San Jose & Central Valley Activities and Tours


White Water Rafting
All of the following rafting tours are full day adventures, and swimming experience is required. The minimum age for the Sarapiquí and Reventazón River tours is 12 years, and the challenging Pacuare River tour is open to people over the age of 14. Prior rafting experience is preferred for the Pacuare River tour as well.

All of the rafting tours include transportation, professional bilingual guides, rafting equipment, breakfast, and a picnic lunch.

SARAPIQUI RIVER - This tour travels on the Sarapiqui River from La Virgen to Chilamate and features class III rapids. An excellent choice for your first Costa Rican rafting trip, the river winds through a lush rainforest which is home to toucans, cormorants, kingfishers, howler monkeys and more.

After rafting, you'll enjoy the relaxing beauty of the Selva Verde restaurant and lodge where you can shower and change clothes. The lovely return drive to San José passes through Braulio Carrillo National Park and passes the Irazú Volcano.

REVENTAZÓN - This heart-stopping tour travels through the Florida Section of the Reventazón River and features some of the fastest and best class III rapids you'll ever paddle! You'll also be challenged by some class IV rapids on this adventure. The drive from San José journeys through Braulio Carrillo National Park to the eastern side of the country.

As your raft rounds each new bend in this river, you'll be greeted with yet another breathtaking view of the Reventazón Valley. Look for toucans, kingfishers, herons, tanagers, iguanas and bright green basilisk lizards. After a fun and exhilarating day, you'll finish your trip with a stop for a delicious hot lunch, showers, optional drinks, and souvenir store before the return drive to San José.

White Water Rafting PACUARE RIVER - This river featuring class III-IV rapids offers some of the finest white water in Latin America. You will traverse 20 miles of remote and scenic waters that course through a wilderness of dense vegetation covering the sides of steep gorges that rise above the river banks.

From San José drive approximately 3 hours to the put in, eating breakfast en route. At the put in you'll rig your raft and begin the journey downriver. You'll break for a delicious lunch served by your guides along the river's edge.
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Catamaran Tour
TORTUGA ISLAND - The full day cruises to Tortugua Island are fantastic sight-seeing adventures. During the cruise, you'll enjoy soft ocean breezes and turquoise water as you travel to the island which is home to a variety of birds and pacas as well as lush tropical vegetation.

While on Tortuga Island, spend time hiking on trails or lay on the sandy beach and soak up the sun. Tours include transportation, a bilingual guide, Continental breakfast, and a BBQ lunch served on the beach. Soft drinks and fresh fruit are included, and alcoholic beverages are available as well.

PUNTA CORAL - Located on the eastern-most tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, Punta Coral is accessible only by boat. This full day tour will take you there in comfort and style aboard a fantastic yacht. Once you arrive, you can spend the late morning strolling on easy nature trails while spotting troops of black-faced howler monkeys, Amazon parrots, and a variety of hummingbirds and butterflies.

Tours include transportation, a bilingual guide, Continental breakfast, and a BBQ lunch served with chilled white wine, soft drinks, and fresh fruit.
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Nature Tours

La Paz Waterfall Gardens
LA PAZ WATERFALL GARDENS - Located one hour from San José near the Poás Volcano, La Paz Waterfall Gardens encompasses five magnificent waterfalls, paved trails with viewing platforms, the largest enclosed butterfly observatory in Costa Rica, hummingbird garden, orchid garden, and snake farm.

The gardens offer several unique experiences for guests, including the opportunity to release a newly emerged butterfly. The half day tour includes guided transportation, entrance fees to La Paz Waterfall Gardens, and lunch.

LANKESTER GARDENS AND OROSÍ VALLEY - This incredibly scenic area lies about an hour's drive southeast of San José, just beyond the town of Paraíso. Some 600 orchid species are kept in the Lankester Gardens, administered by the University of Costa Rica.

Other families that are well represented in the garden are palms, bamboos, heliconias, bromeliads, and conifers. The surrounding tropical forest is some of the best preserved in the area, and attracts animals, birds, and insects to this protected haven. Hummingbirds in particular frequent the garden, and especially the nectar-rich flowers in the butterfly enclosure.

INBIO Park INBIO PARK - As an introduction to biodiversity and its wonders, this guided tour starts with a 15-minute audiovisual presentation. Following the presentation your friendly guide will take you on an unforgettable journey through the main ecosystems of Costa Rica.

