Travel Experta’s Interesting Facts – San Jose & Central Valley Region, Costa Rica

The Central Valley Region of Costa Rica is almost always forgotten by travelers but it is a lot more than a stopover. There are lots of fun activities to be done like active volcanoes (Poas and Irazu Volcanoes), day tours to coffee plantations, canopy tours, whitewater rafting adventures and so much more.

Get more detailed information about the most fun things to do in San Jose Costa Rica.

Plus if you are a culture and history lover? Well there are plenty of places where you can satiate your knowledge urge. You can visit churches, historical museums and national monuments. But to fully emerge yourself in Costa Rican culture, you have to visit the Central Market and the National Theater.

Where is it?

See the map

Part of the Central Valley region and neighboring other main cities such as: Heredia, Cartago and Alajuela.

Weather

Almost perfect from December until April.
Rainy season begins in May until November.
Average temperature 75°F with 75% humidity.

Places to Visit

Alajuela

Here is where you will find the Santa Maria International Airport, this city is known as the mango capital of Costa Rica. This is the perfect place to stay in if you want to visit the Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall & Gardens, and coffee plantations.

Can’t-Miss-This!

• Coffee Plantation Tours
• Poas Volcano and its National Park
• La Paz Waterfall and Gardens

Cartago

This used to be the capital of Costa Rica in 1823. This is a place where you can enjoy the rich pre-Colombian history in every corner. Plus it is home to the most important national religious shrine of Costa Rica, the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles.

Can’t-Miss-This!

• Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles
• Cartago’s Central Park
• Irazu Volcano
• Turrialba Volcano
• Whitewater Rafting & the Reventazon River

Escazu

I like to call this place the “Beverly Hills of Costa Rica”. In it you will find lots of crowded and large shopping malls and a variety of famous restaurants along with a bug population of Expats.

Can’t-Miss-This!

• 5 Star restaurants
• Designer clothing stores

Heredia

Compared to San Jose this is a small town known as the City of Flowers. But I like the fact that is has all the conveniences of big city such as bars, boutique shops, and restaurants to satiate the young students that congregate here after classes from the second largest university of Costa Rica.

Can’t-Miss-This!

• Central Park
• The National University
• INBioparque

Para disfrutar al máximo no alcanza un día, encuentra un buen hotel en San Jose, Costa Rica.

San Jose

This is a metropolitan city that has all the amenities and conveniences of a large city: public transportation, shopping, movies, markets, malls, restaurants, museums, parks, and hospitals.

Can’t-Miss-This!

• Museums & Gardens
• National Theater
• Central Avenue Promenade
• Plazas, Parks & Churches
• Shopping at artisan markets & the Central Market

You have to see this:

Museums and Gardens

• Cartago’s Church, the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles
• Churches in San Jose and surrounding area
• Doka Coffee Plantation
• INBioparque
• La Paz Waterfall and Gardens
• Lankester Botanical Gardens
• Museums (Jade, Gold and Art Museums)
• Plazas and Parks in San Jose

Popular Parks & Reserves

• Braulio Carrillo National Park
• Irazu National Park
• Juan Castro Blanco National Park
• Poas Volcano National Park
• Tapanti National Park

Volcanoes

• Barva Volcano
• Poas Volcano
• Irazu Volcano
• Turrialba Volcano

Waterfalls

• La Paz Waterfall & Gardens Park
• Bride’s Veil Waterfall in the Orosi Valley; It’s one of the tallest falls in Costa Rica

Things to do in the area:

• Bird and Wildlife Viewing
• Bungee Jumping
• Canopy Tours (zip lines & aerial trams)
• Coffee Plantation tours
• Casino Gambling
• Golfing
• Hiking
• Whitewater Rafting & Tubing
• Volcano Tours

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About Marina Kuperman Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 10+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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