San Isidro del General Location
San Isidro del General is located in the Valley of El General, also known as Perez Zeledon, a fertile valley at about 600 meters above sea level. San Isidro weather is warm during the days and cool at night. Once the sun goes down, you never need air conditioning. Even during the days, a fan is enough for most people to stay comfortable.
San Isidro del General is one of the most important cities in Costa Rica outside the Central Valley. Driving distance from San Jose is about 150 kilometers, or 100 miles, and it takes about two-and-a-half hours. The drive is spectacular, on pavement all the way, and will take you over 3500 meters (10,000 feet) of altitude. Conditions can be foggy, especially at both slopes of this mountain range, but when it is sunny, the views are spectacular. Many people also board the bus that goes between San Jose to San Isidro; it comes and goes every hour all day, it’s on time, the seats are reserved, it only costs about $4, and it takes just three hours, which almost as fast as driving.
It takes 35 minutes to drive on a twisty mountain road from San Isidro down to the great surfing beaches of Dominical and Uvita.
San Isidro del General Amenities
San Isidro del General is a full service town. You can find pretty much everything you need here. Supermarkets have a diverse selection, there are large hardware stores, many banks, some of which actually give pretty good service, and a wide variety of stores selling everything you can think of. San Isidro is also home to some well known bi-lingual qualified lawyers, and most real estate transactions in the area are handled here.
Most foreigners who live in the area go to San Isidro once a week for shopping and taking care of business. San Isidro is the place to get major errands done, like car repair, dentisty, dermatology, legal, accounting, discount shopping, etc. You can go to the huge local market every day, as well as the farmers’ market on Thursdays. There also appears to be at least one shoe store for every resident of the town.
San Isidro has several decent restaurants and the nightlife is pretty good for the young crowd. A local cultural center offers weekly theater performances (in Spanish) and local artists regularly have expositions of their work.
San Isidro Attractions
With its medium size, and full services, yet very relaxed atmosphere, San Isidro del General is the ideal combination of small city and big country. Coffee, pineapple, and cattle are still the economic mainstays here, although the city itself is the fastest growing commercial center in the country. Though the city is busy during the day, in just minutes you can be in the foothills of Chirripo Mountain, Central America’s second highest peak. One of the fun things to do is head up to Chirripo National Park and hike the stunning trails. You can even sign up to spend a few nights up there, hiking “hut to hut” with many other visitors from Costa Rica and around the world.
Other activities include: horseback riding, river rafting, going to the beaches, mountain biking, rapeling, visiting the coffee and other farms, and hiking the gorgeous mountain trails just outside town.
Real Estate in San Isidro del General
San Isidro del General is still an agricultural town. Tourists can be seen all over, and a number of foreigners are settling down there to retire or start new lives, but San Isidro is still pretty laid back. In the center of town, prices are similar to those of San Jose, but as you quickly get into the countryside, the costs of buying land start to go down. The “suburbs” are very pretty and very reasonably priced, and as you get further away from the city, property becomes less expensive. We do not normally list a lot of real estate in and around San Isidro, due to the driving time of 35 minutes each way just to get to the center of town — but we can help you find property in the area if you let us know what you are looking for.