Trails throughout the park feature permanent live exhibits including poisonous dart frogs, tarantulas, and more. Don't miss INBIO Park's lagoon where you'll search for underwater life through glass viewers.

CARARA NATIONAL PARK AND VILLA LAPAS SKY WALK - The huge Carara Biological Reserve forms an oasis for wildlife from a large surrounding area. Carara offers a rich biodiversity due to its transitional position between the dry northern forest and the humid tropical forest of the south. Carara has fauna and flora from both ecosystems and a virgin forest that covers most of the park. This reserve is known for its abundant birds and plants and also for being one of the last habitats in Costa Rica of the Scarlet Macaw.

The "Villa Lapas Sky Way" is a union of natural trails and hanging bridges throughout a wonderful rain forest of 100-year old trees. It is located on a private reserve very close to the Carara National Park. This trail has a length of 2.5 km with a descending slope. This full day tour is very accessible for children and adults of all ages and includes transportation, a tour guide, lunch, and entrance fees.

Los Angeles Cloud Forest LOS ANGELES CLOUD FOREST - A relatively unknown private reserve located north of San Ramón in the central highlands considered by many to be equal to Monteverde, with fewer crowds than its counterpart. This cloud forest reserve is home to 210 species of birds including the quetzals and bell birds, three types of monkeys, and several exceptional trails.

This full day tour includes transportation, a tour guide, entrance fees, and lunch.

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Volcano Tours

Poás  Volcano
POÁS VOLCANO - The active crater of the Poás Volcano is reportedly the widest of any volcano in the world. If it is clear enough to see all the way to the bottom, you may be treated to volcanic activity ranging from fumaroles all the way to geyser-type eruptions.

The summit area is covered with ash and has little vegetation, but the national park surrounding the volcano is widely varied. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers to stay warm and dry. This half day tour includes guided transportation, lunch, and entrance fees.

IRAZÚ VOLCANO - Irazú Volcano is the highest point in the Central Volcanic Cordillera. The gently sloping southern flank with its patchwork pattern of potatoes, cabbages, and other vegetable crops, replaced by bucolic dairy farms at higher elevations, belies the violent past of this sleeping behemoth that looms above the city of Cartago.

Upon nearing the summit the destructive forces of volcanic activity become more noticeable with the presence of scorched dead tree trunks that are still standing. On top of Irazú you will find several deep craters in this barren windswept terrain reminiscent of a moonscape. The high elevation itself, being just above the tree line at this latitude, keeps the vegetation from growing very tall, but the periodic devastating effects of eruptions keep plant life rather sparse.

As with all active volcanoes, the level and type of activity changes periodically, often abruptly. Since the last series of eruptions, between August of 1962 and March of 1965, Irazú's principal crater has only emitted fumarole activity. This half day tour includes guided transportation, lunch and entrance fees.

Irazú Volcano POÁS VOLCANO AND SARCHÍ COMBINATION - This full day tour combines visits to the Poás Volcano Cloud Forest National Park and the artisan village of Sarchí. The day begins with a scenic drive towards the park passing through fields and small towns. Upon arrival at the park, you'll spend some time exploring the natural wonder of the Poás Volcano and the surrounding landscape.

Next you'll head to Sarchí for a typical Costa Rican lunch and some shopping for beautiful hand-made crafts. The tour also includes transportation, tour guide, entrance fee to the volcano, and lunch.

IRAZÚ VOLCANO, LANKESTER GARDENS, AND OROSÍ VALLEY COMBINATION - This full day tour combines the magnificent Irazú Volcano tour with the breathtaking beauty of the Lankester Gardens and the Orosí Valley. The tour begins at the Irazú Volcano where you'll be amazed at the barren landscape and evidence of volcanic activity.

Next you'll head toward the Orosí Valley and Lankester Gardens. The Lankester Gardens features some 600 different native orchid species. The tour includes transportation, tour guide, entrance fee to the volcano, and lunch.
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City Tours

San Jose
SAN JOSÉ - This tour provides an excellent opportunity to learn about the past and present culture of Costa Rica. You'll visit many different neighborhoods of the capital, as well as local parks, the University of Costa Rica, downtown San José and some of the government buildings.

The tour also includes stops at the National Theater and National Museum, both housed in historical buildings. The National Theater features European statues, murals, and frescos and is built in a traditional baroque design.

