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City and district
Turrialba is located in Costa Rica
Coordinates: 9°54′N 83°41′W / 9.900°N 83.683°W / 9.900; -83.683Coordinates: 9°54′N 83°41′W / 9.900°N 83.683°W / 9.900; -83.683
CountryCosta Rica
638 m (2,093 ft)
 • Total31,104
Time zone-6

Turrialba is a small city in Cartago Province of Costa Rica with an estimated population of 35,618. The main industries are textiles, agriculture and tourism. The Pacuare and Reventazón Rivers are notable for whitewater rafting, making Turrialba a mecca for the sport.

"Several cities developed and prospered as a result of the building of the railroad to the Caribbean; Turrialba is one of these, and its architectural, spatial and ethnic makeup is different from other towns. Declared a City of National Archeological Interest, this town is the entryway to the Costa Rican Caribbean. Two universities are located here: the Tropical Agronomy Research and Learning Centre (CATIE), of international influence, and the University of Costa Rica. Turrialba’s outskirts contain appealing rural communities such as Santa Cruz, where homemade Turrialba cheese is produced, La Suiza and Aquiares, as well as the rapids of the Reventazón and Pacuare rivers." [2] Serpentario Viborana, a snake rehabilitation center, is also located in Turrialba.[3]

Turrialba cheese[edit]

Turrialba cheese is origin protected. Production started in the 1870s when a Spanish family headed by Lucas Vargas came from La Mancha and settled in the region of Santa Cruz, in Turrialba, to start producing cheese with the recipes they brought from their homeland.

In the 1890s rail transportation between Turrialba and the capital of San José became possible, and the Vargas family started to ship their product to San José and Cartago in wooden crates.

In 1930 Florentino Castro, a coffee producer, acquired the Hacienda El Volcán. This was the first time in the country when cheese, butter and sour cream were produced and packaged with labels for further distribution throughout the country. In the 1950s, the cheese was exported for the first time to Chile and England, along with coffee. [4]


The town's football club is Turrialba FC, who have spent several seasons in the Costa Rican Primera División. They play their home games at the Estadio Rafael Ángel Camacho.

The town is also home to the only official Major League baseball factory, moved there from Haiti by Rawlings in the late 1980's. This factory is a major employer in an otherwise depressed farming economy.


  1. ^ "World Gazetteer". Archived from the original on 2013-02-17.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-02. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
  3. ^ Kahler, Karl (31 Aug 2015). "Turrialba: Why the population explosion of Costa Rican snakes near people?". The Tico Times. Retrieved 21 Sep 2016.
  4. ^ Aguilar, Ana Yancy (1 Jul 2018). "Turrialbeños se preparan para llevar sus mejores productos a la Expoferia del Queso". AMPRENSA.COM. Retrieved 1 Jul 2018.