San José Province
Safaris & Wildlife Activities

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Our most recommended San José Province Safaris & Wildlife Activities

From San Jose: 3-Day Tortuguero National Park Excursion

1. 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.

Manuel Antonio National Park Combo Tour from San Jose

2. 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.

San Jose: Monteverde Sky Tram & Hanging Bridges Day Tour

3. 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.

San Jose: Tortuguero Park Day Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

4. 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.

From San Jose: Los Suenos Full-Day Tour

5. 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.

From San José: Monteverde Hanging Bridges Day Trip

6. From San José: Monteverde Hanging Bridges Day Trip

Your tour begins in the morning with pickup in the San José area. Then travel towards the northern part of the country on a very scenic drive, with great views of beautiful mountain ranges, local towns and farms, and the Pacific coast. On the way to Monteverde, enjoy multiple stops. Learn about local fruits at the largest fruit stand of the country. Explore a place where several monkeys are normally observed in the wild at a very close range. Photograph amazing landscapes from a lookout point. Once in Monteverde, savor a delicious lunch and then proceed to do the amazing hanging bridges tour in the cloud forest. Hike with your guide for two to three hours, admiring the beauties of this rare ecosystem and searching for the local wildlife, including monkeys, emerald toucans, coatimundis, and the rare resplendent quetzal, the most beautiful bird of Costa Rica. This hike is approximately 3km (1.9 miles) long and is mostly on flat terrain with a few mild climbs.  Late in the afternoon, return to your accommodation in San José or to your accommodation in central Monteverde. 

San Jose: Sarapiqui Class 2&3 Rafting Adventure

7. San Jose: 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.

From San José: Carara National Park and Tárcoles River Tour

8. From San José: Carara National Park and Tárcoles River Tour

Begin your journey by being picked up from your hotel, and going on a scenic 1.5-hour drive along Route 27, making your way to your first stop at Carara National Park. Head straight out onto some flat walking trails suitable for all fitness levels and wheelchair users, and admire the biological reserve's abundant jungle life in person. Look up to the 40-meter high canopy, and keep an eye out for bright scarlet macaws, agouti rodents, stunning poison dart frogs, spider monkeys, dozens of birds, fantastic fungi, and huge wild cashew trees. Next, enjoy lunch like a local and eat at a traditional soda diner, where you have the option of eating fresh fish or seafood. Re-energized, lower your gears and enjoy a relaxing optional boat ride for some birdwatching on the Tárcoles River. Admire the river's mangroves, which are some of the most unique and scarce ecosystems of the world, and considered to be biodiversity hotspots. Keep a lookout for the 6-meter-long American crocodiles — the largest of the continent. Finally, dig your toes into the white sand of a peaceful beach at your last stop, where you will relax with the sound of the waves before heading back to your accommodation.

San Jose: Sloth and Wildlife Rescue Center Tour

9. San Jose: Sloth and Wildlife Rescue Center Tour

This private tour is rich with the individual stories of rescued wildlife, including those of a large variety of parrots, macaws, owls, sloths, spider monkeys, and more. The experience offers guests insight into the significance of conservation, as well as facts about rainforest wildlife and what it means to run a wildlife rescue center. Departing from San Jose or nearby provinces, visit an animal rescue center that specializes in rehabilitating injured sloths and learn everything about these amazing animals. The Toucan Rescue Ranch’s (TRR) mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and then release Costa Rican wildlife. TRR works with a model that focuses on conservation, education, and research to ensure a brighter tomorrow for native wildlife.

San Jose: Sarapiqui Class 3&4 Rafting to La Fortuna Arena

10. San Jose: Sarapiqui Class 3&4 Rafting to La Fortuna Arena

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.

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What people are saying about San José Province

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 58 reviews

This tour was amazing! The beaches here were stunning and the sea was so warm. Our tour guide was so friendly and knowledgeable - would highly recommend asking for him! We also got to see a variety of animals too including monkeys and a sloth. Breakfast was delicious and lunch was great with such an amazing view! Would definitely recommend this tour!

this was a fantastic trip. Rigo was a fantastic and welcoming guide. Very accommodating. I saw so many animals, flocks of red macaws, crocodiles, poison dart frogs, just to name a few. I will be recommending this trip to friends and family. Thank you!

Desafio is an amazing company to be able to go rafting with. The guys were amazing and real pros. It was an amazing experience and the lunch they serve is the best I have had in Costa Rica.

Our guide, Oscar, was amazing! He was very knowledgeable, friendly, and easy going. Well worth the money.

Oscar, our guide, was absolutely fantastic! Very knowledgeable and friendly!