San José, Costa Rica
Viewing Points

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Our most recommended San José, Costa Rica Viewing Points

Poás Volcano, Coffee Plantation & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

1. Poás Volcano, Coffee Plantation & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Experience Costa Rica's nature and culture on this full-day tour San José. Your first destination is the Doka Estate coffee plantation, where you'll learn all about the ancient techniques of producing some of the best coffee in Costa Rica and around the world. Experience the careful process involved in the cultivation, harvesting and roasting of the Golden Bean before tasting the delectable product. After your coffee tour, continue to Poás Volcano National Park, where there is a noticeable change in temperature and beautiful scenery in a cloud forest. Climb up Poás Volcano, an active stratovolcano that most recently erupted in 2017. The crater of the volcano is over a mile across and 1,050 feet deep, making for breathtaking views. Hike on a trail to the beautiful Botos Lagoon as you learn about the different ecosystems in the park. Then, continue to La Paz Waterfall Gardens and enjoy a buffet lunch of traditional Costa Rican dishes. After lunch, explore the lush tropical rainforest. See the flowing white rivers, spectacular waterfalls, birds, butterflies, monkeys, and hummingbirds before returning to San José.

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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 Jose: City Tour by Night

3. San Jose: City Tour by Night

Learn about the rich culture and history of Costa Rica on a guided tour of the city of San Jose by night. Start the tour with pickup from your hotel and travel to La Sabana Park where you will meet your guide. Here, get an overview of the history of Costa Rica's capital city. Learn about the history and current political climate of Costa Rica as you wander through the city with your guide. Stop outside sites of historical interest such as the National Theater, a monument built in 1897 known as "the Jewel of San Jose." See the Costa Rican Gold Museum, several national embassies, the National Stadium, and the University of Costa Rica. At the end of the tour, enjoy a delicious traditional dinner in one of the most fashionable areas of the city.

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San Jose: Monteverde Sky Tram & Hanging Bridges Day Tour

4. San Jose: Monteverde Sky Tram & Hanging Bridges Day Tour

Discover the lush Cloud Forests of Monteverde on this Sky Tram and Hanging Bridges trip from San Jose. Travel to the Northern Highlands of Costa Rica on a very scenic ride where you will get great views of mountains, farms, local towns and the Coast of the Puntarenas Province. See the largest fruit stand of the country, where you will see a large variety of tropical fruits. Visit the “Monkey Lady House” and several white-faced monkeys at very close range. Once in Monteverde, savor a delicious lunch and then proceed to ride on the Sky Tram, with great views of the whole Monteverde-Santa Elena area. Spend about 15-20 minutes at the highest look-out point, and then ride the Tram down for about 15 minutes.  Then, walk on the amazing Sky Walk Hanging Bridges in the Cloud Forest, where you will hike with your expert naturalist guide for about 2-3 hours, learning interesting aspects of the flora and fauna of this rare and endangered ecosystem.

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Manuel Antonio National Park Combo Tour from San Jose

5. Manuel Antonio National Park Combo Tour from San Jose

On your way to Manuel Antonio, stop to have breakfast in a local restaurant located next to the biggest fruit market in the country where you'll be able to observe the large variety of tropical fruits in Costa Rica. Continue your journey with a stop at the popular crocodile bridge where you will have the chance to observe one of Costa Rica’s biggest crocodile’s populations.    Search for scarlet macaws in their natural habitat on Tarcoles Beach, a common sight in the area. Then, stop at the Jaco Bay lookout point and take pictures of Costa Rica’s most popular coastal town. Once in Manuel Antonio, hike the rainforest trails of the national park with your guide for about 1 hour and search for local wild animals commonly observed here, including monkeys, sloths, toucans, agoutis, and more.   After hiking, enjoy free time to relax on the pristine beaches of the Manuel Antonio National Park, swim in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, or continue hiking on the longer rainforest trails in the park. The longer trails are a little challenging, but they provide amazing lookout points with views of islands and coves along the beautiful coastline, as well as further opportunities to observe more of the local wildlife.   Next, savor a delicious typical lunch in a restaurant that provides great jungle and ocean views, the perfect environment to enjoy your meal. Lunch will be served in the early afternoon around 2 PM, after which you will be taken back to your hotel in San Jose.

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San Jose: Arenal Hanging Bridges & Baldi Hot Springs Tour

6. San Jose: Arenal Hanging Bridges & Baldi Hot Springs Tour

The day begins with pickup from San Jose, Alajuela, or Heredia and travels to the artistic town of Sarchi. Spend some time exploring and begin to appreciate the many arts and crafts that Costa Rica has to offer. You’ll also see the world’s largest ox cart, according the Guinness Book of World Records. Continue the tour towards La Fortuna, passing through colorful pineapple and plantain plantations, mango groves, and cattle ranches along the way. Arrive in La Fortuna and enjoy a lunch break at a cozy restaurant with magnificent views of Arenal Volcano. Learn about how the volcano was assumed to be dormant until 1968 when it experienced a major eruption. Visit the stunning Mistico Park next which boasts a dense biodiversity with luscious forests and an abundance of wildlife. Take a stroll amongst the treetops on the hanging bridges that line the jungle canopy, and admire the array of plants that surround you. Finally, it’s time to relax in the gorgeous waters of Baldi. Slide into the bubbling hot springs and unwind as the thermal waters cleanse and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. At the end of a magical day, chill out on the return journey to San Jose where a delicious dinner will be served against the backdrop of the volcano.

