Esparza is the number 2 canton of the province of Puntarenas. It is located in the north of the province. Its territorial extension is 216.8 km². To the south it borders the Pacific Ocean coast, to the north with Montes de Oro and San Ramón, to the east with San Mateo and Orotina, and to the west with the canton of Puntarenas. It was founded on November 6,1851. Its head is the city of Esparza, in the district of Espiritu Santo. According to the 2011 National Census, the population of the canton was 28,644 inhabitants, of which 4.3% were born abroad.
The same census highlights that there were 8,435 occupied dwellings, of which, 59.4% were in good condition and there were problems of overcrowding in 4.6% of the dwellings.74.6% of its inhabitants lived in urban areas. Among other data, the literacy level of the canton is 97.6%, with an average schooling of 8.3 years. The same census details that the economically active population is distributed as follows: Primary Sector: 7.2%. Secondary Sector: 23.7%. Tertiary Sector: 69.1% For the year 2012, it had a human development index of 0.823 according to the United Nations Development Program. The geography of the canton is varied: it includes the mountainous slopes of the Montes del Aguacate, wide plains and the coastal region. In this area, mining, agricultural and livestock activities have been developed. It is an area of access to the tourist region of the Central Pacific of Costa Rica. There is a free zone and several small industries.
In Esparza, Costa Rica's most important seaport, Caldera, is located. The territory of the corner of Esparza has historical importance for the country. Ancient pre-Columbian cacicazgos were located in this area, including the kingdoms of the Garabito and Coyoche caciques. The city of Espiritu Santo was one of the first Spanish towns founded during the Conquest, in 1574. In Esparza was born Saturnino Lizano Gutiérrez, who was president of the Republic.