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San Jose side trips

Old Mar 2nd, 2004, 01:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 712
San Jose side trips

We will be staying outside of San jose for a few days and taking side trips. (before we move on to another area). we have more ideas than time. Do not want to do that trip for 11 hours that covers a whole bunch of things.

definitely will do 1/2- 1 day in San jose.
then thinking of a few of the following:
#1.Paos, Grecia and sarchi
#2.Lankaster gardens
#3. La paz
#4. Braulio Carrillo
#5. Coffee plantation tour
#6: Inbio park
# 7. Tram ride
#8. Bird zoo.

Any thoughts or comments or additional suggestions.


Joanel is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2004, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,441
If your hotel has drivers available you can design just about any kind of day you want. I just recently stayed at Orquideas Inn in Alajuela and there is a small tour company that works out of it called Wady Tours. I just went to them and looked at what they had to offer and then told them I just wanted to go horseback riding and visit a couple of places. The horseback riding had a set fee, the rest just kind of happened and I had a great tour of Grecia and Sarchi. they charged me $100 for the day and that included the horseback riding and personal tours of several churches and other places as well as some extra arms to carry all the stuff I bought in Sarchi LOL.
Vista del Valle Plantation is a lovely place just a little further out of town with beautiful views and they also have private drivers available. Check out postings by Percy. He used Oscar from there and was very happy.
By using a private driver you can set your own schedule and if you get tired, decide you want to change plans in mid stream you can, or if you decide you have had enough you can just call it quits for the day. All the convenience of driving but with none of the hassles plus you can learn a lot from the drivers (if they speak english). The driver I had was great and he spoke english pretty well. We each practiced the others language and had a few laughs doing it. I used Luis.
Suzie2 is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2004, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
The 11 hour Highlights of Costa Rica tour was well worth the $79. We were not a large group, there were about 12 or 15 of us, and we saw so much in one day. Visited 5 different provinces actually. It took care of several "must sees" at one time! Breakfast at a coffee plantation, Poas Volcano, a little roadside stop for snacks and lots of hummingbirds overlooking a beautiful canyon with waterfalls, lunch at Selva Verde Lodge, another stop near La Paz Gardens (on the road) to view the roadside falls, on up to Sarapiqui for a one hour float trip down the river, shopping in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, and back through Parque Nacional Braulio Carillo into San Jose about 5:00 in the evening. It actually took about 10 hours. It was one of the best days I've ever spent in C. R., and that is saying a lot! Definitely take a little tour of Grecia and Sarchi. . .both well worth visiting. And, if you have time, (this is where I might hire a driver, although you can drive it yourself EASILY or book a tour), travel down through Cartago, see Vulcan Irazu, on down to Lancaster Gardens, and the Orosi Valley. This is also pretty much a full day, but the scenery is very beautiful. In Ujarras (I think that is correct) near Orosi, there stands the ruins of the oldest church in C. R. dating to the 1600's. We liked visiting there. . .also Cachi Dam and lake. Interesting drive. . .a good way to spend a day! I think Suzie's ideas are good ones. . .I've heard others speak of hiring a guide or a driver for the day. Main thing--there is so much beauty in the Central Valley, I am glad you are going to see some of it!
shillmac is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2004, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 60
We have also used Vista del Valle as home base. Beautiful spot. We find it very relaxing and opt to just stay put there for a few days! La Paz is a great day trip, Grecia is a beautiful little town to walk around in. Lots of really cute little towns in the central valley. Getting a driver is a great idea, not only for the ability to relax and enjoy the scenery, but renting a car in CR is quite expensive.
kimschulze is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2004, 06:21 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,645
I agree with Suzie and shillmac.
Your outline is good for what you want to see.

Personally I would get a private guide.
Because you are not driving all ovr Costa Rica.
What you want to see is relatively close by,you just need some orientation.
Here is what I would do :
1.Go right through the City Of San Jose and on your way to Cartago.... here you will see the ruins and the most lovely Church in all of Costa Rica.
Next from here, it is a skip and a hop top to the Lankester Garden....admission is $5.00
Then it is onward to the lovely town of Paraiso ( this means Paradis)..with the town and the climate and the flowers could at the moment say it is paradise
Next I would do Poas . La Paz, with its five waterfalls, and Sarchi
#3. Brauilo Carrillo and the Tram ride are in the same area.....there are several coffee plantations tours,,so ask eht guide for the best and maybe the nearest one.
#4. Leave the Bird Zoo for the last if you have time.
If you are flying our of San Jose in the afternnon then go to Zoo Avenue in the morning on your way to the airport, and near the airport also.
Give yourself at least one and one half hour at the ZOO.....You will spent 10 minutes just looking and talking to the Quetzul!!!!

I had a private guide "Oscar"out of Vista del Valle...without him I would have misssed a lot if I was driving.
In fact if I was driving I would still be in Costa Rica...lost on some dirt road holler Mayday ,Mayday!!!!!!!
Have a nice time

Percy is online now  
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