Central Valley Travel Guide

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Photo of Central Valley Photo: Linda137, Fodors.com member

Plan Your Central Valley Vacation

San José sits in a mile-high mountain valley ringed by volcanoes whose ash has fertilized the soil and turned the region into Costa Rica's historic breadbasket. This will always be the land that coffee built, and the small cities of the Central Valley exhibit a tidiness and prosperity you don't see in the rest of the country. The valley is chock-full of activities and is Costa Rica at its most típico, giving you the best sense of what makes the country tick.

Hotels

Central Valley Hotels

Most international flights fly into Costa Rica in the evening and head out again early the next morning, meaning you likely... read more

Restaurants

Central Valley Restaurants

Growing Escazú has become as metropolitan as San José and has the restaurant selection to prove it. Elsewhere, as befits... read more

Things To Do

Things To Do in Central Valley

Explore the best sights, entertainment, and shopping with our top choices and insider tips.

Hotels

Central Valley Experiences

  • Top Reasons to Go

    Avian adventures: Flock to Tapantí National Park to see emerald toucanets, resplendent quetzals (if you're lucky), and nearly... Read more

  • Carara National Park

    One of the last remnants of an ecological transition zone between Costa Rica's drier northwest and more humid southwest, Carara National... Read more

  • Poás Volcano

    Towering north of Alajuela, the verdant Poás Volcano is covered with a quilt of farms and topped by a dark green shawl of cloud forest.... Read more

  • Irazú Volcano

    The word Irazú is likely a corruption of Iztaru, a long-ago indigenous community whose name translated as "hill of thunder." The... Read more

  • Eco-Lodges in the Central Valley

    Suburbia oozes out with each passing year, eating up once-idyllic Central Valley land, but it's still surprisingly easy to find vast... Read more

  • Certificate of Sustainable Tourism

    One trip to Costa Rica and you'll swear everything here is eco-lodges, ecotourism, eco-this, eco-that. But sustainability, the... Read more

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