Carrillo (canton)

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Official seal of Carrillo
Location of Carrillo Canton in Guanacaste Province
Location of Carrillo Canton in Guanacaste Province
Coordinates: 10°28′59″N 85°35′31″W / 10.48306°N 85.59194°W / 10.48306; -85.59194
Country Costa Rica
Province Guanacaste
 • Mayor Carlos Gerardo Cantillo Álvarez (PLN)
 • Total 577.54 km2 (222.99 sq mi)
Population (2013)
 • Total 39,731
 • Density 51/km2 (130/sq mi)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) n/a

Carrillo is the fifth canton in the province of Guanacaste in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 577.54 km²,[1] and has a population of 39,731.[2] Its capital city is Filadelfia. The name of the canton is in honor of former head of state Braulio Carrillo Colina.

The canton is shaped like a boot, with the Pacific Ocean at the top. The Río Tempisque decorates the front of the boot from top to toe. The Río Cañas and Río Bolsón provide the heel and sole.


In the 18th century a group of ladinos settled on the west bank of the middle Tempisque River, where there was a grove of trees called "sietecueros" (Lonchocarpus costericensi), giving rise to the population that corresponds to the city of Filadelfia, head of the canton.

In Executive Decree No. 22 of June 16, 1877, Carrillo was declared a canton of Guanacaste province. The oldest population of the canton is Sardinal, proof of this is the mention of the place made by Brother Don Antonio Muñoz, following his visit in late 1794 for a collection of handouts that he performed in several villages of Guanacaste.[3]

In the 1830s, the residents of neighborhoods of Sietecueros and Sardinal, asked the then Head of State, Braulio Carrillo Colina, to be separated from the village of Santa Cruz and to be incorporated into Guanacaste City (now Liberia) in a civil and ecclesiastical way, this request was received when it was issued the Decree No. 5 of February 23, 1839.[4]

In the school division in 1886, Sardinal was selected as the second school district of the canton in Law No. 60 of August 9, and Filadelfia was selected as part of the first school district. The main high school (Colegio Técnico Profesional Agropecuario, Agricultural Vocational Technical High School) began his teaching activities in 1965, during the administration of Francisco Orlich Bolmarcich.

Political divisions[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

The canton of Carrillo is subdivided into four districts (distritos):[5]

District Postal code Alt. (m) Area (km2) Pop. (2008) Coordinates
Filadelfia 50501 17 125.01 8,317 10°26′50″N 85°33′07″W / 10.44722°N 85.55194°W / 10.44722; -85.55194 (Filadelfia)
Barrios: Bambú, Cinco Esquinas, Hollywood, La Cruz, Santa Lucía
Poblados: Ballena (part), Corralillo, Guinea, Isleta (part), Jocote, Juanilama, Moralito, Ojoche, San Francisco
Palmira 50502 24 37.17 4,631 10°31′01″N 85°34′39″W / 10.51694°N 85.57750°W / 10.51694; -85.57750 (Palmira)
Barrios: Coyolera, María Auxiliadora
Poblados: Ángeles, Comunidad, Paso Tempisque (part), San Rafael
Sardinal 50503 46 240.45 12,196 10°31′02″N 85°38′56″W / 10.51722°N 85.64889°W / 10.51722; -85.64889 (Sardinal)
Barrios: Carpintera, Colegios, Verdún
Poblados: Artola, Cacique, Coco, Chorrera, Guacamaya, Huaquitas, Libertad, Los Canales, Matapalo, Nancital, Nuevo Colón, Obandito, Ocotal, Pilas, Playa Hermosa, Playones, San Blas, San Martín, Santa Rita, Segovia, Tabores, Zapotal
Belén 50504 34 174.91 7,024 10°24′35″N 85°35′22″W / 10.40972°N 85.58944°W / 10.40972; -85.58944 (Belén)
Barrios: Villita
Poblados: Alto San Antonio, Cachimbo, Castilla de Oro, Coyolito, Gallina, Juanilama, Loma Bonita, Llano, Ojochal, Palestina, Palmas, Paraíso, Penca, Planes, Poroporo, Río Cañas Nuevo, Santa Ana, Santo Domingo

Names of the Districts[edit]

One of the historical aspects of this canton is that none of the districts retained its original name.

