Alajuela Province
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Alajuela Province Culture & History

La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour

1. La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour

Escape into the nature of the La Fortuna area. Walk by the river and follow a trail to a panoramic viewpoint. Visit a Maluku Indian village and trek through a forest, lava fields, and farmlands before relaxing at a natural hot spring resort. Be collected at your accommodation and be driven to the beginning of the forest walk. Trek on the easy track along the crystal clear La Fortuna river. En route, hop on a tractor cart uphill to a panoramic viewpoint. Spot the next location from a distance then begin the return walk down a jungle staircase. Halfway down is a high suspension bridge to cross. The trail leads further down the huge canyon, which was shaped by a volcanic mega-eruption. Encounter the spectacular La Fortuna waterfall. Be amazed by the lush vegetation on its 70-meter high walls, the huge volcanic rocks at its foot, and the water splashing down in its massive pool. Bask in its beauty or even take a refreshing dip. Return to the viewpoint then walk down to the little village of the Maluku Indians. Seated in their Palenke (main house), enjoy a rest while listening to an interesting story about their culture, art, and history.  After being active for a few hours, the time has come to relax and enjoy a typical hot lunch. Next to the restaurant is a butterfly garden and frog pond that you can explore until your food is served.  Reenergized, take a 15-minute ride to the park at the foot of the Arenal volcano. Being the trek through the primary forest where you can see huge trees with giant roots. Besides a variety of birds, the forest is host to monkeys, sloths, and coati. Leave the forest and each the highest viewpoint that exists around the volcano and absorb the most spectacular panoramic views of Lake Arenal, the jungle, the valley, the lava fields, and most of all the Arenal that towers over you.  Conclude your tour at the natural hot spring resort. Relax in its soothing warm water for about an hour and enjoy a volcanic mud facial and a complimentary cocktail. Afterward, you will be taken back to your accommodation.

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 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.

La Fortuna: Evening Frog Safari

3. La Fortuna: Evening Frog Safari

After beginning your tour at 5:45PM, you will be able to live the experience of the only natural frog sanctuary in La Fortuna by night. This is your opportunity to view colorful frogs and other wild animals of the rainforest when they are more active and more easily observed. At least 28-species of frogs have decided to make the Arenal Oasis ponds their home. The native plants of Arenal are carefully maintained, in order to create the perfect habitat for these amphibious creatures. This unique private wildlife reserve sits inside a rainforest refuge that connects the tropical areas of the Arenal Volcano and the Burio River. Your local guide will prepare you with a flashlight to assist you in finding these unique creatures, and at the conclusion of your tour you will be returned back to your La Fortuna accommodation.

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

4. 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.

La Fortuna: Rainforest Chocolate Tour

5. La Fortuna: Rainforest Chocolate Tour

Visit a cocoa farm in the rainforest with majestic views of Arenal Volcano. See where cocoa is grown, processed and produced and unearth the hidden secrets of local chocolate production. This interactive experience lets travelers eat as much chocolate as they want while learning about the history, culture, and traditions of this popular Costa Rican sweet. In this 2-hour hands-on program, have the opportunity to learn interesting facts about cocoa and chocolate, its origin and history. Participate in all aspects of the production process, from the harvesting of the fruit, drying, and grinding of the seeds.  Discover why the cacao tree was very important to ancient cultures. Find out how cacao was not only used as a ceremonial drink, but its seeds were also used as currency because of its economic value, in many regions of Mesoamerica, including Costa Rica.

Arenal Hanging Bridges Half-Day Tour from La Fortuna

6. Arenal Hanging Bridges Half-Day Tour from La Fortuna

Discover a natural paradise of walking trails and 6 hanging bridges on the interpretative nature paths of Mistico Park. Get closer to nature and see the flora and fauna from a more intimate perspective as you get the chance to walk on the forest floor, swing from the branches or soar over the tree canopies like an eagle! Take in the amazing views at Waterfall Bridge, and learn more about the rainforest from a naturalist guide. Hear about the animal life, geography and history of the region, and get some breathtaking views of the volcano, depending on the weather.

San Jose: Tortuguero Park Day Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

7. 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.

La Fortuna: Half-Day Waterfall Tour with Lunch

8. La Fortuna: Half-Day Waterfall Tour with Lunch

After hotel pickup in La Fortuna, set off on a short drive to reach the departure point, where you will start with an easy forest walk along the crystal-clear La Fortuna River. Along the way, hop on a tractor cart that will take you up hill to a panoramic viewpoint. Having seen the waterfall in the distance, start a trek down a jungle staircase. Halfway down, reach a high suspension bridge that will have to be conquered in order to continue.  Follow the trail further down the huge canyon that was shaped by a volcanic mega eruption. Coming to the end of the canyon, the spectacular La Fortuna Waterfall awaits. Marvel at the lush vegetation on 230-foot walls, the massive volcanic rocks at its base, and the huge amount of water splashing down in its pool. Take time to bask in its beauty, while the brave souls of the group can even take a dip. Back at the viewpoint, walk down to the little village of the Maluku Indians. Seated in their palenke, main house, enjoy a rest while listening to an interesting telling of Maluku culture, art, and history. Having been active for some hours, the moment will then come to enjoy a warm, traditional lunch. Next to the restaurant, there is a butterfly garden and frog pond, which you can explore while waiting for the food to be served. Return to your hotel at around 1:30 PM.

