San Jose & the Central Valley , Costa Rica

San Jose and the Central Valley, Costa Rica travel itineraries and places to stay.

San José is located in a deep bowl that lies amidst the mountains that divide the length of the country between its Pacific and Caribbean coasts and lowlands.

The capital spreads out over a grid, its tin roofs glittering under the sun, all the way to the suburbs and coffee plantations.

There is a whole lot more to Costa Rica's Central Valley than San Jose and the International Airport. Here you will find volcanoes, national parks, coffee plantations, waterfalls, quaint towns, and much more. The Central Valley is a lush and verdant area surrounded by mountain ranges and home to over 70% of the country's population.

Easy day trips can be made from San Jose to Irazu Volcano National Park and Poas Volcano National Park. The charming town of Turrialba is a perfect base for river rafting on the Pacuare and Reventazon rivers. San Jose, Cartago, Heredia and Alajuela and the primary cities where you can stroll the streets and mingle with Ticos. Splendid birdlife is commonly found in the valley including Resplendant Quetzals and Keel-billed toucans.

Pacuare Lodge Costa Rica

 

El Silencio Lodge & Spa Costa Rica

 

Itineraries in San Jose & the Central Valley

Costa Rica Highlights

Costa Rica Highlights

Duration: 8 days, 7 nights
From: $1795
Take your pick of activities around Arenal Volcano, explore nature at its fullest at the Monteverde Cloudforest, finish at Manuel Antonio National Park.
Costa Rica Adventure

Costa Rica Adventure

Duration: 9 days, 8 nights
From: $2150
This tour combines three natural highlights of Costa Rica: the Pacuare River, the Arenal Volcano and the beautiful beaches of Manuel Antonio.
Costa Rica Exploration

Costa Rica Exploration

Duration: 13 days, 12 nights
From: $2117
Immerse yourself in nature at three distinct ecosystems: Caribbean coast, Arenal Volcano, Monteverde Cloudforest; finishing up on the wide sweeping beaches of the northern Pacific coast.
Costa Rica Rainforest Immersion

Costa Rica Rainforest Immersion

Duration: 7 days, 6 nights
From: $1335
Caribbean coastal rainforest, the Arenal Volcano and the Monteverde Cloudforest.
Volcanoes And Wildlife

Volcanoes And Wildlife

Duration: 10 days, 9 nights
From: $3350
Enjoy the beaches and jungles of Manuel Antonio National Park, the tropical rainforest in Corcovado National Park, and a few days beneath the fantastic Arenal Volcano.
The Central Valley & Manuel Antonio

The Central Valley & Manuel Antonio

Duration: 9 days, 8 nights
From: $3650
Discover the combination of modern luxury travel and tropical wonder in Costa Rica.
Treasures Of Costa Rica:  Arenal & Guanacaste Adventure

Treasures Of Costa Rica: Arenal & Guanacaste Adventure

Duration: 7 days, 6 nights
From: $3895
Discover the authentic jewels of Costa Rica: Arenal Volcano’s Thermal Springs and the incredible views from your own pool at Hotel Punta Islita.
Hidden Spots of the Pacific Coast

Hidden Spots of the Pacific Coast

Duration: 9 days, 8 nights
From: $3885
Discover the Costa Rican Pacific Coast with this 9-day trip to hidden spots few visitors know of.
Caribbean Costa Rica

Caribbean Costa Rica

Duration: 10 days, 9 nights
From: $
Adventure awaits you atop the Irazu Volcano, along the Pacuare River and the Caribbean Coast.
Cloud Forest & Island Adventure

Cloud Forest & Island Adventure

Duration: 9 days, 8 nights
From: $3025
Hiking through the clouds, glamping on a private island, relaxing at the beach.
Forests, Caves and Beach Adventure

Forests, Caves and Beach Adventure

Duration: 9 days, 8 nights
From: $2910
Have you ever been into a cave? Come join us on a Costa Rica trip that includes everything you need to relax... adventure, forests, and the beach.
Sky to Sea

Sky to Sea

Duration: 7 days, 6 nights
From: $1200
Trekking from high mountains to lush rainforests.
Tortuguero & Tropical Rainforests

Tortuguero & Tropical Rainforests

Duration: 7 days, 6 nights
From: $1335
Caribbean coastal rainforest, the Arenal Volcano and the Monteverde Cloudforest.
Travel Tips
Snacks such as nuts, granola, or jerky go a long way, whether for the airplane journey or to share with guides or new friends.
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