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San José, Costa Rica Hiking

Our most recommended San José, Costa Rica Hiking

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 José: Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs, & Zip Lining w/ Meals

2. San José: Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs, & Zip Lining w/ Meals

Tour the best locations in Costa Rica and learn about local life and culture from those who live there. Visit a coffee plantation, zip line, and soak in the hot springs at the base of the Adrenal Volcano. Take the scenic route to the Arenal Volcano and visit a coffee plantation along the way. Gain an insight into the world of Costa Rican coffee and taste one of the best coffees in the world. Arrive at the "La Paz" and "San Fernando" waterfalls and admire the exotic tropical birds of Costa Rica, including many species of hummingbirds and rare emerald toucanets. Take in the views at the San Fernando Waterfall observation point before heading to the "Iguana Bridge", where you will have the chance to spot iguanas, sloths, monkeys, and toucans. Stop for an authentic Costa Rican lunch in a restaurant located in "La Fortuna." Then, prepare for a zip-lining adventure in the local rainforest jungles with 9 canopy cables and a 50 meter (150 feet) rappel on the Arenal River. Learn about the culture while listening to a "Maleku" Indigenous tribe presentation from locals. Relax for a couple of hours in the Paradise Hot Springs at the base of Arenal Volcano, surrounded by tropical gardens followed by dinner.

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: Irazu Volcano Crater Hike and Cartago Trip

4. 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 Volcano, Waterfall & Coffee Farm Day Trip

5. San José: Guided Volcano, Waterfall & Coffee Farm Day Trip

Visit the Poás Volcano, the picturesque La Paz outdoor waterfall, and the one-and-only Starbucks coffee farm on a day trip from San José, Costa Rica. A wonderful choice for coffee aficionados and nature lovers alike, this tour includes a hotel pickup and lunch at a local restaurant. Enjoy a convenient pickup directly from your accommodation in San Jose and make your way to your first stop for the day, the Poás Volcano. Travel in an air-conditioned van and admire coffee plantations as well as flower and strawberry farms along the way. Poás is one of Costa Rica's most active volcanoes and last erupted in April 2017. The volcano and the surrounding park were closed for close to 17 months and a safety perimeter of nearly 2.5 kilometers was established around the erupting crater. At the volcano, you'll have time to enjoy the impressive main crater with its sulfur fumaroles. Then, follow a trail to the Botos Lagoon, a crater lake located inside the Poás Volcano National Park. As you hike, learn about the different ecosystems in the park. After your trek, refuel with a delicious lunch of local fare at one of the restaurants in the area. Then, head out to your next destination, the La Paz Waterfall. Discover La Paz waterfall as you stroll along paved trails through cloud forests and rainforests. Make the most of excellent photo opportunities as you visit these falls and see them from different vantage points Then, head to your final stop for the day, the Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm, the first and only Starbucks coffee farm. See the visitor center and learn what Starbucks is doing to empower farmers, promote sustainable practices, and develop the next generation of coffee. At the end of your Costa Rica adventure, enjoy a convenient transfer back to your hotel in San José.

San Jose: Arenal Volcano NP & Baldi Hot Springs Day Trip

6. San Jose: Arenal Volcano NP & Baldi Hot Springs Day Trip

Depart from San Jose to reach the Arenal Volcano National Park and admire the magical landscape. Discover Costa Rican arts and crafts in Sarchi and pass mango groves on the way to La Fortuna. Soothe your body at the hot springs before having dinner with volcanic views back in San Jose. Get picked up from your accommodations in San Jose and meet your friendly guide and group for the day. Set off from the city and drive into the Central Valley. Make a short stop in Sarchi known as the birthplace of Costa Rica's artisinal crafts. Pick up some souvenirs and see the world's largest ox cart before continuing your journey into the Alajuela Province. Gaze out of the window at pineapple and plantain farms, mango groves, and cattle ranches until you arrive in La Fortuna. Refresh yourself with lunch at a cozy restuarant with spectacular views of Arenal Volcano. Enter the Arenal Volcano National Park and be blown away by the breathtaking scenery. Witness volcanic activity if you're lucky with white plumes of smoke rising from the crater and look out for local wildlife like jaguars and tree frogs. Travel a short distance to the hot springs in this area to relax your body, mind, and soul with the cleansing and rejuvinating effects of the thermal waters. Choose to have a massage or other therapeutic rituals. Experience the picturesque landscape of the Alajuela Province one more time as you drive back to San Jose. Finish your trip with a wonderful dinner and views of the volcano.

