The well-to-do agricultural center of Turrialba is a bustling town, with a youthful vibe from the nearby university, a colorful open-air market, and a tree-shaded central park filled with an intriguing collection of large-scale animal sculptures. The region’s moist cheese, made in nearby Santa Cruz, is famous all over Costa Rica. As you begin the descent to Turrialba town, the temperature rises markedly and sugarcane alternates with fields of neat rows of coffee bushes. Turrialba also makes a product you might have heard of: Rawlings makes all the baseballs used in the major leagues. (The plant does not offer tours.) Thanks to some spectacular scenery, patches of rain forest in the surrounding countryside, and a handful of upscale nature lodges, ecotourism is increasingly the focus of the town's efforts. Significant numbers of kayakers and rafters also flock here to run the Pacuare and Reventazón rivers. And looming above the town is Volcán Turrialba. Recent eruptions of ash, along with a heavily damaged road, prevent visitors from going to the top or even getting near the base. Although volcanic activity keeps you away from the behemoth for safety reasons, don't let that scare you off from visiting other area attractions.


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