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Things to do in Cartago

Our most recommended things to do in Cartago

San Jose: Irazú Volcano, Cartago City & Orosi Valley Tour

1. San Jose: Irazú Volcano, Cartago City & Orosi Valley Tour

Start with a pickup from your hotel and travel by minibus along the Panamerican Highway until you reach the base of the Irazú Volcano. Travel up the winding road through fertile farmlands where many types of fruit and vegetables are cultivated.  Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys. At the summit of the volcano, on a clear day, marvel at the spectacular view of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Next, descend to the city of Cartago and stop at the Virgin of the Angels Basilica. Discover this local pilgrimage site which has large vaulted ceilings and exquisite examples of stained glass windows.  Continue the tour through the Orosi Valley, an area of magnificent natural beauty. Visit one of the few remaining colonial churches in the region and stop for a tasty typical lunch at one of the local restaurants. Finally, be returned to your hotel to complete the tour.

From San Jose: Irazu Volcano Crater Hike and Cartago Trip

2. From San Jose: Irazu Volcano Crater Hike and Cartago Trip

Depart from San Jose to discover the highest volcano in Costa Rica. Enjoy a trek through breathtaking scenery to reach the summit of Irazu Volcano and gaze into the emerald lagoon in its crater. Descend from the peak to explore the city of Cartago and enter the Basilica. Get picked up from your accommodations in San Jose and meet your friendly guide and group for the day. Leave the city behind as you travel to the Cartago Province. Arrive at Irazu Volcano and begin the easy hike up to the summit. Pass by all types of vegetation including coffee plantations and ferns as you ascend. Take a deep breath as you make it to the summit and be blown away by spectacular views of the massive crater. Wonder at the green lagoon beneath you and on a clear day enjoy views across the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. Climb down the rocky trail to the historic city of Cartago, a former capital of Costa Rica. Enter the famous pilgrim site of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels and wander under the large vaulted ceilings before returning to San Jose.

From San Jose: Irazu Volcano & Hacienda Orosi Hot Springs

3. From San Jose: Irazu Volcano & Hacienda Orosi Hot Springs

Visit a variety of Costa Rican highlights on a single tour leaving from San Jose. Travel to Irazu Volcano National Park, Orosi Basilica, Orosi Valley, and Hacienda Orosi Hot Springs. Make the most of a single day by visiting multiple stops and seeing several iconic Costa Rican sites. Embark from San Jose along the South Panamerican Highway, to start ascending the large Irazu Volcano. Zip along the winding road as it travels through fertile lands cultivated with all kinds of vegetables and observe lovely panoramic views of the farmland. Travel to the top of the volcano, where a number of its volcanic craters can be seen if the weather is clear, and see the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Descend the volcano and move on to the city of Cartago, and enjoy a stop at the Virgin of the Angels Basilica, a peregrination site for many believers. Move on to La Hacienda Orosi, surrounded by beautiful rainforest and lush vegetation, and visit the hot springs, where the land has been gifted with hypothermal mineral water, filtered between layers of the earth, and warmed to nearly 65 degrees Celsius, with properties to stimulate the senses and enrich the skin.

From San Jose: Orosi Valley & Lankester Garden Day Tour

4. From San Jose: Orosi Valley & Lankester Garden Day Tour

Take a day trip out of San Jose and into the charms of the Orosi Valley with an experienced guide. Admire over 800 species of orchids and other flowers at the Lankester Gardens, check out a colonial-era church, and enjoy a tasty lunch at a countryside restaurant. Be picked up at your San Jose hotel and enjoy the winding ride into Costa Rica's hills. Cruise past coffee plantations and fields of waving sugar cane, and take in views of distant mountains. Reach the grounds of the Lankester Botanical Gardens, where botanists have cultivated some of the country's finest plants and flowers since 1973. Stroll gravel paths flanked by cacti and other succulents, look for sloths in treetop hideouts, and save plenty of time to examine the delicate petals of over 800 species of orchids spread out over the garden's 26-acre grounds. Head into the town of Orosi after your floral foray, and get up-close looks at the 18th-century Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi, whose white facade traces its origins back to Spanish colonialists. Chat about the area's history over lunch at a nearby restaurant, and then hop back on your shuttle for the scenic ride back to San Jose.

Other Sightseeing Options in Cartago

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What people are saying about Cartago

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 32 reviews

Best tour of my trip. Edgar was great guide, very accommodating, informative, and funny. Make sure to bring warm clothing - it can be literally freezing at volcano and very windy. Lunch was terrific at beautiful restaurant. Make sure to go explore the path in the garden below.

The experience of this tour was beyond expectations! Pedro from Willy Tours was a great Guide! I totally recommend this tour! It was a shame to volcano's lake was dry, but it was still magnificent experience! 100% recommended!

Even though it was windy, it's quite an experience. Awesome views. I enjoyed walking in the crater. Then there was the trip own into Cartago. The views along the way are out of this world.

Our guide was very good and calm, it was very cloudy but even with that I really enjoyed the tour

Great guide, great excursion. I can only recommend