San José is a dazzling city, but there is still so much to do and see around the capital. The Irazu volcano is accessible via small winding roads that traverse lush vegetation and green pastures.
San José is a dazzling city, but there is still so much to do and see around the capital. The Irazu volcano is accessible via small winding roads that traverse lush vegetation and green pastures. The diversity of vegetables grown is impressive, but even more fascinating are the panoramic views at the crater's summit, as your eyes can't help but wander beyond the gaping mouth of the volcano on a clear day to behold the Atlantic and neighboring Pacific Ocean. The Cartago basilica, a place of pilgrimage, and the Lankaster gardens, carpeted with orchids, bromeliads and 800 kinds of plants, are two interesting stops along the way. To get a beautiful example of local architecture, stop for a moment at a typical house in the Orosi Valley. This valley is also known for its attractive little towns, where you can enjoy a delicious meal for a reasonable price at a local establishment.
The Poás Volcano is another geological magma monster, at about an hour from San José. It is always slightly active and has one of the biggest craters in the world, whose summit is 8,860 feet high with the crater being about 3,280 feet deep with a diameter that is twice as big. Hiking to the crater concludes with one of the most breathtaking panoramas in Costa Rica. The blue-green Botos Lake, surrounded by forests, is just as fascinating. In order to appreciate the panoramic views in their entire splendor, try to arrive at dawn. Later in the day, the clouds often come down to spoil this experience. The road leading to Poás is an attraction in itself as you pass many coffee plantations and ever-changing scenery. On the way to Poás, souvenir hunters should stop in the village of Sarchí, famous for its small shops with hand-carved wooden items.
The main agricultural product of Costa Rica is coffee. Life on a specialized agricultural plantation is especially interesting and worth your visit. Cheerful guides will take you on an entertaining tour of a fully functioning farm. Packed with interesting anecdotes, wild orchids, singing birds and spectacular scenery throughout, you'll learn how to roast coffee, distinguish aromas and taste the various beverages. They'll even explain to visitors why they shouldn't be ashamed to make noise when tasting coffee. A group lunch can be organized on request, all complimented with a good cup of coffee. Your preference doesn't matter since the bar offers an assorted variety of coffee!
Take a rafting trip and uncover the riches and treasures of Costa Rica as you travel through three regions: the Central Valley, winding Sarapiquí River and primal Braulio Carillo National Park. A hearty breakfast on one of the many stops is a must to stock up on energy for the day. [NIEUWE_PAGINA]Before facing the wild river, you can swoon with emotion at a ballet of butterflies or the delicate rustling of hummingbirds, but not for long before you are at the mercy of the wild Sarapiquí River. Enjoy a well deserved picnic on the river banks and take a rest from the mighty rapids. Upon your return, just a shower and dry clothes, and you're on board the comfortable bus back to San José, where you can fall asleep and dream of the wonders you've witnessed.
The foot of Poás Volcano is saturated with dense and misty tropical forests. On the high summits, dense with immense, ancient trees, a course of cables and suspended bridges has been installed with 24 platforms. The Tarzan groups – for beginners or the more experienced – make their way from tree to tree, firmly and safely attached with snap clasps. At this rate, a course of about 1.24 miles is run in two hours, with the last cable crossing a distance of 2,297 feet. You are always accompanied by experienced instructors, who are trained to follow international safety regulations. Don't forget to admire your surroundings as you are given a rare bird's eye view of the jungle. The adventure ends with a meal of fresh trout at a nearby restaurant.
Depart from either the capital, San José, or wherever else: the views in Costa Rica are so rich in hilly terrain that the adept at all-terrain biking have no reason not to go out and explore. Mountain terrains, hundreds of miles of coast, narrow paths through forests… everywhere, you will leave behind your tire tracks. Going up the Poás or Irazú volcanoes is reserved for those with experience; "freewheeling" through the Orosi Valley is a lot easier and more relaxing – doable even for anyone who has not ridden a bike in years. The Nicoya peninsula, full of dusty trails, is a real paradise for the mountain bike, as is the area around the Golfo Dulce on the Pacific coast. And let's not forget to mention the trails marked in the protected forest near Ciudad Colón.