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


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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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