Introducing San Vito
At 980m, the cool, green hills around San Vito (population 15, 000) offer a delicious respite from the heat of the nearby lowlands. Overlooking the Valle de Coto Brus, this pleasant town is a convenient base for excursions to the Wilson Botanical Garden and to the infrequently visited Parque Internacional La Amistad.
As provincial Costa Rica goes, San Vito is downright culturally diverse.
It was founded by Italian immigrants in the 1950s. Italian is still spoken in these parts and – more importantly – still eaten. Plus the proximity of the Reserva Indígena Guaymí de Coto Brus means that indigenous peoples pass through this region (Guaymí enclaves move back and forth undisturbed across the border with Panama). You might spot women in traditional clothing – long, solid-colored pollera dresses trimmed in contrasting hues – riding the bus or strolling the streets. The Guaymí is one of the few indigenous groups that preserve such traditional customs.
The drive north from Neily is a scenic one, with superb views of the lowlands dropping away as the road winds up the hillside. The paved road is steep, narrow and full of hairpin turns. You can also get to San Vito from San Isidro via the Valle de Coto Brus – an incredibly scenic and less-used route offering fantastic views of the Cordillera de Talamanca to the north and the lower Fila Costeña to the south.
Last updated: Mar 31, 2009