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San José, Costa Rica Ecotourism

Our most recommended San José, Costa Rica Ecotourism

San José: Night Food and Culture Tour with Dinner

1. San José: Night Food and Culture Tour with Dinner

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.

San Jose: Discover Sights and Delights with a Local

2. San Jose: Discover Sights and Delights with a Local

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!

San Jose One Day: Sarapiqui Class 2&3 Rafting Adventure

3. San Jose One Day: Sarapiqui Class 2&3 Rafting Adventure

The Sarapiqui River is famous for its lush rainforest scenery. Enjoy it up close rafting down the Jungle Run – a section of river that is home to monkeys, iguanas, and other amazing Costa Rican wildlife. Start with pickup from select hotels and travel to El Roble de Sarapiquí, where the adventure begins. Your guide will fit you with the proper gear and go over safety instructions before hitting the river. Duck, dodge, paddle, and laugh your way down the river. Along the way, the "paparrazzi" photographer will be around to catch the best action shots as your Costa Rican river adventure unfolds. About halfway down the river, stop to enjoy a refreshing tropical fruit snack, take a swim, and relax. This area is known for its variety of birdlife, so keep an eye out for interesting tropical species.  Finish the rafting adventure at the Red-Eyed Frog Restaurant, located right next to the river. Savor a traditional Costa Rican meal before heading back to your hotel in a comfortable, air-conditioned van with free WiFi. Photos are available for purchase from the local provider after the tour.

San Jose Rafting Class 3-4 with Connection to La Fortuna

4. San Jose Rafting Class 3-4 with Connection to La Fortuna

Bring on the adrenaline and enjoy the “Jungle Run” on the Sarapiqui River, the perfect rafting trip for adventurous paddlers. Join the tour on your way from San Jose to La Fortuna or from La Fortuna to San Jose and spend the day taking on challenging rapids and admiring jungle wildlife.  The day beings with pickup from select locations in San Jose or La Fortuna. Travel through small Costa Rican villages to the quaint town of San Miguel to start your rafting experience, passing La Virgen and finishing up in El Roble de Sarapiquí. Here, your professional guide will give you the 101 on rafting, including safety tips and technical instructions before starting your 3.5-hour journey down the Sarapiqui River on a full-day rafting adventure. Experience over 40 exciting rapids along nearly 22 kilometers of lush, vibrant rainforest. Make your way through exciting rapids like “The Pipeline”, “The Terminator”, and “Dos Locos”, that will be sure to get your adrenaline pumping.  About halfway down the Sarapiqui River, you’ll stop and watch the rapids from the shore, while enjoying tropical fruit and relaxing with the rest of the group. Then, after the second leg of your journey, take out right at the Red-Eyed Frog Restaurant, located on the Sarapiqui River. Savor a typical Costa Rican casado (rice with beans, plantain, and meat) and some gourmet coffee. After lunch, take advantage of the showers and changing rooms on-site before continuing on your journey.

La Fortuna: Jungle Safari Float Sarapiqui to San Jose

5. La Fortuna: Jungle Safari Float Sarapiqui to San Jose

Turn your day of travel into an action-packed adventure with the Safari Float Adventure Connection! Come see the abundance of nature and wildlife that Costa Rica has to offer! This Costa Rica Safari Float is a smooth, two-hour paddle down the quiet, lower section of the Sarapiqui River. Your bilingual nature guide will paddle and steer your boat as you float down the river and point out all of the exotic wildlife such as birds, frogs, insects, and monkeys in the Costa Rican rainforest! You'll be picked up at your hotel in La Fortuna's Area and travel to a beautiful waterfall on the Pozo Azul River of Sarapiqui. Here you and your family can enjoy nature and the cool crystal clear water that the waterfall offers you. Then, head towards the Red Eye Frog restaurant located in El Roble of Sarapiqui while getting yourself ready to fall deeply in love with the 2-hour Jungle Safari float. Your eagle-eyed guide will show off Costa Rica's amazing wildlife as he points out a wide array of plant and animal species. You’ll float next to the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (San Juan La Selva Biological Corridor) where there is a good possibility of seeing sloths, howler monkeys, lizards, and even black river otters. This area is also famous for the incredible amount of tropical birds such as ospreys, boat-billed herons, parrots, kingfishers and the great green macaw which is on the endangered species list. For those who want to be even closer to nature, you will have the chance to get out of the raft and into the river and refresh yourself. The Jungle Safari Float is great for nature lovers of all ages! To finish your day, return to the Red Eye Frog Restaurant to have a delicious traditional Costa Rican lunch called a “Casado” along with some amazing Costa Rican gourmet coffee. Following this, drive to your next vacation destination in a comfortable air-conditioned van with free WiFi.

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

Other Sightseeing Options in San José, Costa Rica

Want to discover all there is to do in San José, Costa Rica? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about San José, Costa Rica

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 40 reviews

Angel was a delightful guide. He wove sharing Costa Rican and San Jose histories, culture and ethnicities, with buildings and food. The market tours were charming and delightful. We tried many unique fruits at the markets. The highlight was at their “office” where we were treated to special treats: lunch of tamales. Then Angel (a trained chef) taught us to make empenadas, and his colleague Paul (a trained bartender) made us a smoky pineapple cocktail he created for Halloween! I thoroughly recommend this talented and fun tour group!

Malo went above and beyond with showing us around the city and giving us the background in amazing detail about landmarks. It was my favorite part of San Jose and I would recommend everyone to take this tour while in the city. Not only did he answer all of my questions and take us to a beautiful souvenir shop outside of the radar of most tourist, he was also amazing about learning about each of us, and adding things to thr tour that was specific to our interest.

I greatly enjoyed this tour. The guide was very knowledgeable about the local history, where to try food and answered all my questions. I got to try several new foods I had never eaten before. There is a good amount of walking around the city so bring comfortable shoes.

Best overview and history of San Jose as well as Costa RIca. Leo is top ambassador to this country. He knows all the history as well as interested in our perspective. Very enjoyable and a great introduction to Costa Rica!

Our tour guide Leo is very knowledgeable and speaks fluent English, friendly and highly recommended