Tarrazú (canton)

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San Marcos Roman Catholic church
San Marcos Roman Catholic church
Flag of Tarrazú
Official seal of Tarrazú
Tarrazú canton
Tarrazú canton location in Costa Rica
Tarrazú canton location in Costa Rica
Tarrazú canton location in Costa Rica
Coordinates: 9°34′59″N 84°03′53″W / 9.5830753°N 84.064823°W / 9.5830753; -84.064823Coordinates: 9°34′59″N 84°03′53″W / 9.5830753°N 84.064823°W / 9.5830753; -84.064823
Country Costa Rica
ProvinceSan José
Creation7 August 1868[1]
Head citySan Marcos
 • TypeMunicipality
 • BodyMunicipalidad de Tarrazú
 • Total297.5 km2 (114.9 sq mi)
1,471 m (4,826 ft)
 • Total16,280
 • Density55/km2 (140/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−06:00
Canton code105

Tarrazú is the fifth canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica.[2][3] The head city of the canton is San Marcos. It is part of Los Santos Zone, together with Dota and León Cortés Castro.


Pacific Ocean in the distance, as see from Tarrazú

Tarrazú has an area of 297.5 km²[4] and a mean elevation of 1,471 metres.[2]

The Pirrís River (also known as Parrita River) establishes much of the northern boundary of the three-pronged canton, which reaches south across the Coastal Mountain Range to its border with the canton of Aguirre in Puntarenas Province.

Tarrazu is located about 70 kilometers south of the Capital San Jose, in a pristine valley surrounded by mountains that are part of the Talamanca Sierra in southern Costa Rica. Downtown San Marcos is 1350 meters above sea level but is surrounded by peaks as high as 3000 meters above sea level.


The canton of Tarrazú is subdivided into three districts:

  1. San Marcos
  2. San Lorenzo
  3. San Carlos


The canton was established by a legislative decree of 7 August 1868. It was part of the Desamparados canton by that time.


Historical population
Census Pop.

Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos[5]
Centro Centroamericano de Población[6]

For the 2011 census, Tarrazú had a population of 16,280 inhabitants. [7]


Road transportation[edit]

The canton is covered by the following road routes:


Highland coffee is the main source of income of local people. However, tourism and avocado production are of increased importance. During the months of December, January and February, population increases three-fold due to harvest time. San Marcos, the biggest town in the region, has become the center of economic activity. More recently the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity has invested millions of dollars in the Pirris Hydro Dam, scheduled to start generating energy by March 2011. The Hydro Dam is now the highest structure of its kind in Central America and will be key to the economic development of the region, not only in the highlands but the coastal regions of Quepos and Parrita. The region is deeply dependent on remittances from emigres who live in the United States, namely New Jersey. Few households in the region do not have a family member who lives and works in the United States. Ironically, this outmigration has led to an influx of thousands of Panamanian laborers to help realize the annual coffee harvest.[8] Tarrazu, particularly the San Lorenzo area, is felt to produce the most desirable coffee in Costa Rica.[9] Finca Palmilera coffee is grown here.[10] In November 2012, it was the most expensive coffee sold in Starbucks coffee shops in the United States.[11]


  1. ^ Hernández, Hermógenes (1985). Costa Rica: evolución territorial y principales censos de población 1502 - 1984 (in Spanish) (1 ed.). San José: Editorial Universidad Estatal a Distancia. pp. 164–173. ISBN 9977-64-243-5. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Declara oficial para efectos administrativos, la aprobación de la División Territorial Administrativa de la República N°41548-MGP". Sistema Costarricense de Información Jurídica (in Spanish). 19 March 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  3. ^ División Territorial Administrativa de la República de Costa Rica (PDF) (in Spanish). Editorial Digital de la Imprenta Nacional. 8 March 2017. ISBN 978-9977-58-477-5.
  4. ^ "Área en kilómetros cuadrados, según provincia, cantón y distrito administrativo". Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos" (in Spanish).
  6. ^ "Sistema de Consulta de a Bases de Datos Estadísticas". Centro Centroamericano de Población (in Spanish).
  7. ^ "Censo. 2011. Población total por zona y sexo, según provincia, cantón y distrito". Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  8. ^ Kordick, Carmen. The Saints of Progress: Coffee, Migration, and Costa Rican National Identity. University of Alabama Press, 2019.
  9. ^ Elizabeth Barham, Bertil Sylvander (24 Jun 2011). Labels of Origin for Food: Local Development, Global Recognition. CABI. p. 146. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  10. ^ Costa Rica Finca Palmilera Roy Street Coffee and Tea, 2012-11-16.
  11. ^ $7 Cup of Starbucks: A Logical Extension of the Coffee Chain’s Long-Term Strategy TIME 2012-11-30