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This article is about the Costa Rican city. For the Greek city, see Athens.
Catholic church in central Atenas
Catholic church in central Atenas
Atenas is located in Costa Rica
Location in Costa Rica
Coordinates: 9°59′N 84°23′W / 9.983°N 84.383°W / 9.983; -84.383
Country Costa Rica
Province Alajuela Province
Canton Atenas
 • City 8.93 km2 (3.45 sq mi)
Elevation 698 m (2,290 ft)
Population (2012)
 • City 5,000
 • Density 560/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
 • Metro 27,000
Climate Aw
The main highway (CR 3) through Atenas

Atenas (ah-TEN-nahss) is the capital city of the canton of Atenas in the province of Alajuela in Costa Rica. It is also the name of the distrito (district) that includes the city.

The district of Atenas covers an area of 8.93 km²,[1] and has a population of approx. 27,000 inhabitants. [2] The city of Atenas itself has about 5,000 inhabitants.[3] Its name means Athens (Αθήνα), the capital of Greece.


The city lies at an elevation of 698 meters above sea level[1] on the western edge of the Central Valley (Valle Central), 25 kilometers southwest of the provincial capital city of Alajuela, 20 kilometers from Juan Santamaria International Airport, and 35 kilometers from the national capital city of San Jose.

The town is surrounded by mountains and coffee plantations. It is located in a prosperous agricultural area which hosts a weekly farmer's market on Friday mornings. The town center features an immaculate, white church and a picturesque park lined with palm trees. There is a community health center, pharmacies, doctors, dentists, tennis court, fitness center, swimming pools, parks, banks, shops, bed-and-breakfasts, and restaurants in the village.

Atenas is a popular place for North American retirees.[4]

There are three major real estate developments with existing homes and building lots: Roca Verde, Vista Atenas and Hacienda Atenas. There are other real estate developments in various stages of completion.

In mid-October 2011, a major landslide occurred on the Atenas exit of the Autopista del Sol. The exit has since re-opened improving travel time to San Jose, Escazu and Pacific beaches.


  1. ^ a b Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN), 2001.
  2. ^ Estimates of Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC), May 2003.
  3. ^ "Living in Atenas Costa Rica", International Living, Jason Holland, Sept 2012
  4. ^ "Living in Atenas Costa Rica", International Living, Jason Holland, Sept 2012

Coordinates: 9°59′N 84°23′W / 9.983°N 84.383°W / 9.983; -84.383