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Santa Ana is a city in the Central District of Santa Ana, Santa Ana Canton, San José Province, Costa Rica. It is located at around Coordinates: . The city acts as seat to the municipal government of the Santa Ana Canton. Since the Central District is mostly comprised by the city of Santa Ana, they are often treated interchangeably.
The city of Santa Ana still maintains its traditional feel of a typical Costa Rican town with its small stores, bars, restaurants offering local and international cuisine and Sunday fresh fruit and vegetable markets. Nonetheless, Santa Ana has been recently experiencing real estate and commercial development unprecedented in the entire Central Valley. It has become the place of choice with upscale grocery stores, gourmet restaurants, banks, gas stations, medical and dental clinics, beauty salons, coffee houses, hotels, private schools, and small commercial centers springing up everywhere. The city itself is within a few minutes of the surging business locale of Lindora, in the Pozos district, adding to the availability of commercial, lodging and residential areas.
National Highway of CR-27 Próspero Fernández connecting San José and Caldera, Puntarenas, passes within a mile of the city of Santa Ana. This has recently allowed faster travel to the Pacific coast, an average of 45 minutes from Santa Ana. The capital city of San Jose is also within 15–20 minutes thanks to this route. Although no distinction is legally made between freeways and tollways, CR-27 qualifies as the latter. There are currently no tolls on-route within the Santa Ana canton. There are plans to activate an entry-exit toll on the ramp serving the Piedades district and the main route connecting Santa Ana with Mora. The first two ramps (underpasses) in the San Jose-Caldera (West) direction service the Santa Ana district, the second being Route 147.
Major Regional Route 121 runs through the Santa Ana district overlapping most of 5th St and 3rd Ave. It connects the county with neighboring Escazu (East) and Mora (West). It is considered the main alternative to Route CR-27. Nevertheless it does not have the same vehicle capacity due to its single-lane and curving layout.
Major Regional Route 147 connects the Santa Ana district with the neighboring canton of Belen, Heredia. However, due to the growing enterprises and commercial sector in Lindora, Route 147 faces daily congestion.
Minor Regional Route 310 begins in the Santa Ana district and continues through Pozos northwards, parallel to Route 147. It runs through CR-27 without any official ramps connecting them. Since Route 310 runs through Pozos, connecting to Escazu, it is still an alternate route to CR-27. It is not recommended unless the previous routes are heavily congested. Route 310 ends in Route 121 in the Escazu canton after once more passing through CR-27 (with connecting ramps) due to its southwards facing U-shape.
Minor Regional Route 311 connects the district with the Salitral district to the south. The route ends in the town of Salitral.
Bus routes in Santa Ana are yet to be officially named and numbered. Buses serving the Santa Ana-Escazu-San Jose routes are currently identified by their blue color scheme. Buses serving the Santa Ana-Belen route follow a predominantly white with violet stripes scheme. The route each bus takes is indicated on the windshield without following any defined standards; passengers may ask the bus driver for clarification if needed. Fees for each route are set by the national authority- they cannot be modified and must be indicated and paid upon entry. There are discount plans available for 'Golden Citizens' (elderly residents) upon request at the local government offices exclusive to the Santa Ana-Escazu-San Jose bus services.
Santa Ana's authorized taxi service is officially located on Main St (Calle Central), in front of the church as well as further north (between Central & 5th Ave). Official taxi services follow the national standards: Red-colored with yellow triangles on the side indicating their permit number; licence plates begin with TSJ (Taxi San Jose). Taxi services with official plates from other provinces (TH, TP, etc.) are not permitted to begin their service in San Jose and vice-versa. They can, nonetheless, begin their service within their permitted province and finish it elsewhere. Since Santa Ana is located in the Province of San Jose, said limitations apply to non-TSJ plate wielders except Airport Shuttles and Taxis which operate freely in all provinces but are only available if called or at the airport.
The Santa Ana district's public education is served by the Andres Bello primary (elementary) school. The secondary education cycle (middle & high school) is offered by the Liceo de Santa Ana located in the neighboring district of Uruca.
There is a variety of private bilingual schools within short driving distance serving the international population of the Central Valley. Many are accredited by U.S.-based associations of colleges and schools and focus on the American High School Diploma program and a wide range of Advanced Placement courses, International Baccalaureate courses along with the Costa Rican national curriculum.
Other private schools within driving distance (<45 mins estimates) include:
The new Municipal Building of Culture houses the Municipal School of Integrated Arts (locally known as the EMAI for its Spanish acronym) which excels in its music program. It also features an art gallery, an auditorium, multipurpose rooms, municipal office spaces and a variety of murals adorning its contemporary facade.
Golfers in Santa Ana have access to the Parque Valle del Sol golf course located in Pozos, Santa Ana. It is the first and the only professional golf course in Costa Rica open to the public in the Central Valley. The 18-hole championship golf course was designed by Tracy May in 1994 to be challenging and fair under most conditions and downright tough when the strong winds come down from the surrounding mountains. Due to its diverse layout, golfers are required to use all of the clubs in their bag throughout the game.
The Santa Ana district has two municipal soccer fields and a municipal gymnasium. Public courts used mostly for basketball are adjacent to the main soccer field which faces the church. The current state of the roads and sidewalks make urban cycling and jogging slightly more risky than in other communities. There is an ongoing effort from the local government authorities to increase parks & recreation, an undeveloped aspect of Santa Ana's urban landscape.
The Central District of Santa Ana has an approximate population of 11,775 (2011), accounting for approximately 20% of the county's population. It is currently the second most populous district in the Santa Ana Canton after the district of Pozos.
Male: 5,563 Female: 6,212
Male to Female Ratio: 1:1.12