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San Jose: Sarapiqui River & La Paz Gardens Tour with Lunch

7. San Jose: Sarapiqui River & La Paz Gardens Tour with Lunch

The day begins with pickup from your hotel in San Jose and heads to the stunning La Paz Waterfall Gardens. This private nature reserve has been designed to educate visitors and provide sanctuary for rescued wildlife through a variety of gardens and exhibits. Enjoy a stroll through the park's luscious green landscapes and see rescued jaguars, colorful butterflies, exotic birds, and unique plants. Theres's also plenty of tropical cascades to admire and snap photos of for your vacation album. Later, discover the wonders of the Sarapiqui River on a relaxing boat cruise. Soak up the tranquility of the river and surrounding rainforest as you listen to the sound of bird’s chirping and trickling water. At the end of an unforgettable adventure, be dropped off back to your accommodation.

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From San Jose: Los Suenos Full-Day Tour

8. From San Jose: Los Suenos Full-Day Tour

Visit the world-famous Tarcoles Bridge, where you can photograph crocodiles in their natural habitat, some measuring about 19 feet long. The next stop is at Vista Los Suenos Adventure Park, where you will get to choose two adventures tours from the following: zipline, horseback riding, surf lessons or an ATV adventure.  Your first adventure will end at the Jungle Restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious buffet lunch with natural drinks, coffee and dessert. After lunch, embark on your next adventure before visiting the Photo Adventure Team, where you can purchase your pictures of the day or pick up some Costa Rica souvenirs.

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

9. 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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Braulio Carrillo: Rainforest Tram & Nature Walk Private Tour

10. Braulio Carrillo: Rainforest Tram & Nature Walk Private Tour

Visit Costa Rica’s most adventurous and nature-rich spots on this private guided trip, including lunch. Get a unique perspective of the local flora and fauna on a guided walking tour and tram ride through the rainforest at the Braulio Carrillo National Park.  Begin your adventure with pickup followed by a drive through the Costa Rican countryside. Head to the Caribbean Slope, crossing the Braulio Carrillo National Park. Arrive at a private property in the Guapiles Region, about a 75-minute drive from San José. Enjoy some free time before boarding a gondola (traditional rowing boat) for your rainforest exploration. Hop on open-sided vehicles from the parking area to the Visitor's Center while getting an introduction to the forest. Pass a small river and numerous tree snags. After a quick briefing on canopy exploration and the construction of the tram, take a short nature walk with a trained naturalist guide. Walk along trails that are well-groomed and provide an excellent introduction to the rainforest. Next, board the aerial tram for an approximately 1 hour and 15 minute ride. During your ride, listen as your guide points out orchids and different species of trees and identifies the calls of the birds that inhabit this unique environment.  Skim over hilltops and in and out of the sub-canopy, a dark world of overburdened tree limbs dripping with mosses, ferns, and orchids. See lianas and vines draped over branches and across forest spaces acting as highways for birds and insects. On the return route, witness the most dramatic portion of the trip as the cars glide on a breath-taking journey through and above the airy canopy. After the ride, enjoy a Costa Rican lunch before drop-off back at your hotel.

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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 43 reviews

Animal lovers rejoice! Oscar was an outstanding guide. Our small group saw all three kinds of monkeys, countless reptiles, SLOTHS galore, and some of the coolest spiders, butterflies, and other insects I've ever seen. That's just the wildlife. The meals included with the trip are perfect. Begins with a desayuna tipica, then after you work up a real appetite in the national park, a protein-of-choice lunch, also in typical style, but served on the top floor of a gorgeous resort overlooking the beaches and the park you just enjoyed. Lovely to revisit all the animals from above while enjoying a hearty meal. Frequent stops along the way to see crocodiles and macaws and whenever the guide notices something worth checking out. Great way to see the central West Coast of Costa Rica and still make it back to your hotel by sunset.

highly recommended day trip! a fantastic tour of a coffee plantation, poas volcano & la paz waterfalls. the volcano crater was super cool to see and the series of waterfalls were beautiful. always great to do this type of tour in a small group to have the opportunity to interact with others in the group...and especially the tour leader. in our case, Erick had a great interactive personality, was super knowledgeable and shared info about Costa Rica and the sites we visited. what a great experience!

An excellent tour, very good information, very entertaining, we were very lucky and we were able to see the Poas volcano totally clear and the guide, Daniel, showed a great willingness to make the trip more enjoyable and complete.

Excellent tour. The guide Óscar is very knowledgeable about all the topics, very willing and very good vibes. It was a very good experience, it completely met my expectations. Fully recommended, we really enjoyed it.

Wonderful nature, unique and fantastically beautiful, highly recommended