Palmar Norte - Costa Rica

There are restaurants, banks, supermarkets, gas stations and accommodations in Palmar Norte.
There are restaurants, banks, supermarkets, gas stations and accommodations in Palmar Norte.

Palmar Norte is located at the northern point of Costanera Sur. Rio Grande de Terraba separates Palmar Norte from Palmar Sur. A steel bridge connects the two towns with each other. The Rio Grande de Terraba is the longest river in Costa Rica, it is 196 kilometers long.

A big part of the population is of Chinese origin, the amount of Chinese restaurants in town is reflective of this ethnic influence.

Many pre-Columbian stone spheres where discovered in Palmar Norte and the surrounding area. One of the, manmade, stone spheres can be seen on the village square.

With 196 kilometers the Rio Grande de Terraba is the longest river in Costa Rica.
With 196 kilometers the Rio Grande de Terraba is the longest river in Costa Rica.

The Spanish Conquerors thought that gold was hidden in the stone spheres and destroyed some of them. When they realized that they were made out of pure granite they lost interest in them. Many stone spheres with a diameter from a few centimeters up to almost 3 meters have been discovered. The heaviest amongst them weighs 25 tons. They are made out of volcanic stone that seems to come from the mountains north of Palmar Norte. There are many theories about their significance and how they were made, but it still remains an unsolved mystery.

The locality of the mysterious stone spheres...
The bridge over the Rio Grande de Terraba connects Palmar Norte with Palmar Sur.
The bridge over the Rio Grande de Terraba connects Palmar Norte with Palmar Sur.

Some of the stone spheres were found in clusters, but it was not possible to draw a conclusion from their arrangement.

The spheres that were found on the Isla de Canas are another mystery. The stone that they are made of does not exist on the island. They must have been brought there.

It is very probable that they had some religious significance, but maybe they just said something about the social status of their owner.

It seems like they were rounded with the power of water. There are several waterfalls in the surrounding area of Palmar Norte that could have been used for this.

Palmar Norte on the map

Palmar Norte on the map

Facts about Palmar Norte, Costa Rica

  • The Costanera Sur ends in Palmar Norte.
  • Pre-Columbian stone spheres where found in Palmar Norte and the surrounding area.

Driving times and distances

  • Distance from San Jose to Palmar Norte: 277.1 kilometers respectively 172 miles.
  • Travel time from San Jose to Palmar Norte: 4.42 hours.
  • Distance from Liberia to Palmar Norte: 359.2 kilometers respectively 223.1 miles.
  • Travel time from Liberia to Palmar Norte: 6.10 hours.

With the right form it is possible rotate the stones around themselves and carve them perfectly round.



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