Central Valley Travel Guide


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

Plan Your Central Valley Vacation

San José and environs sit 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 (though other regions of Costa Rica can also make that claim these days). 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.


Central Valley Hotels

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


Central Valley Restaurants

Growing Escazú has become as metropolitan as San José and has the restaurant selection to prove it. Elsewhere, as befits this cradle of the country's tradition...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.


Central Valley Experiences

  • Top Reasons to Go to Central Valley

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

  • Volcán Irazú

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

  • Speaking Costa Rican

    Spanish in Costa Rica tends to be localized. This is a land where eloquent speech and creative verbal expression are highly valued. For example... Read more

  • A National Hero

    When the Costa Ricans drove U.S. invader Walker's army from their country in 1856, they chased his troops to Rivas, Nicaragua. The army of filibusters... Read more

  • La Negrita

    On the night of August 1 and well into the early-morning hours of August 2, the road to Cartago from San José clogs with worshippers, some of... Read more

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81° F Mostly Cloudy 61% Humidity April 24, 2014 at 6:00PM

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