The building housing the National Museum was once a military fortress, and is best known for its pre-Columbian artifacts on permanent display.

This half day tour includes entrance fees to the National Theater and the National museum, as well as transportation and a tour guide.

SARCHÍ AND GRECIA - The first stop on this 6 hour tour is Sarchí, known today as the "cradle of Costa Rican handicrafts." Among the many shops in this village you'll find artifacts of leather, jewelry, toys, as well as souvenirs of bronze, wood, and other materials.

Next you'll stop in Grecia, a small hillside town famous for its iron church and friendly people. This is a great opportunity for you to experience the countryside firsthand and interact with the local people.

Pueblo Antiguo THE PUEBLO ANTIGUO EXPERIENCE (OLD TOWN) - "Pueblo Antiguo" was conceived with the idea of providing permanent economic support to the Costa Rican National Children´s Hospital. The attraction will transport you to Costa Rica as it was at the turn of the century.

Come to the Pueblo Antiguo Experience to learn about the roots of this country as well as its traditions, myths, legends, and amusing idiosyncrasies in an entertaining presentation of theater, music and dance.
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Canopy Tours

Canopy Tour
CANOPY IN THE MOUNTAINS OF HEREDIA - This canopy tour has both morning and afternoon departures and is just 45 minutes from San José. You'll enjoy the thrill of experiencing nature as you zip through treetops from one platform to the next.

The half day tour, which is on the slopes of Barva Volcano in San José de la Montaña, includes transportation, a tour guide, a snack, and entrance fees.

SARAPIQUI CANOPY TOUR AND RAIN FOREST - Your day begins with a journey to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui passing through one of the most abundant national parks in Costa Rica. Upon arrival, you'll board a boat for a two hour trip along a river where you'll enjoy the magnificent rainforest and its inhabitants.

Once at the Reserve, you'll have the choice of reaching the canopy tour by either hiking or horseback. Then you'll roam around the treetops via a system of steel cables and professional climbing gear. This full day canopy adventure includes a naturalist guide, boat ride, lunch, optional horseback ride, and coffee break.

Canopy Tour LOS ANGELES CLOUD FOREST CANOPY TOUR - This tour through one of Costa Rica's stunning cloud forests allows you to get up close to the clouds and treetops that make this such a unique natural wonder.

You'll zoom from platform to platform, the highest being 72 feet above the forest floor. The longest distance between platforms is 345 feet - a spectacular adventure! This full day tour includes transportation, a tour guide, entrance fees, and lunch.

SAN LORENZO CANOPY TOUR - This tour is located just 1.5 hours from San José at the Valle Escondido Hotel. Canopy tours are the best way to get a bird's eye view of nature, as you fly through the treetops.

The San Lorenzo Canopy Tour features 13 platforms built in trees, on the ground, and in a tower. The tour includes transportation, a tour guide, entrance fees, and lunch.

Aerial Tram Tour AERIAL TRAM - The Rainforest Aerial Tram is a unique ecotourism and research facility which opened in October of 1994. The tour allows visitors to get the canopy experience from the comfort of the tram. You'll search for plants and animals hidden in the tops of tall tropical trees.

The Aerial Tram park is just one hour from San José and possesses one of the richest canopy communities in the world. This fascinating tour includes entrance fees, breakfast or lunch, the tram ride, and transportation. Tours depart in both the morning and the afternoon.
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Café Britt Coffee Tour

Café Britt Tour
This tour is a coffee lover's dream! Follow the journey of a coffee bean from the plant to a cup of gourmet coffee at the Café Britt Plantation Tour. You'll be led through the grounds by professional guides who will escort you through an interactive tour of the history of coffee.

You'll learn first hand about coffee cultivation, roasting, and packaging as well as how coffee culture is deeply woven into the history and culture of Costa Rican life. The icing on the cake is the spectacular panoramic view from the plantation featuring volcanos and the Central Valley.
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San Lorenzo Reserve Horseback Riding

Jungle Horseback Riding
Explore the most beautiful and hidden sites in this picturesque reserve on horseback. The tour begins by passing through crops of ornamental plants and under hanging oropendula nests on the way to the Rio La Balsa.

You'll travel on a rugged path along the river where you'll catch glimpses of the river valley and a small waterfall. Then you'll visit the reserve's farm and pond where you can fish for tilapia in the peaceful quiet. The full day tour includes transportation, a tour guide, entrance fee to the reserve, and lunch.
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