While traditions of old endure in the cool upland flanks of the imposing Cerro Blanco mountain, Escaz˙'s lower reaches are becoming pop, rock and everything in between. This buzzing hub, synonymous with "in'' for urban sophisticate and bush hipster alike, took off in the 1990's as Escaz˙ grew from San JosÚ suburb and sleepy village into an enclave for wealthy expatriates and city-center escapees seeking a healthy family environment and clean country air. Soon a neon invasion of trendy restaurants, clubs and chic shopping centers followed, fusing Escaz˙'s three main villages into a complex contemporary conglomerate of old and new.
At its northern limit near the country's newest premier medica) facility, the much-lauded CIMA hospital,the Multiplaza mallí offers a wide variety of smart boutiques, commercial outlets and cinemas. Just over the road, with a linguistic nod to the district's ancestors, Plaza ltzkatzu has become the word for innovative restaurants and fusion cuisine.
On the 'old road' linking Escaz˙'s pivotal El Cruce crossroads with western farming town Santa Ana, rambling family estates hide behind venerable tree-lined boundary walls, built when San JosÚ was still an hour away on a dirt road to the east. This exclusive address has impeccable society credentials as embassy residents cluster about the Costa Rica Country
Club, venue of choice for social gatherings and international sporting tournaments.
Roads are paved now, but narrow lanes still twist in mind warping profusion, adding to the frustrating charm of the place. This hasn't deterred residential growth. Sumptuous mansions, gated communities and starkly modern condominiums rise up the slopes sharing the views of San Jose's sparkling nightscapes or distant volcanoes with cost farmsteads and small barrios. Escaz˙ reinvents itself continuously, social hot-spot, family haven close to leading schools and upscale amenities or hilltop hideaway for reclusive millionaires.