In need of a beach vacation with adventure? Costa Rica is the place for you. We love the environment where you can see palm trees and rain forests all in one destination. San Jose is the capital where you can visit a variety of cultural institutions which we list in our itinerary. Outside of San Jose you can explore Costa Rica’s beaches, volcanoes and wildlife. See more in our full itinerary for where to go in Costa Rica.
San Jose City Tour
San Jose has many memorable sites to see but we are listing the ones you can’t miss:
- National Theater AKA “The Jewel of San Jose”
- Museum of Gold
- Metropolitan Cathedral
- The Old Train Station
- The National Liquor Factory
- The Asamblea Legislativa
- The National Supreme Election Bureau
We like to save the best for last, so recommend you end the city tour with exploring Central Market. The market will give you a taste of the Costa Rican culture where you can shop locally.
Volcanos & Waterfalls in La Fortuna
A drive away (estimated time 3 hours) is La Fortuna where you can experience Costa Rica’s countryside. Arenal Volcano National Park is a key landmark and the volcano was active until 2010. Get your cameras ready!
The next stop will be La Paz Waterfall Gardens where you’ll be able to explore many walking trails and a total of five waterfalls. Also, there is a lot of wildlife to see along the way.
Arenal Volcano Activities in La Fortuna
So now that you have been to Arenal Volcano National Park it’s time to discover even more here. Lake Arenal is a great for those seeking some exercise. The lake has calm waters and is the largest landlocked body of water in the country. Enjoy a paddle-board session and take in the environment around you…it will be breathtaking, we promise!
Afterwards, do some much needed sightseeing and take in the wildlife that surrounds you.
Excursions at Arenal in La Fortuna
Since you have already done walking trails and tours, we suggest Horseback Riding through Arenal to see even more of the area. During your ride you’ll get to see spots that you can’t reach by foot or car which makes the experience so special.
We recommend you end the day by going to the Hot Springs. If you really want to travel like a local, then find the public entrance for the Tabacon River. This is where all the locals go and it’s free!
Stay in Monteverde and Santa Elena
Monteverde is 26,000-acre forest reserve known as the “Green Lung” of Costa Rica. Home to so much wildlife, this is an amazing experience. The reserve has bridges above the forest for you to walk and explore. Also, there are many marked trails which you can follow to see some amazing landmarks within the forest.
When your done, you’ll have to check out Santa Elena. This town is known for their coffee and cheese but offers some great cafes and restaurants to relax at.
The Samara Beach is where you can kick back and relax. The beach is known for its gold sand and calm waters. The beach offers surfing lessons, snorkeling and even a turtle-watching tour.
If you need a break from the sun, we suggest taking a tour through the Mango Plantation…and yes, you’ll be able to eat all the mangos you like. Another sight to see is the Werner Sauter Biological Preserve where monkeys, butterflies and birds roam.
Isla Chora in Samara
Take a guided tour by kayak to see Isla Chora which is across the lagoon from Samara. It will take 20-40 minutes to get across. This is a great way to see the coast from a new perspective. Once you get there, we recommend snorkeling around the reefs. We are sure you’ll see some beautiful sea life!
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