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San José, Costa Rica

Cruises & Boat Tours

Our most recommended San José, Costa Rica Cruises & Boat Tours

Poás Volcano, Coffee Plantation & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

1. 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.

San José: Irazú and Turrialba Volcanoes with Guayabo Tour

2. San José: Irazú and Turrialba Volcanoes with Guayabo Tour

After getting picked up at your hotel, head to the Irazú Volcano National Park where you can admire and even enter the crater of the highest volcano in the country. You will also be able to experience the unique miniature fauna and flora of Paramo, a tropical dwarf forest nestled in the highlands. Afterward, take the back road to Turrialba Volcano. Here, visit the "Central Town" located at the foot of the volcano. Enjoy time to explore and take some photos of the eerily abandoned town, still filled with farmhouses and buildings. Next, stop for dinner at a family-run grill house for a traditional Costa Rican lunch. Finally, before beginning the drive back to San José visit the Archaeological Site of Guayabo, declared a Civil Engineering World Heritage landmark and the most important milestone of pre-Hispanic culture in the country.

From San José: Carara National Park and Tárcoles River Tour

3. 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 José: Food and Culture Night Tour with Dinner

4. San José: Food and Culture Night Tour with Dinner

Follow an expert local guide and explore San José at night on a small-group, food-themed walking tour. See important cultural sites and feast on a traditional dinner with wine or beer pairings. Get up close and personal with the nightlife in San José, starting with Morazán Park where we will learn post-colonial Costa Rican history. From there, the appreciation for San José’s historical architecture continues, with a walk by the Metallic Building, then on to Spain Park for a fantastic view of the Yellow House (now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Continue to the harming Barrio Escalante, one of the oldest residential areas neighborhoods in San José. Nowadays, Barrio Escalante has reinvented itself and is now home to many up-and-coming restaurants and at night is a favorite meeting spot for locals and visitors alike. The evening will end with a contemporary traditional meal with wine or beer tastings at a hip local restaurant that is very popular with locals and offers a sampler of traditional Costa Rican pub fare.

San Jose: City Tour by Night

5. San Jose: City Tour by Night

Learn about the rich culture and history of Costa Rica on a guided tour of the city of San Jose by night. Start the tour with pickup from your hotel and travel to La Sabana Park where you will meet your guide. Here, get an overview of the history of Costa Rica's capital city. Learn about the history and current political climate of Costa Rica as you wander through the city with your guide. Stop outside sites of historical interest such as the National Theater, a monument built in 1897 known as "the Jewel of San Jose." See the Costa Rican Gold Museum, several national embassies, the National Stadium, and the University of Costa Rica. At the end of the tour, enjoy a delicious traditional dinner in one of the most fashionable areas of the city.

From San Jose: 3-Day Tortuguero National Park Excursion

6. 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.

San Jose: Tortuguero Park Day Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

7. 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

8. 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.

San Jose: Arenal Hanging Bridges & Baldi Hot Springs Tour

9. San Jose: Arenal Hanging Bridges & Baldi Hot Springs Tour

The day begins with pickup from San Jose, Alajuela, or Heredia and travels to the artistic town of Sarchi. Spend some time exploring and begin to appreciate the many arts and crafts that Costa Rica has to offer. You’ll also see the world’s largest ox cart, according the Guinness Book of World Records. Continue the tour towards La Fortuna, passing through colorful pineapple and plantain plantations, mango groves, and cattle ranches along the way. Arrive in La Fortuna and enjoy a lunch break at a cozy restaurant with magnificent views of Arenal Volcano. Learn about how the volcano was assumed to be dormant until 1968 when it experienced a major eruption. Visit the stunning Mistico Park next which boasts a dense biodiversity with luscious forests and an abundance of wildlife. Take a stroll amongst the treetops on the hanging bridges that line the jungle canopy, and admire the array of plants that surround you. Finally, it’s time to relax in the gorgeous waters of Baldi. Slide into the bubbling hot springs and unwind as the thermal waters cleanse and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. At the end of a magical day, chill out on the return journey to San Jose where a delicious dinner will be served against the backdrop of the volcano.

