Cartago is a Costa Rican city, the capital of the canton and the homonymous province. It is located in the Guarco Valley, in the central region of Costa Rica. Geographically it is at an altitude of 1,435 m above sea level, on the slopes of the Irazú Volcano, 24 km southeast of the city of San José. The central urban area of the city is divided into three districts: Eastern district, 2.39 km² with 12,227 inhabitants, the Western district, 1.99 km² with 9,901 inhabitants and the southern part of the district of El Carmen with 4.35 km² and 17,425 inhabitants.
It has 26 streets and 22 avenues between the General Cemetery and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels in an east-west direction and from the Municipal Museum to the Municipal Ground in the north-south direction, for a historic center of 10 km². There is concentrated most of the shops, the town hall, the Ruins of Santiago Apóstol, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels and the School of San Luis Gonzaga which is, by its antiquity, the first institution of secondary education in the country. In addition, there is the Cartago Museum and the Technological Institute of Costa Rica, the most important university in Costa Rica in engineering.
The urban area of influence of Cartago measures around 180 km² and also includes the districts of San Nicolás, Agua Caliente, Guadalupe and Dulce Nombre of the central canton, as well as the districts of Paraíso, Llanos de Santa Lucía, the district of San Rafael del canton of Oreamuno and the districts of El Tejar and San Isidro of the canton of El Guarco. In 2014, the area of urban confluence of Cartago had a population of 221,733 inhabitants. Cartago has a modern radial entrance to the city by the sector of La Lima of 6 km and a section of circumvallation from the sector of Guadalupe to Dulce Nombre, which connects the road to Tejar with the road to Agua Caliente. In its perimeter is one of the largest industrial park areas in the country. An industrial complex along the 8 km of National Route # 2 on the Llano del Tejar straight, which includes El Tejar, Coris, Guadalupe and La Lima, with prominent industries in the medical and technology sectors.