Costa Rican Central Valley Facts And Information For Travelers

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 Costa Rican Central Valley located?

See the map

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

Costa Rican Central Valley Weather

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

Places to Visit in Central Valley Costa Rica


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 if you want to visit the Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall & Gardens, and coffee plantations.


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


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.


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


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 big population of Expats.


• 5 Star restaurants
• Designer clothing stores


Compared to San Jose this is a small town known as the City of Flowers. But I like the fact that it has all the conveniences of a 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.


• Central Park
• The National University
• INBioparque

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.


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

Where to go Central Valley Costa Rica?

Museums and Gardens

• Cartago’s Church, the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles
• Churches in San Jose and the 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


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


• 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 Central Valley Costa Rica

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

  • Photo By:
    View of San Jose – Neil Barman

Last Updated on October 10, 2023

One thought on “Costa Rican Central Valley Facts And Information For Travelers”

  1. Pingback: Where To Stay When You Visit San Jose Costa Rica - Basic4

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