La Fortuna: Jungle Safari Float Sarapiqui to San Jose

10. La Fortuna: Jungle Safari Float Sarapiqui to San Jose

Turn your day of travel into an action-packed adventure with the Safari Float Adventure Connection! Come see the abundance of nature and wildlife that Costa Rica has to offer! This Costa Rica Safari Float is a smooth, two-hour paddle down the quiet, lower section of the Sarapiqui River. Your bilingual nature guide will paddle and steer your boat as you float down the river and point out all of the exotic wildlife such as birds, frogs, insects, and monkeys in the Costa Rican rainforest! You'll be picked up at your hotel in La Fortuna's Area and travel to a beautiful waterfall on the Pozo Azul River of Sarapiqui. Here you and your family can enjoy nature and the cool crystal clear water that the waterfall offers you. Then, head towards the Red Eye Frog restaurant located in El Roble of Sarapiqui while getting yourself ready to fall deeply in love with the 2-hour Jungle Safari float. Your eagle-eyed guide will show off Costa Rica's amazing wildlife as he points out a wide array of plant and animal species. You’ll float next to the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (San Juan La Selva Biological Corridor) where there is a good possibility of seeing sloths, howler monkeys, lizards, and even black river otters. This area is also famous for the incredible amount of tropical birds such as ospreys, boat-billed herons, parrots, kingfishers and the great green macaw which is on the endangered species list. For those who want to be even closer to nature, you will have the chance to get out of the raft and into the river and refresh yourself. The Jungle Safari Float is great for nature lovers of all ages! To finish your day, return to the Red Eye Frog Restaurant to have a delicious traditional Costa Rican lunch called a “Casado” along with some amazing Costa Rican gourmet coffee. Following this, drive to your next vacation destination in a comfortable air-conditioned van with free WiFi.

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What people are saying about San José, Costa Rica

I went on the Carara National Park and Tárcoles River Tour, from San José. The experience exceeded expectations by miles, Oropopo were streaks ahead of any other tour operator that I used here. I was picked up by Rigo, from my hotel, in a Land Cruiser rather than cramped minibus. The group was very small, making us more nimble. Rigo is a fantastic guide. It was a privilege to be experiencing nature and being advised by such a qualified biologist. His English is perfect, and he was good fun. The Carara National Park was lovely and quiet, in contrast to the absolutely packed Manuel Antonio National Park. There may be less of the big mammals here, but there's fascinating stuff to see. We were lucky to see a pair of fantastic scarlet macaws. The river tour was an incredible experience. It is an extensive tour, going up and down the river and then into mangroves. You'll see lots of huge crocodiles, very close up. The bird life is also spectacular. The guide on the boat was entertaining

We loved everything about this activity! Our guide, Freddy, was very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. He picked us up right at our hotel in San Jose and dropped us back off at the same place. We learned all about the process of making coffee as well as the history of coffee in Costa Rica. At Poas volcano we were able to see the full crater without any clouds in the way, which is rare. Lastly we went to Peace Lodge And walked around some of the nature exhibits (butterfly garden, frog garden, etc.) before hiking down to the waterfall. Along the way we also stopped for breakfast and lunch, both with amazing and authentic food!! Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a day trip!

Unfortunately, the day was very foggy so we were not able to see the crater at the Irazu volcano. It was also too cloudy to see the Turrialba volcano. It was still a great experience as we got to see lagoons and drive through several fincas before going to Guayabo. Guayabo was one the highlights of our entire trip to Costa Rica and would wholly recommend. We were lucky to have the same guide we had on a previous tour. Rigo, our tour guide, is very knowledgeable and engaging.

The guide Marceille Valentine was extremely professional and friendly, knowledgeable and real lover of nature. It was one of the best guides we have ever met.

Tour guides were very friendly and knowledgeable. We enjoyed the tour and definitely recommend them.