  • Filadelfia, as the district head, was known as "Sietecueros" (Seven Leathers). It is not known why it has the current name.
  • Palmira district was known as "Boquerones" (Anchovies), it has a population of 3974 inhabitants in an area of 37.1 km2.
  • Belén district was known as "Villita" (Little Village), it has an area of 174.9 km2 and a population of 6071 inhabitants, its name comes in the wake of the festivities that were held each December 25 dedicated to the baby Jesus, since the priest Fray Juan Paz arrived in the community in 1885 and saw the devotion of the people for the Child Jesus of Bethlehem and he proposed the name for that community. The present church was built in 1969 and the park was built in the period 1974-1978.
  • Sardinal district formerly called "Tamarindo" (Tamarind), it is one of the oldest towns, has an area of 240.4 km2 and a population of 10 118 inhabitants, and it is the largest in population and territory of the canton.

Physical Aspects[edit]


The canton borders with Liberia to the north, Santa Cruz to the south, Bagaces to the east and Pacific Ocean to the west.


The movement of people (population) for these territories are from the party of Nicoya and Nicaragua, possibly gave rise to the towns of Sietecueros, Tamarindo, Boquerones and Villita with people of mixed Spanish and indigenous people.


Carrillo is geologically constituted of materials of the Cretaceous, Tertiary and Quaternary, being Quaternary sedimentary rocks that dominate the region.

  • Cretaceous rocks are volcanic sedimentary and intrusive.
  • Among the materials of the Tertiary period, are sedimentary rocks of the Paleocene Eocene period, which corresponds to the formation of Barra Honda.
  • In Quaternary materials are located sedimentary rocks of the Holocene period, such as wetlands located in the area adjacent to the site Dalia.


The river system of Carrillo corresponds to the Pacific slope, Nicoya Peninsula and North Coast.

  • Tempisque River
  • Bolsón River
  • Las Palmas River
  • Cañas River
  • Sardinal River
  • San Blas River
  • Belén River
  • Gallina River
  • Carrizal River
  • Coyolito River

All these watercourses rise in Carrillo, except for Tempisque and Cañas, these rivers run from northwest to southeast. Rivers Cañas, Bolsón and Tempisque are cantonal boundaries, the first two with Santa Cruz and the last with Liberia and Bagaces.


During the 80's and the early 90's, this canton was one of the main producers of rice and cotton in Costa Rica. Due to El Niño and political reasons the production started to decay, causing losses of up to a thousand million colones, and the producers asked the government for a declaration of emergency.[6]

This canton also provides more products such as:


In this region highlights two millionaires-income products:

El Viejo Mill, CATSA Mill are in charge of the production of sugar and Melones de Costa Rica is charge of the cantaloupe production.


Sailing and fishing in Hermosa Beach

The canton receives revenue from its high tourism-related activities. Its main tourist attractions are the Gulf of Papagayo, Playa Hermosa, Playa Panama, Coco Beach, Playa Ocotal, among others, fishing and diving activities can be performed there.

Coco Beach is offering various services such as restaurants and hotels, on the other beaches there are hotels and resorts as "Los Corales", "Condovac La Costa", among others.

Tempisque River is another attraction that crosses the canton and passed by the city of Filadelfia, it is possible to practice water sports such as fishing, swimming, and sailing, crossing the most impressive vegetation and observing the various species of flora and wildlife that is around it.

This area is the center of archaeological research which has yielded variety of pieces dating back thousands of years, which is why it is known as the National Archaeological Region.

Photo Gallery of Carrillo[edit]


  1. ^ Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN), 2001.
  2. ^ Estadísticas Vitales 2013 - INEC
  3. ^ (in Spanish) "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2010-05-16.
  4. ^ (in Spanish)
  5. ^ "División Territorial Administrativa de Costa Rica" (PDF) (in Spanish). Instituto de Fomento y Asesoria Municipal (IFAM). 5 May 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-08-02.
  6. ^ (in Spanish)