Things to Do in San José
For many people San José, is just a quick stopover on their way to the coast or the mountains. But other people make San José their base to enjoy Costa Rica as pretty much all roads lead to San José in Costa Rica! There's lots to do in the area! Here are some of the most popular activities (and you don't need to be a Casa 69 client for us to help arrange these for you!):
San José City
This half day city tour lets you see some highlights of San Jose including La Sabana Metropolitan Park, a walking tour through the historic National Theatre, a museum, the University of Costa Rica, the Supreme Court and various other sites of interest. There is a brief stop at an artisan's market where you can browse and shop for souvenirs.
Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs
Our most popular tour, this all day trip takes you to Arenal Volcano, one of the world's most active. You may feel the ground tremble and see the night sky explode with ash and lava in a natural display of fireworks. You will visit the famous Tabacon Spa and Hot Springs where you can relax in the pools or majestic gardens. Lunch and dinner are included on this tour and multi-day options are available too if you'd like to spend longer in the area or if you'd like to continue on your Costa Rica trip from Arena. (Baldi Hot Springs option also available).
Costa Rica has some of the world's best whitewater rafting and it's a unique vantage from which to enjoy Costa Rica's nature. We offer trips on the Pacuare (our favorite, class IIII and IV rapids), the Sarapiquí (class II and III) and the Renovación (class III and IV) rivers. These all day trips include pickup/drop off at Casa 69 in San Jose (some of the trips can also transport you and your luggage at the end of the day to Arenal or the Caribbean Coast) so it's like getting your transport for free!), all equipment, instruction, breakfast, lunch on the river and the adventure of a lifetime. Overnight trips where you spend the night in a jungle tent camp on the river are also available.
See the forest as the monkeys do! This once in a lifetime experience consists of gliding amid the forest canopy while speeding on a zipline between elevated platforms. The guides will show you the secrets of the tropical forest. Nature lovers and adrenaline junkies alike will enjoy this unique natural encounter. All day tours are available from San Jose including lunch or we can also arrange to add on a canopy tour in the Arenal or Caribbean coast areas if you're planning a stay in those areas.
The Poás Volcano is one of the world's largest geysers with an awesome crater, over 1.5 km wide! The volcano is active but completely safe for viewing. The tour begins with a beautiful drive through the lush coffee plantations and flower farms of the area. In addition to the volcano, the surrounding National Park is a 10 acre preserve rich with tropical vegetation and animal wildlife. The tour includes a hike through the surrounding forest that is teeming with plant life and exotic birds. The hike concludes at a restful, emerald green tropical lagoon. 5 hours
Poás Volcano and La Paz Waterfalls
This tour combines the Poás Volcano National Park with La Paz Waterfall Gardens, where you'll see some of Costa Rica's most spectacular waterfalls, the country's largest butterfly garden, a hummingbird sanctuary and some of the country's most striking surroundings. You'll enjoy a hearty lunch (included) at the garden's excellent restaurant before returning to San Jose. 8 hours
Irazú Volcano, Lankester Gardens and Orosi Valley
Unbelievable vistas open up at every turn as you ascend Irazú Volcano. At the top, peer into its massive crater and walk along the moon-like landscape where on a clear day you can see both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans! Then descend past timeless farms and tidy villages to the historic city of Cartago, where will visit the mysterious ancient ruins of a fallen church and the beautiful Los Angeles Cathedral. We'll continue to one of Costa Rica's most scenic regions, the Orosi Valley, noted for its profound beauty and rich soil. Some of the world's best coffee is grown in the plantations here and the Renovación River wanders through the valley while colorful wildflowers bloom everywhere. Here you will visit the ruins of Costa Rica's oldest church. On our return, we'll stop at Lankester Gardens. This expansive preserve is a tropical paradise, housing over 800 varieties of exotic orchids in addition to other tropical flowers and plants. Includes lunch. 8 hours
Our one day tour to Isla Tortuga is the perfect combination of swimming, snorkeling and hiking. An air-conditioned bus takes you to Puntarenas with a stop for breakfast. From Puntarenas starts a 1 1/2 hour boat ride to the island. Enjoy the island while lunch is prepared and served. Late afternoon we return to Puntarenas and after a 2 hour bus ride we will be back in San Jose in the evening, but early enough for you to enjoy dinner in one of San Jose's great restaurants.
