Los Chiles

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Los Chiles is the capital city of the canton of Los Chiles in the province of Alajuela in Costa Rica. It is also the name of the distrito (district) that includes the city. The district of Los Chiles covers an area of 535.93 km²,[1] and has a population of 11,064.[2]

The city lies at an elevation of 43 meters above sea level[1] on the San Carlos Plain (Llanura de San Carlos) in northern Costa Rica, 14 kilometers southeast of San Carlos in Nicaragua, 97 kilometers northwest of Ciudad Quesada, 175 kilometers from the provincial capital city of Alajuela, and 198 kilometers from the national capital city of San Jose.

Los Chiles is a "border town," only four kilometers from Nicaragua. The vast majority of the population of the city was born in Nicaragua. The Río Frío, on the western edge of town, is a major thoroughfare used to access small villages and farms in the surrounding area.

The town is also an agriculture and sportfishing center. A gas station is located here, the only one for 20 kilometers in any direction, and a civil guard checkpoint is on Highway 35 south of town. There is a bank and a few basic restaurants and cabinas for lodging.

Los Chiles is served by Los Chiles Airport, a grass runway on the east side of town.

History[edit]

Los Chiles was originally settled by fishermen and others who worked on the nearby Río San Juan in Nicaragua. It was granted the title of "ciudad" (city) by a law of May 4, 1970.

During the 1980s, it was a strategic location on an important supply route for the Contras fighting to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, and during that time military men from the United States were a common (albeit illegal) sight on the streets on the town.

Nearby Places of Interest[edit]

Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge: a watery lowland of lush sloughs and marshes, a seasonal lake, and abundant wildlife. Boats can be hired at Los Chiles for traveling the 23 kilometers down the Río Frío to Lake Caño Negro inside the reserve. The area is a birdwatcher's paradise. Tours to Caño Negro from La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano area come by bus to Los Chiles, where visitors then board canopied boats for the trip down the Río Frío to the reserve. (29 kilometers southwest of Los Chiles via Highway 4 to El Parque, then west to San Emilio, and southwest on Highway 138 to Caño Negro)

Solentiname Islands: an archipelago in Lake Nicaragua. These islands are home to fishermen, farmers, and many painters and crafters. They are reached from Los Chiles by traveling up the Río Frío to the city of San Carlos in Nicaragua, from where boats journey into the lake to the islands.

Climate[edit]

This area typically has a pronounced dry season. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Los Chiles has a tropical savanna climate, abbreviated "Aw" on climate maps.[3]

Climate data for Los Chiles (1995–2015)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29.9
(85.8)
30.9
(87.6)
32.6
(90.7)
33.8
(92.8)
32.9
(91.2)
31.6
(88.9)
30.8
(87.4)
31.5
(88.7)
32.2
(90)
31.7
(89.1)
30.5
(86.9)
30.0
(86)
31.5
(88.7)
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.4
(77.7)
25.7
(78.3)
26.5
(79.7)
27.6
(81.7)
27.8
(82)
27.4
(81.3)
26.9
(80.4)
27.2
(81)
27.5
(81.5)
27.3
(81.1)
26.4
(79.5)
25.7
(78.3)
26.8
(80.2)
Average low °C (°F) 20.8
(69.4)
20.4
(68.7)
20.4
(68.7)
21.4
(70.5)
22.7
(72.9)
23.2
(73.8)
22.9
(73.2)
23.0
(73.4)
22.9
(73.2)
22.9
(73.2)
22.3
(72.1)
21.5
(70.7)
22.0
(71.6)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 85.5
(3.366)
41.1
(1.618)
29.0
(1.142)
42.4
(1.669)
163.1
(6.421)
222.6
(8.764)
262.0
(10.315)
217.0
(8.543)
194.1
(7.642)
198.3
(7.807)
147.7
(5.815)
117.0
(4.606)
1,719.8
(67.709)
Average rainy days 21 15 12 10 19 24 27 26 24 24 20 22 244
Average relative humidity (%) 87 84 80 79 84 89 90 89 88 89 88 88 86
Source: Instituto Meteorologico Nacional[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN), 2001.
  2. ^ Estimates of Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC), May 2003.
  3. ^ Climate Summary for Los Chiles
  4. ^ "Comando Los Chiles: Monthly averages". Instituto Meteorologico Nacional. Retrieved 31 October 2016. 

Coordinates: 11°02′N 84°43′W / 11.033°N 84.717°W / 11.033; -84.717