Esteban Cervantes Jiménez Profile

Esteban Cervantes Jiménez
Esteban Cervantes Jiménez.

I am an 39-yr old architect and urban planner from Costa Rica, currently working for the national chapter of the Green Building Council, promoting sustainable construction and design and helping manage a certification system, as well as being an EDGE and LEED trainer. I also have experience in urban design and urban planning, and a strong interest in cultural and architectural heritage, that comes from my childhood, when I used to visit national parks and towns at the Costa Rican countryside with my family, with its churches, landscapes and picturesque towns. It all impressed me hugely, therefore my soft spot for cultural landscapes and mountain sites. 

In this interest for heritage concurred many other of my passions: my love for nature (I'm an avid hiker, having visited some of the most amazing locations of my country), my interest in architecture and town planning (especially the Modern Movement), and my other multiple passions: world's cultures, history, geography, etc..

As a matter of fact, I was part of the Costa Rican team that in the 1999 International Geography Olympiad, in Toronto, reached an unexpected 4th place, after a 3rd-spot tie with the Canadian team.

Specifically about the World Heritage List, I knew about it in my teens, through an almanac book, that listed all WHS from every country to that point (mid 90s), in its profiles of every country. This created a deep impression on me, since I was both interested in the geographical aspect of this matter and the existence of a far more diverse heritage in the world, than I had previously thought. It further fueled my appetite for knowledge about the world.

Since I found the Unesco-WH website, sometime around 2003, I started searching more about each site, by reading the AB evaluations, creating picture and document folders for each WH and tentative site, etc.  Every time when the WH session happens and the documents from each new site and their evaluations are filtered, I enrich my databank and pictures. Of course, it is a totally intellectual task, but one that I find highly rewarding.

I am profficient in five languages: Spanish, English, German and French and Italian, having certified my proficiency in English (through TOEFL) and German (Zertifikat Deutsch B2). I am currently learning Portuguese and doing my best to learn Dutch. As you may see, languages are one of my freaky interests, and I'm eager to learn others, especially Chinese, Japanese and Russian. 

Currently, I am immersed in obtaining a Masters degree in Costa Rica in Urban design and planning, with the intention to then do a PHd abroad. I expect to begin visiting other WHS in the future, as time and money allow it.

Visited Sites Esteban Cervantes Jiménez

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  • Natural
  • Mixed

Recent Reviews Esteban Cervantes Jiménez

Corcovado and Isla del Cano (T)

Esteban Cervantes Jiménez Costa Rica - 15-Nov-17

Corcovado and Isla del Cano (T)

Site visited on my December-January vacations, for a whole week, a trip that I had been wishing to do since my childhood’s readings about the Costa Rican National Park System, that helped me highlight the importance of the Osa peninsula conservation complex.

The Nature:

After visiting both protected areas, I think they fully live up to Corcovado’s name as “the most biologically diverse point on Earth”. During my visits to 2 different ranger stations (closer San Pedrillo and farther away and more pristine Sirena), I saw many more different species than I had ever seen in any national park in my country, and in different life stages, daytimes, and habitats than I had seen them before.

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Stone Spheres of the Diquís

Esteban Cervantes Jiménez Costa Rica - 22-Mar-15

Stone Spheres of the Diquís

I visited this site back on February 1st, 2015, on a two-day-trip. This was my first new site in 14 years and I am glad that I have managed to make the first review of it. I visited it as a part of an organized tour through cultural sites and traditions of the south east of Costa Rica, that was organized by

As part of the tour, me, my partner and a group of other 20 Costa Ricans and some resident Argentineans, traveled some 300 km to the cultural festival known as La Fiesta de los Diablitos (or the Party of the Little Devils), a tradition from the Boruca indian community which exists since colonial times, and takes place on the first weekend of January in Boruca Territory, and the first weekend of February in Rey Curré Territory, where we went. I thought it was the most interesting part of our journey, and is totally deserving of being in the Intangible Heritage List, in case it is ever nominated. I bought a mask, there is plenty of handicrafts at reasonable prices, made by the borucas themselves, who, after losing most of their own culture, are in the process of recovering it

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National archeological park of Guayabo de Turrialba (T)

Esteban Cervantes Jiménez Costa Rica - 24-Oct-14

National archeological park of Guayabo de Turrialba (T)

I would like to add a less general information to my initial account, made years ago. By that time, I hadn't visited the site in some 10 years.

I'm back on visiting different sites of Costa Rica and I made an almost incidental visit on Guayabo on October 12th (an unplanned homage to the initial contact between the native american and indigenous worlds). I did also a lot of photographing, which I hadn't done on my 2 or 3 previous visits. I think I got some really good shots. The area, not just the archaeological area, but the rural environment, the natural heritage, and the landscapes are worth photographing.

