Grecia is the third canton of the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica. It is located towards the center of the country, 20 km northwest of the city of Alajuela. It has an area of 141.52 km² and is divided into 7 districts, which are Grecia, San Isidro, San Roque, San José, Tacares, Puente de Piedra and Bolívar. The population of the canton is 76,898 inhabitants according to the last census.
It is located 27 kilometers from the Juan Santamaría International Airport and 50 kilometers from the national capital, San José City.
Its climate is humid temperate, between 16ºC and 27ºC, depending on the locality. It is located at an altitude of 1000 m.a.s.l., and the districts are at different altitudes.
At its highest point, at 2,500 meters above sea level, is the Bosque del Niño forest in the Grecia Forest Reserve.
Has a diversified economy dominated by agricultural production of coffee and sugar cane, with the presence of industrial activities related to these crops, in addition to other sectors dedicated to trade, factories and sale of vehicles.
It is also part of the tourist route of the western region of the Central Valley of Costa Rica, given the existence in the canton of spas, waterfalls, protected areas and the Catholic temple of Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, which is historical-architectural heritage of Costa Rica.
The main health center is the San Francisco de Asís Hospital, a state-run medical center belonging to the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, and is a regional hospital that serves the western sector of the Central Valley. The hospital offers 26 health services, including health care and logistical and administrative support. The Grecia Health Area has 13 Basic Comprehensive Health Care Teams.
Grecia is a canton with a high literacy rate (99%) and a high human development index (0.77%). It currently has 54 primary schools and 10 secondary schools. In terms of higher education, there is a branch of the University of Costa Rica in the district of Tacares, three private universities and a branch of the National Learning Institute. Grecia is the canton with the most professionals per square kilometer as it has been calculated.
Is known for its beautiful red church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary under the title of “Nuestra Señora de la Mercedes”. Was built in the 19th century entirely of structure and metal sheets. It is a neo-Gothic style construction, built entirely of iron. Has been declared historical-architectural patrimony and national monument of the country. It is 35 meters high, but its towers reach 45 meters high.