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| Updated: 10/31/2022

Anfiteatro de Villa

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

Always on the lookout for new things to do, see or eat in Costa Rica, we recently stumbled upon the Anfiteatro de Villa in Mora, Ciudad Colon and were not disappointed!

Benoit Dessard, a native of Belgium living in Costa Rica, was inspired by his children playing the famous Minecraft game to develop the abandoned and desolate property into a cultural site with underground tunnels, an outdoor amphitheater, and restaurants for the whole family to enjoy.

The property is open for visitors Wednesday to Friday from noon to 9pm and from 11am to 9pm on the weekend.  They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.  You can enter the property for free to walk around the grounds and eat at the restaurants. However, to enter the tunnels, you must pay 10USD (5500 colones) for a guided tour.  Children twelve and under will pay 4500 colones.

The tour is about 40 minutes long and covers more than 500 meters of tunnels 40 meters underground.  The tunnels currently connect nine separate rooms, including a medieval-style chapel and full-size dining hall.  You will also encounter marble replicas of famous sculptures such as Fontana di Trevi, The Thinker, and The Kiss.  Our tour guide was knowledgeable, well-spoken and entertaining.  They rent out the different subterranean areas for private events like parties and weddings, as well as business gatherings.  When we visited, the largest room was decorated for a private party that was happening later that evening, and it looked stunning, like we'd stepped back in time.    

There are other sculptures and fountains around the property, and the soft music played creates a relaxing and enchanting ambiance.  The mountain is nicely lit at night too.  Enjoy a cold drink or grab lunch at the pizzeria on the terrace near the entrance of the tunnels, or order a meal off the full menu at the restaurant on the edge of the cliff.

We arrived right around 4pm so we could see the grounds while there was still sunlight, take the tour and then eat dinner while enjoying the sunset.  We were pleased with our decision.  A tour was just starting as we got there, so we lucked out.  It seems they have a number of guides, but they probably wait until they have a enough people to form a decent-sized group.  There were about twelve people in our group.  We went during the dry season, so make sure to keep your eyes on the weather to make the best of the experience. 

It's amazing to see all that has been done and to know that it is a work-in-progress, so more is yet to come! 

To get to the Anfiteatro de Villa from Heredia, you will first need to take a bus to San Jose and then take a bus that goes to Ciudad Colon.  You get catch this bus at the main terminal in San Jose or from the Parque Maria Auxiliadora, one block south of Paseo Colon.  Once in Ciudad Colon, get off the bus at Licorera Y Minisuper Nuevo Brasil De Mora.  Six hundred meters north of the Fresh Market, turn right at the signs to follow the road down to the old quarry at the edge of the canyon of a deep river gorge.  Expect to be traveling for at least an hour and a half.  If traveling by car, Waze will be easy to use and follow from wherever you are. 

Want to visit Costa Rica and explore everything it has to offer?  Take our 4-week TEFL course to start your journey of teaching English in Costa Rica! 

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