San José, Costa Rica
Meet the Locals

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Our most recommended San José, Costa Rica Meet the Locals

San Jose: Tortuguero Park Day Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

1. San Jose: Tortuguero Park Day Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

The day begins with pickup from your accommodation in San Jose, Heredia, or Alajuela at 6:00 AM. On your way to breakfast, drive past rolling coffee plantations and admire the mountains of Braulio Carrillo National Park. At around 7:15 AM, stop for a traditional Costa Rican breakfast to set you up for the day's adventure. Enjoy fresh fruit juice, coffee, eggs, and the popular gallo pinto (a typical Central American rice and bean dish.) After breakfast visit a local banana plantation and learn about the process of growing and exporting fruit. At around 10:00 AM, leave the bus behind and hop onboard a boat as you cruise into the jungle of Tortuguero National Park. Surrounded by tropical rainforest, which covers over 29,000 hectares, soak up the magic of this luscious green landscape. As you sail along the jungle canals, see native green sea turtles, as well as other endangered animals such as sloths, monkeys, and manatees. There’s also countless colorful butterflies, toucans, herons, crocodiles, and more. Learn about each of the animals and their habitat in the jungle, as well as about local conservation efforts to protect them. Once you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, enjoy a hearty buffet lunch. After lunch, take a relaxing stroll through Tortuguero Village where you’ll discover local life and learn about the history of the town and its residents. At the end of an unforgettable day, get back on the bus at around 3:30 PM and begin the return journey back to San Jose.

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

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

Start with 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.

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San José: Food and Culture Small-Group Night Tour

3. San José: Food and Culture Small-Group Night Tour

Follow an expert local guide and explore San José at night on a small-group, food-themed walking tour. See important cultural sites and feast on a traditional dinner with wine or beer pairings. Get up close and personal with the nightlife in San José, starting with Morazán Park where we will learn post-colonial Costa Rican history. From there, the appreciation for San José’s historical architecture continues, with a walk by the Metallic Building, then on to Spain Park for a fantastic view of the Yellow House (now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Continue to the harming Barrio Escalante, one of the oldest residential areas neighborhoods in San José. Nowadays, Barrio Escalante has reinvented itself and is now home to many up-and-coming restaurants and at night is a favorite meeting spot for locals and visitors alike. The evening will end with a contemporary traditional meal with wine or beer tastings at a hip local restaurant that is very popular with locals and offers a sampler of traditional Costa Rican pub fare.

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San Jose: Food and Sightseeing Tour

4. San Jose: Food and Sightseeing Tour

Join your guide for a morning pick-me-up coffee at a café in Borbon Market, where you'll get to know your guide. From here, stroll through the vibrant market and taste the local fruits. Learn the agricultural history of the area as you stop at stands such as a coffee stall. Hear all about the Costa Rican chorreado method of brewing coffee. Go to a stand that sells folk medicine and learn about cures for everything from a hangover to a broken heart.  Next, visit Central Market and immerse yourself in the life of the 120-year-old building. Sample local delicacies from Costa Rica at a market full to the brim with food and drinks. Learn more about the herbs used in local medicines or sip on your second coffee of the day. With a local guide by your side, you’ll unearth all the secrets behind this San Jose treasure. By the time you end your tour at Central Market, you will be full of local knowledge. Perhaps you will have even picked up some of the local lingo along the way!

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From San José: Irazú and Turrialba Volcanoes Full-Day Trip

5. From San José: Irazú and Turrialba Volcanoes Full-Day Trip

After getting picked up at your hotel, head to the Irazú Volcano National Park where you can admire and even enter the crater of the highest volcano in the country. You will also be able to experience the unique miniature fauna and flora of Paramo, a tropical dwarf forest nestled in the highlands. Afterward, take the back road to Turrialba Volcano. Here, visit the "Central Town" located at the foot of the volcano. On weekdays, pay a visit to the one-teacher school in the town. Enjoy some time to explore the eerily abandoned town, still filled with farmhouses and buildings. Next, stop for dinner at a family-run grill house for a traditional Costa Rican lunch. Finally, before beginning the drive back to San José visit the Archaeological Site of Guayabo, declared a Civil Engineering World Heritage landmark and the most important milestone of pre-Hispanic culture in the country.

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San Jose: Classic Coffee Britt Tour with Lunch

6. San Jose: Classic Coffee Britt Tour with Lunch

Embark on a guided tour of Café Britt, one of Costa Rica's premium coffee plantations. Start your day with a relaxing drive through the Costa Rican countryside with a hotel pick-up in an air-conditioned vehicle. Be accompanied by a guide to the plantation. Located in Barva de Heredia, Café Britt place hosts coffee lovers from all over the world. Begin in the nursery for a close look at the finest coffee beans. Follow the journey of gourmet coffee production, from the growing cycle to the selection process. Next, head to the roastery to be enchanted by the aromas of different brews. Discover how different roasting techniques affect the beans and the brew. Your guide will let you in on roasting and packing secrets. These techniques ensure delivery of gourmet coffee from the plantation to homes of coffee lovers worldwide. Learn how Costa Rica’s unique climate and landscapes provide ideal conditions for cultivating these high-quality beans. Witness a professional coffee-tasting session, known as "cupping." Learn how experts “break the cup” to grade the quality of gourmet coffee. Make the most of the outdoor tropical views by stopping for lunch. Savor a buffet featuring local ingredients while listening to tunes of traditional music at Don Prospero Restaurant. End this delicious experience at the coffee bar with coffee, and chocolates. To remember this adventure, visit the factory store and gift shop that can ship souvenirs and fresh coffee back to your home.

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What people are saying about San José, Costa Rica

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 41 reviews

The guide was very knowledgeable with great English. We went to the market and tasted fruits, ate sorbet and empanadas. They accommodated me as i dont eat meat. Then we went to the Theatre, park and chocolate tasting. Was a great tour.

The guide, Álvar, very attentive, entertained the trip with explanations and stops. The experience was great and the day was well spent. Perhaps half an hour more in Tortuguero to visit with more pause. I recommend it.

The tour guy was very professional and the tour was amazing. I highly recommend to go to this tool for the first time been San Jose.

It was a great tour! Our guide Oscar was very knowledgeable. We learned so much about Costa Rica’s history.

We had a very nice afternoon / evening with our guide. The food was very good!