Best of the Pacific (Punta Leona)
Leaving San Jose at 7 am, we head to the Pacific Coast along the old Spanish route in use since 1606. After a breakfast stop we reach our destination and take a jungle boat tour that goes along the Tarcoles River. Bilingual guides will introduce you to the world of crocodiles and exotic birds. After the boat tour we'll arrive at Punta Leona Beach Resort. This exotic paradise is surrounded by 750 acres of lush tropical rainforest, white sand beaches and the blue waters of the Pacific. You will have the day to enjoy the activities offered by the resort and lunch will be served. If interested you can take the included guided tours through the transitional rainforest, the tour takes about 1 1/2 hours, or you can relax at the pool or on the beach. We will be back in San Jose around 8 pm.
Multi-day Trips from San Jose
Coast-to-Coast: Pacific and Caribbean plus Mountains
This is the best that Costa Rica has to offer: 8 nights (or more) in total with 1 night Casa 69, 2 nights Manuel Antonio beach on the Pacific with a sail/snorkel tour included, 2 nights Arenal Volcano with hot springs and volcano viewing. Then do a river rafting trip on the Pacuare river, view unspoilt nature while navigating exciting class III-IV rapids. Then 2 or more nights on the beaches of the Caribbean in Puerto Viejo and 1 more final night at Casa 69. You can also add on Monteverde and/or Tortuguero to this package. Prices start at just $699 per person including all taxes and round-trip transport from San Jose.
You can also add Monteverde and/or Tortuguero to this trip. Or use this as a base itinerary and customize it to make it completely your own!
Caribbean Wet and Wild Combo
See the best of the Caribbean in this exciting package which includes Whitewater Rafting, 2+ nights Puerto Viejo, Caribbean Canopy Tour, 2 days Tortugero National Park, all your transportation and many of your meals too! All from just $409 for a 4 day/3 night package or customize it and add more activities and days!
Volcano, Jungle and Beach
See our favorite spots in Costa Rica with this one package. Experience the mountains, the rain forest and the beautiful beaches of Costa Rica's Caribbean for an unforgettable trip. This package which includes 2 nights near Volcano Arenal, the famous Tabacon Hot Springs, Whitewater Rafting, 2+ nights Puerto Viejo, Caribbean Canopy Tour, round trip transport to/from San Jose, all your breakfasts and 1 lunch (rafting day) and 1 dinner (at Tabacon)! All from just $519 for a 5 day/4 night package or customize it and add more activities and days!
Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal
The Arenal Volcano Trip (see also one day option above) is a very popular trip to be done with a one or two night stopover and good transport options exists if you want to continue on to destinations on the Pacific or Caribbean coasts.
Reachable only by boat or air, the Tortugero National Park area is a spectacular area for viewing wildlife from a boat, canoe or kayak. During the July to September nesting season, there are also opportunities to see the Green Sea Turtle. Orchids, birds, monkeys, crocodiles, sloths, toucans and many other species can be seen all over the area. This trip can be done as an all day trip or we recommend a one night overnight package for a more leisurely pace.
Whitewater Rafting Multi day
Our whitewater rafting trip on the Pacuare River has an overnight option, so you can spend the night in the remote unspoiled wilderness.
*Prices are subject to change without notice.
Where else would you like to go?
We can arrange transportation by private shuttle to any location in Costa Rica. Your own driver gives you the freedom to stop where you like for pictures, souvenirs, meals. The public bus in Costa Rica is also excellent (although almost all routes travel through San José)
Let us know if we can help with anything else! Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.