Costa Rica is a country that is globally known for its gorgeous white sand beaches, its luscious green rainforests and ‘pura vida’ lifestyle. When you think about a weekend fieldtrip, you would think of an escapade to a warm tropical sunny beach on the Pacific Ocean. But we bet you would never ever think of visiting a haunted sanatorium on the Cartago mountains!
The Sanatorio Carlos Durán (Carlos Duran Sanatorium), was a fully equipped hospital built to hold up to 300 tuberculosis patients during the outbreak in Costa Rica. Located in the Cartago province, this hospital was built up high in the mountains per the recommendation of various doctors’ who claimed that the climate in this area was optimal for healing. At an altitude of over 2,300 meters over see level, the Durán Sanatorium was perfect as it was secluded from the city, as this was an extremely contagious disease.
During its golden years, the Durán Sanatorium had enough space for 300 patients including women, men, children and even a private sector for individuals with high economic level.
After about 45 years, the Sanatorium was closed down and abandoned, as the medical treatments for this disease improved and so seclusion was no longer required.
The Sanatorium might sound as a comfortable hospital to stay at while the disease was cured, but in reality hundreds of patients suffered and had much physical pain before passing away at the Sanatorium. For this reason, there are countless stories about patients, nurses and nuns who never left the premises after their deaths.
Once you get to the Carlos Durán Sanatorium, you are able to walk through the whole hospital. Much of the structures have not survived during the years, however you are able to visit everything from the kitchen, laundry room and chapel, to the laboratory and operation rooms.
Visiting the Carlos Durán Sanatorium is both interesting and a bit spooky at times. The cold air and shadows inside the buildings give the sense that you will have a close encounter with a nun guarding the hallways, or even hear the laments and screams of dying patients.
Looking to inject some mystery into your weekend? Then visit the Carlos Durán Sanatorium for the ghostly experience of a lifetime! It will only take you about an hour and a half to drive up. Most roads are pretty decent however you might need a midsize car or SUV in case you feel like exploring a little further around town. Remember, you can Rent a Car in Costa Rica at any of our four offices in the province of Cartago.
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