San José: Arenal Volcano, Waterfalls, Coffee and Hot Springs

9. San José: Arenal Volcano, Waterfalls, Coffee and Hot Springs

Start your tour in the morning when you are picked up from your hotel in the San Jose area in an air-conditioned vehicle. Travel to Arenal on an alternative route that is more scenic than the regular highway to this popular destination. On the way, stop at a plantation where you will learn about the coffee of Costa Rica. Observe the coffee plants and see the workers picking the ripe cherries during the harvest season. Learn about this important product to the local economy and taste a freshly brewed cup of some of the best coffee in the world accompanied by traditional snacks. Continue the tour at the famous La Paz Waterfall. Stop at the San Fernando Waterfall look-out point and observe many exotic birds including toucans, hummingbirds, and many other colorful tropical species. Visit the iguana’s center, a place where you will see lots of iguanas at eye level resting on the top of numerous trees. Following this, arrive at the Town of La Fortuna, and enjoy a delicious Costa Rican lunch in a restaurant located at the base of the impressive Arenal Volcano. After lunch, visit various points around the volcano to take pictures of this amazing mountain on clear days. Next, participate in an indigenous presentation performed by native people from the Maleku Tribe, and learn about the native culture of Costa Ricans. Later, travel to the beautiful Paradise Hot Springs Resort and relax for a few hours in the multiple hot springs pools surrounded by lush tropical gardens. This hot springs facility is one of the best in the Arenal area and provides the perfect environment to relax in thermal mineral water pools, jacuzzis and cascading waterfalls. After this, go to a local typical restaurant to have a delicious Costa Rican dinner before you are taken back to your hotel in the San Jose area.

Arenal: 4 Activities Tour with Optional Hot Springs

10. Arenal: 4 Activities Tour with Optional Hot Springs

Visit the most important attractions of Arenal Volcano National Park and hike along a mountain trail to get magnificent views of the mighty mountain in safety. Hope for clear skies to see as far as Arenal Lake, the secondary forest, and the area devastated by previous eruptions.  Continue to the impressive waterfall of La Fortuna, where you can go for a refreshing swim in the cool waters or take pictures of its natural beauty. Stop at a restaurant near downtown La Fortuna for a delicious a la carte lunch. Then, head to the Arenal Hanging Bridges to hike the trail high above the tree canopy. Cross 15 hanging and stationary bridges and look for the local wildlife along the way. End the day at the hot springs of your choice, with or without dinner. Get picked up after your meal for the drive back to your hotel. 

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What people are saying about Alajuela Province

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 64 reviews

I highly recommend going on this excursion!!!! I am never the person to leave reviews, but I was honestly blown away by all that we did and got to see. Be prepared to spend the entire day as it lasted far beyond the 10 hours that is stated, but it’s so worth it! Our tour guides were Enrique and Isaac and they were phenomenal. They were very easy going and knowledgeable, they helped make the experience as enjoyable as it was. You will be doing a lot of hiking and climbing up and down steep and uneven stairs/terrain getting to the volcano as well as the waterfall (500 steps). I am not an avid hiker or even an outdoorsy person so some of this was a bit challenging, if you feel intimidated don’t let that stop you! There were people of all hiking levels on this trip. From seeing the volcano/the lava fields to climbing over rocks to take a dip next to a waterfall you will be impressed by the beauty around you. Ending the day in a hot spring with drinks was a great ending to the day! 11/10

This is the best activity I have done in Costa rica ! Carlos & Julian were amazing and so knowledgeable. the overall day started with pick up (5 minutes late which is okay) and going to the local indigenous tribe, learning about their culture, seeing sloths in trees, waterfall, lunch was great, we saw a butterfly garden nearby, then continued to the hike on the volcano before finishing in the hot springs. it was a magical and perfect day ! I'd love to do it again !!!

Great family time. The facilitator was very nice, pleasant and understanding. Even the children enjoyed this good time. The preparation of the typical Costa Rican dish was very instructive and very good to taste. The salsa steps were a good time

Great tour, very knowledgeable guide and a great atmosphere! I'd definitely recommend

Très belle journée bien remplie et guide très sympathique!