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Things to do in Central Pacific

Our most recommended things to do in Central Pacific

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 on a guided hike. Walk by the river and follow a trail to a panoramic viewpoint. Have a delicious lunch at a Maluku Indian village and trek through forest, lava fields, and farmlands before relaxing at a natural hot spring resort with a drink. 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.

San Jose Bites and Sights Walking Tour

2. San Jose Bites and Sights Walking Tour

Get up close and personal with Costa Rican life, through local food, history, and even the herbal remedies of folk medicine. Enjoy a hands-on lesson on exotic plants, fruits, and vegetables, and enjoy several local food samples on this guided tour. Stroll through the streets with a local as they show you the ins-and-outs of daily life. Start with a morning pick-me-up coffee in a café located in the Central Market. Then, take a stroll through the vibrant market, tasting local fresh fruits. Next, sample empanadas and continue along local roads towards the Borbon Market. Seeing diverse sites the Cathedral, National Theater, and the beautiful parks will help you get to know the country and its rich history. Finally, visit a special coffee store where you will find coffee and chocolates produced by women. Learn to prepare coffee, enjoy a tamal, and make plantain empanadas before concluding your tour.

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

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

Start with a 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.

Puerto Limon: City Highlights and Cahuita National Park Tour

4. Puerto Limon: City Highlights and Cahuita National Park Tour

Start off your tour in comfort in an air-conditioned vehicle. Listen to your local guide share interesting facts about Costa Rica's Caribbean province. Take the scenic road and see the city of Puerto Limon from a viewpoint. Snap some pictures of the capital city and the ship docks. Explore the Tortuguero Canals on a 1.5-hour boat ride. Under the shade of the boat’s ceiling, your tour guide will point you to the different plants and animals in the area, and you'll learn about its biodiversity. Learn more about tropical plants and their fruits. You'll be able to see the actual plants and trees, and also taste some of these delicious fruits at a rustic fruit stand on the way to Cahuita. Stop outside a banana plantation and get to know the process of cultivating, harvesting, and shipping the fruit. Understand how bananas are a big part of Costa Rican economy, with Limon being central to this activity. Enjoy a 1.5-hour walk across the beautiful Cahuita National Park where you'll get to see even more animals and exotic plants. If the weather is nice, you can also take a dip in the sea. You will also have a stop to take a look at local products at the supermarket. Choose to take some Costa Rican coffee or other local goods home to remember your trip by.

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

5. 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.

Playa Tamarindo: Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tour

6. Playa Tamarindo: Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tour

Sail along Costa Rica’s Gold Coast on a sunset cruise, passing Guanacaste’s exotic bays, white sand beaches, and tropical jungles. Gaze off the bow with a cold tropical drink in your hand as you scan the seas for dolphins, sea turtles, flying fish, or even a breaching whale. Stop in a tranquil bay, drop anchor, and enjoy a swim. Snorkel, or take a walk down a deserted white sand beach. While you’re enjoying the sun, sand, and sea, the crew will prepare a lunch of chicken or pasta salad, fruit, chips, pico de gallo, guacamole, and homemade chocolate chip cookies. As the sun sets, you’ll see the ever-changing colors of the sky, while enjoying your favorite drink from the boat’s open bar. Capture the moment to show your family and friends the wonders of a Costa Rican sunset.

Poás Volcano, Coffee Plantation & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

7. 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.

Puerto Limon: Half-Day Tortuguero Canals & Playa Bonita Tour

8. Puerto Limon: Half-Day Tortuguero Canals & Playa Bonita Tour

Enjoy a half-day tour around the Puerto Limon and visit some of its most famous attractions as you learn more about the region from your professional guide. Spot the local wildlife on a 1-hour boat ride on the Tortuguero Canals and feel the sand under your feet at Playa Bonita. Taste fresh fruits from a local fruit stand. As you travel to your first stop in an air-conditioned vehicle, learn from your local guide interesting facts about Costa Rica's Caribbean province. Start off with exploring the Tortuguero Canals on a 1-hour covered boat trip, a fantastic chance to appreciate the rich wildlife of Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. With some luck, you'll be able to see animals such as monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and basilisks, as well as many sorts of birds. Next, head to Playa Bonita, a nice small beach. If the weather is nice and after your guide makes sure you're good to go, feel free to enjoy the waters. Alternatively, sit down and relax or head over to one of the nearby restaurants to enjoy a local dish or a Costa Rican beer (at your own expense). Then, visit a scenic viewpoint where you have a panoramic view of most of Puerto Limon's small city and even the coastline and ship docks. This is a great place for a photo-op. After the breathtaking views, it is time to visit the Fruit Stand to learn about different tropical plants and trees, but also to taste their fresh fruits. As the tour is coming to an end, you can optionally visit a supermarket where you can purchase goods such as top quality coffee at fair local prices. After, you are dropped back in Puerto Limon.

San Jose: Walking Nature Tour with Sloths, Birds, and Trees

9. San Jose: Walking Nature Tour with Sloths, Birds, and Trees

Departing from the nearby meeting point, visit the University of Costa Rica campus, home to some of the largest patches of forest in San Jose. Guided by young biologists, discover the nature hiding in the middle of Costa Rica's largest city. Experience wildlife you wouldn't have imagined existed minutes away from downtown.   On the first stop, you’ll look for resident and migratory birds, lots of incredible insects and amazing flowers. Then, see the largest indigenous stone sphere in San Jose, thought to derive from the extinct Diquis culture. Lastly, visit the main campus to seek out the friendly sloths climbing freely. The goal of this tour is to change the way tourism is done in Costa Rica, while supporting young scientists, researchers, and local entrepreneurs.

Tamarindo: Dream Chaser Catamaran Sunset Cruise

10. Tamarindo: Dream Chaser Catamaran Sunset Cruise

Discover picturesque secluded beaches on a 5-hour catamaran cruise. Benefit from relaxing lounge areas, an open bar, lunch buffet, snorkeling equipment, and paddleboards. Board the 40-foot Dream Chaser catamaran and cruise along the north coast and, depending on weather conditions of the day, anchor in the secluded beaches of Playa Minas, Playa Huevo, or Piratas Bay.  Jump into the refreshing waters and tryout water activities like snorkeling, paddle boarding, and playing with the floaties (noodles). Feast on a delicious home-style buffet and enjoy an open bar where you can get unlimited refreshments, liquor, and mixed drinks.  Lounge on the spacious upper deck while listening to a modern sound system. Cool off in the shaded main cabin, relax in comfortable leather seats, and make use of the free Wi-Fi.  As you head back to Playa Tamarindo, be treated to unforgettable views of the Costa Rican sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Frequently asked questions about Central Pacific

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Other Sightseeing Options in Central Pacific

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What people are saying about Central Pacific

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,734 reviews

Very friendly crew, 21 people on our excursion, the bartender's mojitos are excellent (and they even come to offer you another one as soon as your drink is finished!), the beach stop is splendid, the trip is nice, the sunset of sun is sublime. On the other hand, we are still looking for the blue flag of the meeting point

Our guide had a very good knowledge and taught us a lot. If I had booked the tour through the hotel I would have paid quite a bit less which frustrated me a bit.

Nous avons eu une superbe journée, avec des guides incroyables. La nourriture était bonne et facile de communiquer avec eux pour la prise en charge.

The other group in our party canceled, so we got a private tour with Jorge. He was amazing!

Rigo was an amazing tour guide! Learned so much from him and he takes the best pictures!