San Mateo de Alajuela, Costa Rica
Alegría Village is located in the hills above the small town of San Mateo de Alajuela. We are about an hour from the heart of Costa Rica’s capital San Jose, 45 minutes from the Juan Santamaría International Airport, and 30 minutes to the beach. We are also right next to the thriving established ecovillages of La Ecovilla & Tacotal, which were co-founded by Stephen Brooks and Norman Brooks 10 years ago.
We chose this location based on a few important criteria:
Proximity to San Jose & SJO Airport: We believe an important aspect of a thriving neighborhood is access – and we wanted neighbors to have quick and easy access to Costa Rica’s capital city, commerce, work opportunities, and the international airport. It also makes it a lot easier for our friends and family to come visit from out of town!
It takes about an hour to drive into downtown San Jose and many Ecovilla residents go 1-2 times per week for work, shopping, date night, shows, the Saturday morning farmers’ market, and errands.
Altitude and climate: Alegría is 378-598m above sea level, which makes it an ideal location for growing all kinds of food! We are right next to the town of Atenas, which National Geographic famously named the “Best Climate on Earth”, and the town of Orotina, nicknamed the “City of Fruits”, in a region known for growing an abundance of produce and tropical fruit. It is warm and sunny, but much cooler and less humid than the beaches…and there are barely any mosquitos!
Clean water: An abundance of water is essential. We wanted to be on land with access to natural water sources so clean you could drink straight from the spring. We made sure we were not downstream from any large industrial plant leeching chemicals into the groundwater. Alegría has two springs on the property, with two more just above the land, creating three creeks that run through the neighborhood (one of which runs all-year-long!).
Rio Machuca: Speaking of water, we wanted to be next to an epic crystal-clear river! the Rio Machuca flows right next to La Ecovilla, Tacotal and Alegría. Laying on boulders in the river is our favorite way to spend an afternoon :)
Degraded Land to Regenerate: When purchasing land for a development project, it was important to us to find land that had already been cleared for cattle pasture (as opposed to vibrant rainforest filled with trees and wildlife that we would be disturbing with our human construction). Now we get to have a positive impact on the earth with our development, planting trees, building soil, restoring creekbeds and natural habitat. We have already planted 1700 native trees to begin the process of reforestation.
Non-touristy: There are many places in Costa Rica that have become saturated with tourists – they are beautiful places to visit, but we wanted to be out of the constant hustle of a tourist destination. San Mateo is quiet and rural, with a wonderful, welcoming small-town community. This is our home – simple, steady, peaceful.
Come see for yourself! We would love to host you for a tour and show you what we’re dreaming up!