Add dates
Alajuela

National parks

Our most recommended Alajuela National Parks

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.

San Jose: Tortuguero Park Day Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

2. 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 are 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.

Poás Volcano, Coffee Plantation & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

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

Experience Costa Rica's nature and culture on this full-day tour from 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.

From San Jose: 3-Day Tortuguero National Park Excursion

4. From San Jose: 3-Day Tortuguero National Park Excursion

Explore the protected Tortuguero National Park in the Limón Province, reachable only by airplane or boat. Take in the wealth of biodiversity in its eleven different habitats, including rainforest, mangrove forests, swamps, beaches, and lagoons. Trip itinerary: Day 1: After an early morning hotel pickup, admire the biodiversity of a primary forest through the window as you drive past Braulio Carrillo National Park. Sample a delicious Costa Rican breakfast during the drive. Mid-morning, board a comfortable boat and travel along the Tortuguero Canals. Be enchanted by the surrounding paradise and its varied flora and fauna. Then, enjoy a refreshing cocktail and a delicious lunch at the hotel. After lunch, tour the canals and take incredible photos for the rest of the afternoon. Arrive at Pachira Lodge (or similar) for a delightful dinner and a restful night's sleep. Day 2: Discover the flavors of Costa Rica with breakfast at the Lodge. Then, hike along the Lodge's private trail and work up an appetite for lunch. After lunch at the Lodge, visit the Sea Turtle Museum, the beach, and the picturesque village of Tortuguero. In the evening, enjoy dinner at the Lodge again. Day 3: After breakfast at the Lodge, head back to San José, stopping for lunch at El Ceibo in Guápiles on the way. Arrive back in San José in the afternoon.

San José: Guided Walking Tour With Lunch and Hotel Pickup

5. San José: Guided Walking Tour With Lunch and Hotel Pickup

Get to know San José on a guided walking tour. Get picked up from your hotel in Alajuela, then head to the most popular attractions to learn about the city’s history and culture. Visit Central Park, the National Theater, and more. Round off your day with lunch at a local restaurant. Begin your tour by getting picked up directly from your hotel by your bilingual guide. Arrive at San José's outdoor Central Market, where the walking tour will start. Take in the atmosphere, buy local goods and food (not included in the price), and mingle with the locals. Next, wander over to Central Park. Witness the famous National Monument, a statue of five women that symbolizes the five Central American nations that resisted having their countries recolonized. Continue walking and pass by the National Museum as well as the Supreme Court. Head over to the National Theater and see San José's most impressive structures. Follow your guide around the lavish lobby in European design, which was constructed with money from taxes on coffee exports. Continue on to the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, and marvel at the building from the outside. 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, hop back on the bus and get dropped back at your hotel.

Frequently asked questions about Alajuela National Parks

What are other things to do than National Parks that are worth visiting in Alajuela?

The other unmissable things to do in Alajuela are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Alajuela

Want to discover all there is to do in Alajuela? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Alajuela

We loved everything about this activity! Our guide, Freddy, was very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. He picked us up right at our hotel in San Jose and dropped us back off at the same place. We learned all about the process of making coffee as well as the history of coffee in Costa Rica. At Poas volcano we were able to see the full crater without any clouds in the way, which is rare. Lastly we went to Peace Lodge And walked around some of the nature exhibits (butterfly garden, frog garden, etc.) before hiking down to the waterfall. Along the way we also stopped for breakfast and lunch, both with amazing and authentic food!! Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a day trip!

This was such a good way to kick off my travels in Costa Rica! I felt super comfortable doing this as a solo female traveller, and I met some really lovely people over the course of the day. The tour guide was so friendly and knowledgeable, and the overall day wa as great balance between exploring at an easy pace and learning lots! Definitely worth the price, I really recommend!

Great tour!! Really interesting and fantastic sights. Frazier our kind was amazing. He made the trip interesting and so much fun. Our group insisted we go with him on the next trip. Dont miss it!!

The guide Marceille Valentine was extremely professional and friendly, knowledgeable and real lover of nature. It was one of the best guides we have ever met.

Irazu Volcano was really windy and cold, but we were able to see the crater perfectly.