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Esteban Cervantes Jiménez Costa Rica - 21-May-14


I visited both Panama Viejo and Casco Viejo in january 1999, as part of a prize for winning the 3rd spot in Costa Rica's National Scientific Fair, together with 3 members of our group. We visited also sites outside the WH site, as Cerro Ancón, the Esclusas Miraflores, the aquarium, the canopy observatory "National Park" (from where one can see the best views of the city) and the Smithsonian's Barro Colorado island. And although my peers were most interested in the shopping malls (many Costa ricans go to Panama just to shop, as it is duty free area), I managed to make them come along with me on a taxi ride to the ruins of Panama Viejo.

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National Monument at San Jose (T)

Esteban Cervantes Jiménez Costa Rica - 18-Jun-11

National Monument at San Jose (T)

Equally to the National Theater, the National Monuement, located in the National Park in San Jose, represents the ideals of the liberal era, in this case nationalism. The monument was built to conmemorate the 1856-1857 National Campaign against the filibusters that invaded Nicaragua at that time and were planning to establish a puppet slave republic in Central America according to ideas prevailing at the time.

It was also built to ornate the park in front of the railway station that connected the city and the Central Valley to the Caribbean coast and thus allowed trade with the world at the time. It was the point of entrance to San Jose and was located in the area of San Jose where also the finest buildings and where the rich mainly settled, all in the northeastern side of the city.

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Profile Data

Esteban Cervantes Jiménez
Costa Rica
Most Impressive
As to the moment I’ve barely gone abroad, so I think I cannot recommend from a long pool of visited WHS. But I do can through my research and I definitely have a passion for Eastern Asian sites and cultural landscapes, in which people has through centuries evolved in harmony with the environment, I think they show us a way to go forward, as our development patterns have shown to be so damaging to the world’s precious resources. So, sites like Wuyi, mount Qingcheng, Huangshan, the Hani and Ifugao terraces, Fujisan, the Kii pilgrimage route, Nikko, Wulingyuan and so on. I also have a soft spot for cultural landscapes in general, mountain ranges, historic centers and architectural sites, but I wouldn’t mind if I visit one of the worst Struve sites. From the sites that I do have visited, the prize is a tie: to Mexico City for really blowing my mind and showing me what a world class city and adequate protection of built heritage are, and to the Chirripó National Park component of the La Amistad NP-Talamanca reserves site, as it is a really breathtaking landscape and nature is present in its full beauty, power and dread.
Definitely the WH list must become more representative of the diversity of the world with the years, I still think that Europe (especially Eastern Europe) has lots to give in terms of inscribable sites, but definitely the other regions (Asia in particular) should be taking the forefront. I am a fan of Eastern Asian sites and I don’t mind about having many historic centers, fortifications, religious or industrial sites, if they’re worthy. Since writing the last version of my profile, some of the sites I valued the most have been inscribed, like the M’banza Kongo ruins, Yazd, Afrodisias, Bagan, Ani and FLW sites. Others are pending an effort of the State Party for inscription or are not even in a Tentative List: like the cemeteries and cenotaphs of the First World War in Belgium and France, Glasgow's School of Art, John Soane's house in London, Kamakura, the ruins of Kumbi Saleh in Mauritania, the amphitheater of Aspendos in Turkey, Kuélap in Peru, the Mochica sites also in Peru, the Tayrona-Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Parks in Colombia, Las Pozas-Xilitla in Mexico, Las Pariñas in Argentina, the temples of Palitana, Varanasi or Bhubaneswar in India, Alvar Aalto's architectural work, the Klondike in Canada/USA, Famagusta in Cyprus, Dura Europos or Ebla in Syria, Jerash in Jordan, as well as many other sites. From my country, from my knowledge, a new, much bigger tentative list should be developed (it will surely be not developed in coming years) and I defend Corcovado as a possible WHS, if inscribed with associated reserves and its rich marine environment.

Recently Visited WHS

Update 11.10.23

0 Countries Complete

Top 50 Missing Sites

  1. Amritsar
  2. Bagan
  3. Benin Iya / Sungbo' s Eredo
  4. Cenotes of the Yucatan
  5. Chicago School of Architecture
  6. City of Herat
  7. Dzongs of Bhutan
  8. Kaieteur National Park, Iwokrama Forest and the Kanuku Mountains
  9. Middle and Upper Sepik
  10. Minoan palaces of Crete
  11. Mt Kailash
  12. Okavango Delta
  13. Palitana
  14. Pharaonic Temples of Kom Ombo and Edfu
  15. Tana Toraja Cultural Landscape
  16. Taq-i-Kisra (Arch of Ctesiphon)
  17. The Archaeological Site of Göbeklitepe
  18. Torres del Paine National Park
  19. Vatnajökull National Park
  20. Vers une architecture: Major Buildings of Le Corbusier

