Central Valley Travel Guide
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.
Most international flights fly into Costa Rica in the evening and head out again early the next morning, meaning you likely... read more
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 in Central Valley
Explore the best sights, entertainment, and shopping with our top choices and insider tips.
Avian adventures: Flock to Tapantí National Park to see emerald toucanets, resplendent quetzals (if you're lucky), and nearly... Read more
One of the last remnants of an ecological transition zone between Costa Rica's drier northwest and more humid southwest, Carara National... Read more
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
The word Irazú is likely a corruption of Iztaru, a long-ago indigenous community whose name translated as "hill of thunder." The... Read more
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
One trip to Costa Rica and you'll swear everything here is eco-lodges, ecotourism, eco-this, eco-that. But sustainability, the... Read more
Want to stay at the finest properties when you travel? Check out our annual list of the 100 best hotels in the world.More