While San Jose provides a good base for exploring Costa Rica’s lush Central Valley, the best day tours from the city take travelers further afield to rainforests, beaches and volcanic scenery. Many of these excursions include a guide to simplify logistics and help visitors spot wildlife, while all-inclusive transportation helps minimize logistical hassles. Tours often depart from hotels, but renting a car is another option for those wanting a more independent experience.
Some of the most popular day tours best day tours from san jose costa rica from San Jose include trips to Tortuguero, Arenal Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens. A tour to the Caribbean village of Tortuguero is a top choice for conservationists, as it takes place on one of the country’s major leatherback and green turtle nesting sites. The canals, wetlands and forests of the park are also home to manatees, tapir and jaguar, making this a rich wildlife adventure.
A trip to the active volcano of Irazu is another popular option for nature lovers. Tours to the active volcano, located on a cloud-covered ridge overlooking Orosi Valley and Cartago, offer stunning views and insight into the power of Costa Rica’s biggest volcano.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, consider a combination tour that includes both adventure activities and some relaxation time in mineral hot springs. This full-day tour from San Jose combines zip lining in the rainforest and rappelling, with horseback riding and white water tubing, and a visit to the University of Costa Rica’s Lankester Gardens to admire a variety of tropical plants. It’s a great option for people who want to see more of Costa Rica but don’t have much time to spare.
To make the most of your time at Arenal Volcano National Park, this tour from San José includes a private transfer that bypasses the long lines to enter the park. Your guide will lead you on the park’s main trails, which are renowned for their biodiversity and jungle-edged views. While on the trail, keep an eye out for titi monkeys and 2-toed sloths, as well as exotic birds and flowers.
The last stop of the day is a visit to a local coffee plantation and an authentic chocolate tour. Here, you’ll learn about the process of growing and harvesting Costa Rican coffee. You’ll have a chance to taste the beverage and participate in a degustation of traditional Costa Rican foods.