Central Valley Sights

Iglesia de Ujarrás (Church of Ujarrás)

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 06/18/2015

Fodor's Review

The ruins of Costa Rica's first church lie past the Cachí dam near the small hamlet of Ujarrás (oo-hah-RRASS). An unlikely Spanish victory over a superior force of invading British pirates was attributed to a stop here to ask for the protection of the Virgin Mary, and a church was constructed in thanksgiving to honor the Virgin of Ujarrás. The entire village was abandoned in 1833 after a series of earthquakes and floods wreaked havoc here, in the lowest point of the Orosi Valley, and the inhabitants resettled at the site that would become the present-day town of Paraíso. Today the impressive, often-photographed ruins sit in a beautifully maintained park with lawns, flower gardens, and a pretty picnic area. A final, scenic 6-km (4-mile) winding drive to Paraíso from Ujarrás completes the road that loops the valley. Visitors fill the site on weekends, but on weekdays you'll likely have the place to yourself.

Sight Information


In a small park, 1 km (½ mile) from Restaurante Típico Ujarrás, Orosi, Cartago, 30204, Costa Rica



Sight Details:

  • Free

Published 06/18/2015


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