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Alajuela

Culture & History

Our most recommended Alajuela Culture & History

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

1. 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

2. 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 Jose: Tortuguero Park Day Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

3. 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.

Alajuela: 4-Hour Arenal Rainforest Trek

4. Alajuela: 4-Hour Arenal Rainforest Trek

Go on the ultimate eco-adventure trek that will bring you face-to-face with the beautiful Arenal Volcano. Rely on a knowledgeable naturalist guide to introduce you to the spectacular landscapes and wildlife of the North Costa Rican tropical rainforest. Trek 12 km along a circular trail that leads you around the base of Arenal Volcano and by the edge of the Arenal River. Check out the rapid regeneration of the forest as it grows on top of lava rock. See gallery forest, primary forest, and river forest, and the combination of different habitats available to the impressive range of native wildlife.  As you hike, listen as your guide shares with you the history of Arenal Volcano as well as the local people. Enjoy a delicious box lunch in the forest to give you the fuel you need to complete the trek.

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What people are saying about Alajuela

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!

Ronnie is an amazing tour guide, we learned so much about Costa Rica, he is very knowledgeable and passionate! The volcano was an amazing experience as well as a tour of Cartago city and the valley. Our lunch was at a coffee plantation it was magical. Will definitely be coming back to Costa Rica to explore more!

Our tour guide Ronnie was really knowledgeable and flexible. Great excursion if you want a day trip that covers a lot of ground . The volcano was the highlight for me! Thanks to Christian the driver who got us there and back safely and comfortably.

We took advantage of a driver guide for us which allowed us to discover atypical places on the route La pura vida in Costa Rica

It was very worth it. We were very happy with the information, the organization and the food. Widely recommended. PURE LIFE!