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San José, Costa Rica

Outdoor Activities

Our most recommended San José, Costa Rica Outdoor Activities

San José: Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs, & Zip Lining w/ Meals

1. San José: Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs, & Zip Lining w/ Meals

Tour the best locations in Costa Rica and learn about local life and culture from those who live there. Visit a coffee plantation, zip line, and soak in the hot springs at the base of the Adrenal Volcano. Take the scenic route to the Arenal Volcano and visit a coffee plantation along the way. Gain an insight into the world of Costa Rican coffee and taste one of the best coffees in the world. Arrive at the "La Paz" and "San Fernando" waterfalls and admire the exotic tropical birds of Costa Rica, including many species of hummingbirds and rare emerald toucanets. Take in the views at the San Fernando Waterfall observation point before heading to the "Iguana Bridge", where you will have the chance to spot iguanas, sloths, monkeys, and toucans. Stop for an authentic Costa Rican lunch in a restaurant located in "La Fortuna." Then, prepare for a zip-lining adventure in the local rainforest jungles with 9 canopy cables and a 50 meter (150 feet) rappel on the Arenal River. Learn about the culture while listening to a "Maleku" Indigenous tribe presentation from locals. Relax for a couple of hours in the Paradise Hot Springs at the base of Arenal Volcano, surrounded by tropical gardens followed by dinner.

San Jose: Irazú Volcano, Cartago City & Orosi Valley Tour

2. San Jose: Irazú Volcano, Cartago City & Orosi Valley Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel and travel by minibus along the Panamerican Highway until you reach the base of the Irazú Volcano. Travel up the winding road through fertile farmlands where many types of fruit and vegetables are cultivated. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys. At the summit of the volcano, on a clear day, marvel at the spectacular view of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Next, descend to the city of Cartago and stop at the Virgin of the Angels Basilica. Discover this local pilgrimage site which has large vaulted ceilings and exquisite examples of stained glass windows.  Continue the tour through the Orosi Valley, an area of magnificent natural beauty. Visit one of the few remaining colonial churches in the region and stop for a tasty typical lunch at one of the local restaurants. Finally, be returned to your hotel to complete the tour.

Poás Volcano, Coffee Plantation & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

3. 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.

Manuel Antonio National Park Combo Tour from San Jose

4. Manuel Antonio National Park Combo Tour from San Jose

Expereince the stunning beauty of the Manuel Antonio National Park on this day trip from San Jose. Visit Crocodile Bridge and Tarcoles Beach. Discover the abundant wildlife on the park’s rainforest trails and eat breakfast and lunch at local restaurants.  Enjoy being picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in the San Jose area. Travel aboard an airconditioned coach on the way to have breakfast in a local restaurant located next to the biggest fruit market in the country. Visit the market to observe a large variety of tropical fruits. Continue your journey with a stop at the popular crocodile bridge where you will have the chance to observe one of Costa Rica’s biggest crocodile’s populations. Search for scarlet macaws in their natural habitat on Tarcoles Beach where they like to gather.  Stop at the Jaco Bay lookout point and take pictures of Costa Rica’s most popular coastal town. Once in the Manuel Antonio National Park, hike the rainforest trails with your guide for about and hour and search for monkeys, sloths, toucans, and agoutis. Spend some free time to relax on the pristine beaches of the Manuel Antonio National Park, go for swim in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, or continue hiking to some breathtaking lookout points on some of the longer rainforest trails in the park. Savor a delicious lunch of local cuisine in a restaurant that provides great jungle and ocean views. Lunch is served in the early afternoon around 2 PM, after which you will be taken back to your hotel in San Jose.

From San José: Monteverde Hanging Bridges Day Trip

5. From San José: Monteverde Hanging Bridges Day Trip

Your tour begins in the morning with pickup in the San José area. Then travel towards the northern part of the country on a very scenic drive, with great views of beautiful mountain ranges, local towns and farms, and the Pacific coast. On the way to Monteverde, enjoy multiple stops. Learn about local fruits at the largest fruit stand of the country. Explore a place where several monkeys are normally observed in the wild at a very close range. Photograph amazing landscapes from a lookout point. Once in Monteverde, savor a delicious lunch and then proceed to do the amazing hanging bridges tour in the cloud forest. Hike with your guide for two to three hours, admiring the beauties of this rare ecosystem and searching for the local wildlife, including monkeys, emerald toucans, coatimundis, and the rare resplendent quetzal, the most beautiful bird of Costa Rica. This hike is approximately 3km (1.9 miles) long and is mostly on flat terrain with a few mild climbs.  Late in the afternoon, return to your accommodation in San José or to your accommodation in central Monteverde. 

Frequently asked questions about San José, Costa Rica Outdoor Activities

What are other things to do than Outdoor Activities that are worth visiting in San José, Costa Rica?

The other unmissable things to do in San José, Costa Rica are:

Other Sightseeing Options in San José, Costa Rica

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What people are saying about San José, Costa Rica

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!

In the way to Arenal we saw amazing sights, mountains, waterfalls, huge lizards, colorful birds and more. The rainforest ziplining was awe inspiring, the meals were delicious, and the hotspring pools were luxurious. Our guide, Jeff, was friendly and knowledgeable. It was an amazing day.

La playa es hermosísima. Definitivamente una experiencia que vale mucho la pena si quieres estar en contacto con la naturaleza y disfrutar de una deliciosa comida con la mejor vista de todas.

Fernando was a very good guide. He explained things all along the road about Costa Rica. We saw multiple of animals in their natural environment. The food was great also.

Fue una experiencia maravillosa! El paisaje es increíble y los lugares que se visitan en este tour valen muchísimo la pena.