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Central Valley Travel Guide

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  • Photo: Peter Guttman/Peterguttman.com

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.

You can't find a more ideal climate than out here in the valley. When people refer to Costa Rica's proverbial "eternal spring," they're talking about this part of the country, which lacks the oppressive seasonal heat and rain of other regions. It's no wonder the Central Valley has drawn a burgeoning number of North American and European retirees.

There's no shortage of terrific lodgings out here—everything from family-run boutique hotels to the big international chains are yours for the night. It used to be that everyone stayed in San José and took in the various attractions in the Central Valley on day trips. With the good selection of quality accommodation out here, why not base yourself in the Central Valley, and make San José your day trip instead?

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Avian adventures Flock to Tapantí National Park to see emerald toucanets, resplendent quetzals (if you're lucky), and nearly every species of Costa Rican hummingbird. Rancho Naturalista is the bird lover’s hotel of choice.
  2. Coffee Get up close and personal with harvesting and processing on coffee tours at two of the valley's many plantations Café Britt and Doka Estate.
  3. Poás Volcano Peer right down into the witches’ cauldron that is the Poás Volcano.
  4. The Orosi Valley Spectacular views and quiet, bucolic towns make this area a great day trip or overnight from San José.
  5. Rafting the Pacuare River Brave the rapids as you descend through tropical forest on one of the best rivers in Central America.

When To Go

When to Go

High Season: Mid-December to April The Central Valley’s elevation keeps temperatures pleasant and springlike year-round, slightly warmer to...

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Check historic weather for your trip dates:

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