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San José, Costa Rica

Food & Gourmet Tours

Our most recommended San José, Costa Rica Food & Gourmet 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: Food and Culture Night Tour with Dinner

2. 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: Food and Sightseeing Tour

3. San Jose: Food and Sightseeing Tour

Join your guide for a morning pick-me-up coffee at a café in Borbon Market, where you'll get to know your guide. From here, stroll through the vibrant market and taste the local fruits. Learn the agricultural history of the area as you stop at stands such as a coffee stall. Hear all about the Costa Rican chorreado method of brewing coffee. Go to a stand that sells folk medicine and learn about cures for everything from a hangover to a broken heart.  Next, visit Central Market and immerse yourself in the life of the 120-year-old building. Sample local delicacies from Costa Rica at a market full to the brim with food and drinks. Learn more about the herbs used in local medicines or sip on your second coffee of the day. With a local guide by your side, you’ll unearth all the secrets behind this San Jose treasure. By the time you end your tour at Central Market, you will be full of local knowledge. Perhaps you will have even picked up some of the local lingo along the way!

San Jose: Sarapiqui Class 2&3 Rafting Adventure

4. 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.

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

5. 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.

San Jose: Casa Hacienda La Esperanza Coffee Experience

6. San Jose: Casa Hacienda La Esperanza Coffee Experience

Begin your journey with a warm welcome to Casa Hacienda La Esperanza at 8:30 AM, where you will be able to enjoy a selection of pastries with coffee. Then, move on to visit the Ceibo Lookout and experience the vibrant community in the local church. After the church, go to plant your own coffee tree and experience picking coffee. After that, view for yourself the mighty waterfall and benefit from the option to take a swim in the flowing water. Return to La Esperanza and indulge with a delicious, traditional lunch. Next, learn about the production of coffee during a tour at the beneficio and see the roasting of coffee beans. End your day at the cafeteria, where refreshments can be purchased.  

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Other Sightseeing Options in San José, Costa Rica

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What people are saying about San José, Costa Rica

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 7 reviews

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!

This tour was absolutely incredible. My guide Vinny was so knowledgeable about everything from fruits to the smallest details of Costa Rican history. It felt like stepping into the authentic world of a San José local. I recommend this tour for anyone wanting to know the real San José!

Jorge was an excellent tour guide. He was very professional, knowledgeable, flexible, and personable. We walked all over the old parts of town and heard some fascinating history. I think he knew everybody in town. We had a great time.

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 group convinced us to do 3 and 4 it was a lot of fun, the crew was professional and fun!