Central Valley

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Central Valley - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Café Britt

    The producer of Costa Rica's most popular export-quality coffee gives a lively Classic Coffee Tour highlighting the history of Costa Rica's coffee cultivation through a...Read More

  • 2. Doka Estate

    The Central Valley is coffee country. Consider devoting an hour of your vacation to learning about the crop's production. Doka Estate, a working coffee plantation...Read More

  • 3. La Carreta

    The world's largest oxcart, constructed and brightly painted by longtime local factory Souvenirs Costa Rica and enshrined in the Guinness Book of World Records, can...Read More

  • 4. Parque Central

    Heredia is centered on tree-studded Parque Central, which gets our vote for the country's loveliest and liveliest central park, surrounded by some notable buildings spanning...Read More

  • 5. Poás Volcano National Park

    This is widely regarded as Costa Rica's coolest volcano experience. An observation platform lets you peer right inside what is thought to be the largest...Read More

  • 6. Toucan Rescue Ranch

    One of Costa Rica's many animal-rescue facilities, Toucan Rescue Ranch is a great place to see wildlife. There are more than just toucans—the good-hearted folks...Read More

  • 7. Alajuela Cathedral

    The large neoclassical Alajuela Cathedral has columns topped by interesting capitals decorated with local agricultural motifs, and a striking red metal dome. Construction was completed...Read More

  • 8. Barva de Heredia

    About 3 km (2 miles) due north of Heredia, this colonial town is famous for mask making and for its Parque Central, still with the...Read More

  • 9. Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles

    Cartago's major tourist sight is a hodgepodge of architectural styles from Byzantine to baroque, with a dash of Gothic thrown in. The interior of this...Read More

  • 10. Basílica de Santo Domingo

    The splendid, late 19th-century Basílica de Santo Domingo is one of the country's only two basilicas, with two distinctive towers topped with gold domes. It's...Read More

  • 11. Butterfly Kingdom

    Butterflies are the "livestock" at this working farm in the heart of Escazú, where caterpillars are raised and then exported in chrysalis form. A two-hour...Read More

  • 12. Carara National Park

    Sparse undergrowth here makes wildlife easier to see than in most other parks, although proximity to major population centers means that tour buses arrive regularly...Read More

  • 13. Casa de la Cultura

    Next to the Fortín, the tile-roof building with the handsome wood veranda is Heredia's Casa de la Cultura, which almost always has a free exhibition...Read More

  • 14. Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza

    A good place for bird-watchers and garden enthusiasts, the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center—better known by its Spanish acronym, CATIE—is one of...Read More

  • 15. Church of Our Lady of Mercy

    This brick-red Gothic-style church is made of prefabricated iron. It's one of two buildings in the country made from steel frames and iron sheets imported...Read More

  • 16. Church of San Ramón

    Aside from its poets, San Ramón's claim to fame is this massive church, built in a mixture of the Romanesque and Gothic styles. In 1924...Read More

  • 17. Costa Rica Meadery

    Costa Rica's climate sadly doesn't allow for wine grapes to flourish, but crafty brewers have discovered perhaps the next best thing: mead, which is created...Read More

  • 18. Else Kientzler Botanical Garden

    Some 2,000 plant species, tropical and subtropical, flourish on 17 acres here, and all are well labeled. The German owner named the facility, affiliated with...Read More

  • 19. Fortín

    On the north side of the Parque Central in its own little park stands a strange tower, built as a military post in the 1870s....Read More

  • 20. Guayabo National Monument

    On the slopes of Turrialba Volcano lies Costa Rica's only true archaeological site. The city, once home to possibly 10,000 people, was abandoned in AD...Read More

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