Cantons of Guanacaste: Nicoya

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Nicoya Guanacaste

The word Nicoya, is derived from a Nahuatl word meaning "country with water on both sides." It is the oldest city in Costa Rica, and is still considered the colonial city of the Guanacaste Province. Nicoya has experienced remarkable development in recent years.

Nicoya has all the facilities and services one could desire, it is one of the major tourist areas of Costa Rica. It serves as a supply center and transportation hub to Guanacaste's beaches and national parks.

The city was built with a colonial style, in the Cordillera Volcánica de Guanacaste. The main church (pictured above), the "Parroquia San Blas", (or, the Parish of San Blas) was built in 1644 and today houses a small museum that certainly warrants a visit.  Agriculture and livestock form the backbone of the city's economy. Another intriguing aspect of the area is the Guaitil Village where they produce the traditional Chorotega pottery. 

In early 2006, a group of researchers led by Dan Buettner, an adventure writer, and supported by National Geographic Magazine, the National Institute for Aging, and Allianz Healthcare, Nicoya was designated as a 'Blue Zone'. This designation is granted to global regions that are characterized as having the longest life expectancies. Characteristics of the Nicoyan lifestyle that facilitate this longevity of life were the water’s high calcium content, intense daily physical activity, year-long fruit consumption, and close inter-generational relationships.

Life and Colors from Nicoya Guanacaste

Travel books reference, chapter: Nicoya Guanacaste

Nicoya Guanacaste Costa Rica Caturgua