Located on the west side of the Central Valley is a town that has been considered by National Geographic as having the best climate on Earth. It is the all year climate of low 80's during the day and high 60's during the evening that have made the town of Atenas home for many of those looking for the perfect weather. Atenas is a small town of around 15,000 including it's suburbs. In the center of town you will find the true Costa Rica country life. Here the town has the central park, church, and all your needs when it comes to daily living. You can now even see a culture influence from the hundreds of foreigners that have made Atenas home. It was the simple Costa Rica living and the peacefulness of the area that attracted the first foreigners to Atenas some 30 years ago.
The town of Atenas is one that lets you live on the border of the busy city life but still be in a rural small town setting of Costa Rica. It is these small towns of Costa Rica where you can still find a quite a bit of tradition and a more community type atmosphere. You will see the small mom and pops stores, a visit to the local pharmacy where they know you by name, a morning coffee at you local coffee shop, and a local farmers market every weekend.
Atenas might have what some people can argue as the best location in all of Costa Rica. This was discovered during 1843 when the famous oxcart trail was built to transport coffee from the Central Valley to the Pacific port of Limon. It was Atenas which is the gateway to the coast and the divider from the busy Central Valley and the rural rolling hills of Costa Rica. Today it is not the oxcart road that gives it the perfect living area but the new modern highway of Caldera. The Caldera highway passes by the outskirts of Atenas and serves as easy access from Atenas to the Pacific coast or Atenas into San Jose and it's suburbs. This highway was a win win for Atenas. It gave the habitatants of Atenas an easier transport system and allowed them to lower the heavy traffic and get their town back to the small town living.
The word Atenas means "Athens" and one of the common questions is why the name Atenas got it's name "Athens". It is said that the president of Costa Rica in 1833, Jose Rafael Alvarado admired the Greek culture and decided to name some towns in the area of cities in Greece (there is a town of Grecia also which means Greece). When you leave the Central Valley you head west towards the Pacific and you pass a number of towns on your way out but there is none better for tranquil living than Atenas. The weather, location, and people are what make the area what it is. There are spots in Atenas because of it's elevation which open up to breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Central Valley of Costa Rica on the other side.