Central Valley: Places to Explore

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The Orosi Valley

If you have a day to spend near San José, this idyllic valley makes a classic day trip, passing through coffee plantations shaded by poró trees, oceans of chayote-squash vines, and small towns backed by verdant landscapes, with countless breathtaking views. It's a popular weekend drive for Costa Ricans, but still relatively off the beaten tourist path. The region is one of the few areas in Costa Rica that has remnants (ruins and churches) of the 17th-century Spanish colonial era. A good road makes a loop around the valley, easy to do if you have your own vehicle, or if you go on a guided tour—it's a staple of most San José tour operators' offerings. Public transportation is trickier here: Buses travel clockwise and counterclockwise, but neither route completes the loop.

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