Montes de Oca, San José

Montes de Oca Canton

Province:San José Province
Capital:San Pedro
Area:15.16 km² (1)
Population:53,357 (2)
pop. density:3.327 inh./km²
Website: >
Montes de Oca is the name of the 15th canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 15.16 km² (1), and has a population of 53,357(2). The capital city of the canton is San Pedro.

The elongated canton reaches from the suburbs of the national capital of San José eastward to the province of Cartago, and neighbors the cantons of Curridabat, San José, Cartago, and Goicoechea. The Río Torres delineate a portion of the northern boundary, while the Río Ocloro and Quebrada Poró mark the southern boundary.

The canton is known for its high level of commercial development, the number of universities and other centers of higher education, and its active night life. It is one of the most urbanized and vibrant cantons in the San José area, both day and night.

The canton of Montes de Oca is subdivided into 4 distritos (districts).

  1. San Pedro
  2. Sabanilla
  3. Mercedes
  4. San Rafael

Education in Montes de Oca

Main article: List of universities in Costa Rica

Montes de Oca is known in Costa Rica as the Cradle of Higher Education as it is home to the University of Costa Rica as well as other university-level centers of study, such as the Universidad Latina and the Universidad Americana (UAM)Escuela Laboratorio . The canton can boast of 99% literacy, compared with 95% in Costa Rica at large.

Points of Interest

  • Mall San Pedro, a shopping center built in the mid-90s, contains tattoo parlors, a movie theater, a food court, video game shops, and clothing stores.
  • Calle de la Amargura, a street centered around the nightlife of the University of Costa Rica.
  • Fuente de la Hispanidad, a large fountain in a major intersection that focuses on Costa Rica's cultural heritage. It is a major landmark in the area.
  • Iglesia San Pedro (San Pedro Catholic Church)


The canton was established by law on August 2, 1915. Its name honors a former congressional representative from the area, Don Faustino Montes de Oca (1859-1902).


(1) Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN), 2001.

(2) Estimates of Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC), May 2003.

External links

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