the Angels.  This church has a statue of a Black Madonna (known as “La Negrita”), who many believe has great healing powers.  People walk here from Grecia, and Greg and I are thinking about doing it next year, just for the experience!

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On the outskirts of Cartago we stopped at the Terramall, a very nice and large mall, where we walked around for a while and then decided on a restaurant for a late lunch.  Mike convinced Greg & I (who are both very picky and non-adventurous eaters) to try this Peruvian Restaurant.  Mike had been to Peru, explained the whole menu to us, and it looked fine to us.  I’m so glad we tried it!  This drink – the pisco sour – is a Peruvian specialty, made with pisco liquor (a type of brandy originated in Peru), lemon or lime juice, simple syrup, bitters, ice and egg whites – all blended up and served with a bit of cinnamon on top.  It was delicious (tasted similar to a margarita).  All of our food was excellent!

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And that’s it!  Short little sweet trip.  Mike & Michael – we had SO much fun (and Michael we’re so sorry we missed you!!).  We love your house and property and city.  Thanks for sharing it all with us.  Can’t wait to see the progression of your house!

I’ll leave you with one more sweet pic of the puppy twins (that I’m seriously thinking about stealing!)…
Ciao! — Jen

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Jen

I quit my job in my early 40’s, sold everything and retired early to live a simple life in Costa Rica!

Check out my book: "Costa Rica Chica" - the book.

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27 Responses to Cachi and the Orosi Valley

  1. What an outstanding post! So wonderful to learn about new areas of this incredible country through your eyes and words. Your friends’ home looks amazing as well — LOVE LOVE LOVE the tilework. And the puppies … oh, those puppies. Thanks Sweetie.

    • Aw, thank you for your sweet comments Marilyn!! Yes – I LOVE all the eclectic tile, although some of it will be coming down (there’s a lot of it!). And I REALLY wanted to take one of those puppies home…..

  2. Glad you mentioned the Peruvian restaurant. We found one in Liberia and really enjoyed it, despite the fact we had no idea what we were eating and they couldn’t explain it. Viva la
    adventure grande!

  3. That was a fantastic post Jen. You are keeping our interest in CR very much alive. The country should hire you as a promoter of this great country. We plan to come back in 2016 and will be following you until then.
    Please keep up these great posts

  4. loved this post, want those puppies and hope they get to go to a good home together and be loved all their lives, and now going to the store cuz your post made me hungry!!

    • Hahaha – thanks Niki! Those puppies actually belong to our friends that we visited – the caretaker got them, he takes care of them on our friends property – and when our friends move there permanently (in the next couple of months), they will be theirs! I’ll just have to visit (and maybe confiscate one of them in my duffle bag!). 🙂

    • Sorry – I don’t have any info for you Sandra, as our friends picked us up and took us back home. I understand you can take the San Jose bus to San Jose, then catch a bus to Cartago, then a bus to Carchi…. but I have not tried this yet. May do in the future, though, so will let you know!

  5. Great pictures. My wife and I visited the Orosi Valley last January. It is a magical place. We rented horses from Poncho and he took us up through the coffee plantations. We were high enough to look over the entire village of Orosi. Then we rode through town, passing by buses and cars. A worthwhile adventure.
    I hope you had as great a time as we did.
    Thank you for your lovely blog,
    Steve

  6. Jen, everyone has said it so well–your pictures and words reflect your enthusiasm and love for Costa Rica. It’s always a pleasure to read your posts and imagine what it’s like to live there looking forward to your next adventure!

  7. I visited Orosi in September of 2013 but I doubt that I will return anytime soon even though it is a beautiful and natural place. After a couple of days there is not much to do as a tourist. Of course, this would be a great place to retire someday. Maybe a tour operator could be persuaded to open an office in Orosi to offer tours to the Volcanoes and to Tapanti National Park. I had to organize my own tours with Ricardo the taxi cab owner from Turrialba. Unless the local business owners organize a “tourism industry”, Orosi will always remain “off the beaten path” for most foreign visitors. Thank you and God bless. Bill Windsor.

    • We just love the Orosi Valley, so beautiful. I think part of why we love it so much is because there is NOT any tourism there (yet)… Thanks for commenting and reading my blog William! 🙂

  8. i know what you meaning about the view the food i left costa rica 20 years ago and move to south carolina i was born in grecia and i can tell you i miss all you describe since day one can wait to go back in dec. for the first time since 1994 i guess a lot has change fir yhe best i hope i really enjoy reading your post love to hear people talking good about my home town and my beautiful country i hope some day i may see you in fhe central park after mass God Bless You for choosing Grecia ( my grand father was a child working in the construction of that beautiful church)carring water to the workers

    • Hello Anthony! Wow, thanks so much for commenting. I’m honored that someone born in Grecia has found my blog. We love living here! Amazing about your grandfather… Muchas gracias! — Jen

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