Top 200 WHS

  1. Aksum
  2. Timbuktu
  3. Coffee Cultural Landscape
  4. Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras
  5. Wachau Cultural Landscape
  6. Mycenae and Tiryns
  7. Acropolis
  8. Ephesus
  9. Pompei
  10. Amphitheater of El Jem
  11. Frontiers of the Roman Empire
  12. Timgad
  13. Historic Cairo
  14. Damascus
  15. Kairouan
  16. Medina of Fez
  17. Samarkand
  18. Kathmandu Valley
  19. Hué
  20. Ajanta Caves
  21. Sigiriya
  22. Potala Palace
  23. Borobudur
  24. Longmen Grottoes
  25. Sanchi
  26. Taj Mahal
  27. Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
  28. Imperial Tombs
  29. Göreme NP
  30. Aachen Cathedral
  31. Lalibela
  32. Ravenna
  33. Vatican City
  34. Route of Santiago de Compostela
  35. Mount Athos
  36. Chartres Cathedral
  37. Churches of Moldavia
  38. Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis
  39. Popocatepetl monasteries
  40. Westminster
  41. Sydney Opera House
  42. Kremlin and Red Square
  43. Great Zimbabwe
  44. Meroe
  45. Puebla
  46. Ouro Preto
  47. Melaka and George Town
  48. Québec
  49. Quito
  50. Old Havana
  51. Bali Subak system
  52. Upper Middle Rhine Valley
  53. Air and Téneré
  54. Wadi Rum
  55. Namib Sand Sea
  56. Lorentz National Park
  57. Museumsinsel (Museum Island)
  58. Jantar Mantar
  59. Ancient Thebes
  60. Pyramids (Memphis)
  61. Nubian Monuments
  62. Grand Canyon
  63. Vredefort Dome
  64. Uluru
  65. New Lanark
  66. Ironbridge Gorge
  67. Ancient Kyoto
  68. Gyeongju
  69. Komodo National Park
  70. Virunga National Park
  71. Galapagos Islands
  72. Serengeti
  73. Cape Floral Region
  74. Kinabalu Park
  75. Tropical Rainforest Sumatra
  76. Rio Abiseo National Park
  77. Tasmanian Wilderness
  78. Rainforests of the Atsinanana
  79. Sangha Trinational
  80. Glacier parks
  81. Yosemite National Park
  82. Los Glaciares
  83. Chola Temples
  84. Khajuraho Group of Monuments
  85. Prambanan
  86. Dazu Rock Carvings
  87. Itsukushima Shrine
  88. Tombs of Buganda Kings
  89. Aldabra Atoll
  90. Sub-Antarctic Islands
  91. Gough and Inaccessible Islands
  92. Soltaniyeh
  93. South China Karst
  94. Gunung Mulu
  95. Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago
  96. Cuzco
  97. Gulf of California
  98. Te Wahipounamu
  99. Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River
  100. Great Barrier Reef
  101. Belize Barrier Reef
  102. Cocos Island
  103. Cartagena
  104. Maritime Greenwich
  105. Hoi An
  106. Lübeck
  107. Siena
  108. Granada
  109. Dubrovnik
  110. Kraków
  111. Brugge
  112. Arab-Norman Palermo
  113. Novgorod
  114. Avignon
  115. Avila
  116. Auschwitz Birkenau
  117. Gwynedd Castles
  118. Crac des Chevaliers
  119. Hill Forts of Rajasthan
  120. Himeji-jo
  121. Great Wall
  122. Bahla Fort
  123. Fortifications of Vauban
  124. Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines
  125. Potosi
  126. Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
  127. Sewell Mining Town
  128. Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks
  129. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers
  130. Cliff of Bandiagara
  131. Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch
  132. Huangshan
  133. Canaima National Park
  134. Huascaran National Park
  135. Samarra
  136. Tchogha Zanbil
  137. Persepolis
  138. Petra
  139. Palmyra
  140. Ancient Merv
  141. Hattusha
  142. Rapa Nui
  143. Imperial Palace
  144. Versailles
  145. El Escurial
  146. Fontainebleau
  147. Ngorongoro
  148. Lower Valley of the Omo
  149. Persian Garden
  150. Classical Gardens of Suzhou
  151. Kew Gardens
  152. Potsdam
  153. Carthage
  154. Amsterdam Canal Ring
  155. Florence
  156. St. Petersburg
  157. Paris, Banks of the Seine
  158. Budapest
  159. Vienna
  160. Vicenza and the Palladian Villas
  161. San Agustín
  162. Chaco Culture
  163. Machu Picchu
  164. Teotihuacan
  165. Tikal National Park
  166. Tiwanaku
  167. Oaxaca and Monte Alban
  168. Stonehenge
  169. Çatalhöyük
  170. Nasca Lines
  171. Biblical Tells
  172. Medici Villas and Gardens
  173. Works of Antoni Gaudí
  174. Kenya Lake System
  175. Pantanal
  176. Lake Baikal
  177. Okavango Delta
  178. Lakes of Ounianga
  179. Lake Malawi
  180. Altamira Cave
  181. Vézère Valley
  182. Tassili n'Ajjer
  183. Maloti-Drakensberg Park
  184. Angkor
  185. Ayutthaya
  186. Anuradhapura
  187. Qhapaq Ñan
  188. Grand Canal
  189. Mountain Railways of India
  190. Venice and its Lagoon
  191. Istanbul
  192. Rome
  193. Mexico City and Xochimilco
  194. Cordoba
  195. Shibam
  196. Brasilia
  197. Val di Noto
  198. Berlin Modernism Housing Estates
  199. Hawaii Volcanoes
  200. Yellowstone