Costa Rica addresses – creative and confusing!

Let\'s meet at the mango tree
Not long ago, an L.A. Times columnist wrote an article about mailing addresses in Costa Rica.  Although a few streets in larger towns here are numbered and called calles (running north/south) or avenidas (running east/west), most locations are described in relation to landmarks, current or former.  For “old-timers,” a direction like “300 meters east of Bar Victor” makes perfect sense and they know the exact location (even if they don’t, they’ll often give you directions to get there anyway!).  What makes this so confusing for a “newcomer” is that there is no Bar Victor anymore.  It may have closed, been re-named, burned down or been torn down years ago, yet it is still used as a reference point.  Recently, I was making plans to meet someone in Bello Horizonte, Escazú.   I had to laugh when we finally decided where we would meet … at the mango tree!  After umpteen years, the road just grew up around the tree and it has become a charming, colorful reference point.  Ya gotta love it!  (The address for this home is “de la esquina sur de la iglesia calle Viquez, 100 m. al este, casa esquinera, mano derecha, con verjas azules.”  No kidding.)

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2 responses to “Costa Rica addresses – creative and confusing!

  1. ahhahahahaha
    never knew about it!
    those directions will surely confuse most people!

  2. Well, I am not that happy with this system, since my letters don’t reach me, or…. packages from overseas … NEVER!!! In my area every block has different system of numbers, depending what contractor built the house… my house is 7B, while the next block has already 69, 65, 60 posted… from what end to start counting those houses – it is not clear. Honestly, it is irritating to see such a disorder.

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