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La Cruz


The geographic coordinates of the canton of La Cruz are stated at 11°00'38" Northern latitude and at 85°35'29" Western longitude.

The maximum wideness is of 82 km from the Northeast to the Southeast, at about 150 meters from the Northeast of the border stone no.14, the frontier wGuanacaste Beachith the Republic of Nicaragua, where the imaginary line intercepts the river of Las Haciendas until the spit of Santa Elena, in the eponymous peninsula.


In the precolumbian era the territory which nowadays forms the canton of La Cruz, formed part of one of the provinces of the natives called Chorotegas, whose territory comprised the land from the peninsula of Nicoya until the Lake of Nicaragua, founded by different settlements or nobilities.

The region was discovered by don Gil González Dávila in 1522, on his march towards another province of the Chorotegas, which was under control of the leader Nicarao (today Nicaragua). In 1561, the Granada-born don Juan de Cavallón passed through this area on an expedition which led him to the Central Valley. In September 1562,  don Juan Vázquez de Coronado traveled through this territory, carrying along cattle and horses from León. On his voyage to Cartago, don Perafán de Ribera passed through this region, too.

In the second half of the 19th century, the first farmers coming from Rivas, Nicaragua, arrived at this region; starting the establishment of granges. On March the 20th, 1856, our troops fought their first battle against the filibusterers of William Walker in the territory of Santa Rosa, and achieved the defeat of the invaders in our national territory.

Under the government of don Ascensión Esquivel Ibarra, a school was built in 1906, which was located 50 meters east of the current viewpoint, built by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute. In 1953, a new school building was inaugurated, it was given the name of Escuela (school) Salvador Villar Muñoz. The Liceo (secondary school) La Cruz started teaching in 1969, under the Birdwatvhing Guanacastegovernment of  don José Joaquín Trejos Fernández, and as an complementary education center of evening classes, firstly during the night but than in the daytime, integrated in the school; and in 1973 the current installations were inaugurated.

In the law no. 20, of October the 18th, 1915, the territorial division for administrative responsibilities is enacted, through which the district of La Cruz constitutes a part of the third district of the canton of Liberia.

The first chapel was built in 1923, located in the Northeastern corner of the current park. At that time, the archbishop Monseñor don Víctor Manuel Sanabria Martínez, second archbishop of Costa Rica, established the parish with advocation of Santa Cruz, which currently is suffragan to the diocese of Tilarán, part of the ecclesial province of Costa Rica.

The piping was inaugurated in 1946, under the government of Teodoro Picado Michalski.

Under the government of don José Joaquín Trejos Fernández, on October the 23th, 1969, decreed in the law no. 4354, the community of La Cruz was adjudicated the title of a town, to be exact the main town of the canton created in this opportunity. Later on, stipulated in the law no. 4574 of May the 4th, 1970, the municipal code was proclaimed, which in its third article adjudicates the previously mentioned town the state of a city, because it was the main city of the canton.
On the 10th of August, 1970, the first meeting of the Council of La Cruz took place, and the following landowners participated in this council: Master Piedad Loáiciga Salgado, president; Víctor Manuel Hernández Ortega, vicepresident; and Carlos Manuel RodrígSDunset, Guanacaste Beachuez Campos. The civic chairman was Félix Sancho Gallo and the vicechairman was  don José Luis Fallas

The origin of the name traces back to an event which took place in the era when the cowhands brought cattle from Nicaragua to Esperanza. At that time one of them, while crossing the region, dropped dead when he was tracking a cow which had escaped from the herd. Therefore his fellows placed a cross of pales made of roundwood on his grave. Afterwards this cross served as reference for the cowhands, to take a rest in this place and at the same time count the cattle before continuing their journey to their final destination. As time drew on, the place gave origin to the formation of a new community, which started to call itself La Cruz.


The elevations in meters above sea level of the districts’ urban centers of that canton are the following ones:

City of La Cruz 255, Villa Santa Cecilia 337, Villa La Garita 300 and Villa Cuajiniquil 10.


The watering system of the canton of La Cruz corresponds to the slopes of the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean.

The first one corresponds to the minor slope in the North, which belongs to the river basin of the river Zapote. The area is drained by the rivers Sapoá, Sábalo, Cañita, Mena, Orosí, Sardina, Cañas and Las Haciendas; that arise in this canton, in the slopes of the Orosí volcano, in the volcanic mountain range of Guanacaste, until they disembogue into the Lake of Nicaragua of the eponymous republic; the water’s course represents a direction from to the South to the North and from the Southwest to the Northeast. The river Las Haciendas borders on the canton of Guatuso, of the province of Alajuela.

The river basins of the Northern coast and the basin of the riverHorsebackriding yours Tempisque correspond to the slope on the Pacific side. The first one receives its waters from the rivers Salinas, Cuajiniquil, Murciélago and Potrero Grande, that arise in the canton, the last two ones arise in the hills of the peninsula of Santa Elena.

The waters’ courses represent a direction from East to West and from Southeast to Northwest, until they disembogue into the gulfs of Santa Elena and Papagallo, in the Pacific Ocean. The river Tempisque’s baisin is drained by the river Tempisquito, which arises in this region, in the slopes of the Orosi volcano and the hill of Orosilito, in the volcanic mountain range of Guanacaste, which borders on the canton of Liberia.

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