Fodor's Expert Review Ruta de Los Santos

Zona de Los Santos Scenic Drive

The scenic road that winds through the high-altitude valleys from Empalme to San Pablo de León is appropriately called the Ruta de Los Santos–-the towns it passes are named after saints. It's nicely paved to facilitate shipping the coffee produced in the region. On the 30-minute drive from Empalme to San Pablo de León Cortés, you travel through misty valleys ringed by precipitous mountain slopes terraced with lush, green coffee plants. The 24-km (15-mile) route also captures the essence of a fast-disappearing traditional Tico way of life built around agriculture. Stately churches anchor bustling towns full of prosperous, neat houses with pretty gardens and vintage 1970s Toyota Land Cruiser trucks.

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