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San José, Costa Rica Culture & history

Our most recommended San José, Costa Rica Culture & history

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.

San José: Guided City Bus Tour With Lunch & Welcome Drink

3. San José: Guided City Bus Tour With Lunch & Welcome Drink

Get to know Costa Rica’s bustling capital San José on a bus tour with a local guide. Make stops at La Sabana Metropolitan Park, the Museum of Costa Rican Art, the National Theater, and more. Round off your fun-packed day with lunch at a local restaurant, then get taken back to your hotel. Begin your tour by getting picked up directly from your hotel. Hop on board the double decker bus to the sound of live folk music and enjoy a refreshing welcome cocktail. Sit back and let yourself be entertained by your charming guides, who will begin with a short history of the city. Make your first stop La Sabana Metropolitan Park, where you will be able to take a quick stroll as well as have a look inside the Museum of Costa Rican Art. Hop back on the bus and head to the outdoor Central Market. Take in the atmosphere and buy local goods and food (not included in the price). Next, visit the city’s Central Park to witness the National Monument, a bronze statue of five women. Listen to your guide tell you about the meaning behind the statue and the history of Central American resistance to colonization. Continue on to the National Theater. Follow your guide around the lavish lobby in European design, which was constructed with money from taxes on coffee exports. After another short bus ride, stop at the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, and marvel at the impressive gold collection. At the end of the tour, stop off at a nearby eatery for lunch, and chow down on some traditional Costa Rican dishes. Use the opportunity to ask your guide any questions you may have about the city’s history and culture. Finally, allow the bus to drop you off at your hotel.

  • Guided tours
  • Day trips

Frequently asked questions about San José, Costa Rica

What are the best day trips and excursions from San José, Costa Rica?

The best day trips and excursions from San José, Costa Rica are:

La Fortuna

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Other Sightseeing Options in San José, Costa Rica

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What people are saying about San José, Costa Rica

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 38 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