From San José: Manuel Antonio National Park Day Trip & Lunch

7. From San José: Manuel Antonio National Park Day Trip & Lunch

Admire the unique flora and fauna of the Manuel Antonio National Park on this guided day trip. Stop purchase a local lunch and take in ocean views on the ride in a spacious and climate-controlled bus from San José. Take a guided walk to a breathtaking beach and have free time to swim or explore.  Enjoy the convenience of pickup in the morning from select hotels. Relax aboard a comfortable bus on the drive through the mountains that surround the central valley. Pass along the main road that connects the capital with the coastal area. Stop at a restaurant where you can purchase a delicious typical Costa Rican breakfast in the Pacific area. Take the Costanera Sur highway into the park, enjoying beautiful views of the ocean, African palm plantations, and picturesque towns. Reach the Port of Quepos and from there continue to the National Park. Go for a walk in the rainforest along a nature trail of the national park until you reach the beach. Have free time to swim or go on a hike on one of the trails where you can spy monkeys, raccoons, iguanas, birds, and sloths. Spend some free hiking to Punta Catedral to capture pictures of the spectacular view. After having enjoyed the national park, walk back to the restaurant where a delectable lunch awaits your before taking bus back to the city.

From San Jose: Tabacon Hot Springs & Arenal Volcano Day Trip

8. From San Jose: Tabacon Hot Springs & Arenal Volcano Day Trip

See the best of both worlds - the raw, untamed beauty of the imposing Arenal Volcano juxtaposed against the soothing thermal waters of Tabacon hot springs - on a day tour from San Jose. Enjoy the backdrop of lush vegetation and breathtaking views of the nearly perfectly conical volcano. After hotel pickup, head to your first stop, the famous town of Sarchi, known as Costa Rica's craftwork center. Appreciate many of the arts and crafts that Costa Rica has to offer, and perhaps pick up some brightly colored or wooden handicrafts to take back home with you as a souvenir. Next, head to La Fortuna, home to the magnificent natural wonder of the Arenal Volcano, where you will have a Costa Rican lunch. After eating, head to the impressive Arenal Volcano and take a short hike around the base to take photos. Marvel at the conical volcano and its plumes of white smoke. Then, relax at one of the best hot springs in the area, Tabacon hot springs, where you will revel in the cleansing and rejuvenating effects of the thermal waters. Enjoy the combination of the heat of the volcano, the flowing waters of the hot springs, and the pure air of the rainforest. Finally, be dropped back at your hotel in San Jose.

San José: La Paz Waterfall Gardens Half-Day Tour

9. San José: La Paz Waterfall Gardens Half-Day Tour

Begin the day with hotel pickup from the city of San José. Head off through the beautiful landscapes of Vara Blanca before reaching the Waterfall Gardens. La Paz Waterfall Gardens is a natural park, crisscrossed by paths that lead to the spectacular White Magic waterfall. Enjoy a stroll through the beautiful gardens and take the special opportunity to interact with many of the wild animals, including jaguars, pumas, monkeys, sloths, and more. The park is equipped with facilities with restaurants, flower, butterfly, and hummingbird gardens, an aviary, a rescued animal zoo, a serpentarium, a live frog exhibit, and an orchid exhibit, all surrounded by cloud forests.  Learn about the region's history and the ancestors who lived in the old 19th-century located on the grounds. To conclude the experience, continue toward the falls where you will have the opportunity to snap some beautiful photos. Before returning to San José, enjoy a delicious buffet lunch.

From San Jose: Braulio Carillo National Park Rainforest Tram

10. From San Jose: Braulio Carillo National Park Rainforest Tram

Experience the beauty of the Costa Rican rainforest in a new way on an award-winning cable car trip through the forest. Start on the forest floor and explore all the levels of the forest up to the canopy of the trees. Enjoy the cable car ride and a guided nature walk on forest trails. Explore every level of the Costa Rican rainforest from the ground to the top of the trees. Take the cable car up through the trees and admire the forest's trees and wildlife on the journey up. Learn the secrets of the forest while enjoying the magnificent view of the forest from the gondola. Be immersed in nature during the flight over the forest, and enjoy one of the longest gondola rid3es in the country, over an hour admiring the forest from above. Take advantage of access to a guided nature walk on paved trails through the forest and visit the Butterfly, Orchid, and Hummingbird Gardens during your visit.

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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

4.0 / 5

based on 23 reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed my day with Harlem! We started off at a coffee plantation, then tasted some strawberries, then juice and bird watching, went to see iguanas, had a nice lunch and then headed zip lining. Zip lining was the best experience and Gabriel and David were such great guides. After zip lining we went to a hot spring and then a souvenir shop with amazing gifts and finally the best meal i had in Costa Rica (Chifrijos). All in all a great day

The tour was just perfect!!! Marco our guide had absurd knowledge about the whole country and filled us with valuable information. We learned a lot and saw breathtaking landscapes! Everything from the beginning, from the coffee plantations, to the waterfalls and the volcano, everything was impeccable! 10/10! Marco is in our hearts ❤️❤️❤️

The day trip was amazing, the coffee production, the waterfall, seeing the birds, the sloths, the food, the zip line, the hot springs, it was crazy!! Juan our guide was awesome In short a perfect day I recommend

It was an awesome experience. Our guide Rodger was very knowledgeable and was able to tell us not only about the volcano but also about every location that we drove through. Definitely a worthwhile experience!

Perfect attention from Fernando, excellent guide and driver. Super attentive, punctual, efficient and professional. The tour helps you to know a little about each wonder of Costa Rica!