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

    Industrial Site/Mill/Factory

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

  • 2. Doka Estate

    Farm/Ranch

    Considering the amount of coffee you'll drive past in the Central Valley, you might want to devote an hour or so of your vacation to learning...Read More

  • 3. La Carreta

    Local Interest–Sight

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

  • 4. Magmática

    Museum/Gallery

    Costa Rica forms part of the Pacific Rim's so-called "Ring of Fire." Throughout history, earthquakes have taken their toll on the country, especially...Read More

  • 5. Poás Volcano National Park

    Volcano

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

  • 6. Alajuela Cathedral

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The large, neoclassical Alajuela Cathedral has columns topped by interesting capitals decorated with local agricultural motifs, and a striking...Read More

  • 7. Barva de Heredia

    Town/Village

    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 original...Read More

  • 8. Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

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

  • 9. Basílica de Santo Domingo

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

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

  • 10. Butterfly Kingdom

    Zoo/Aquarium

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

  • 11. Carara National Park

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

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

  • 12. Casa de la Cultura

    Museum/Gallery

    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

  • 13. Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza

    Educational Institution

    A good place for bird-watchers and garden enthusiasts, the center, better known by its Spanish acronym, CATIE, is one of the leading tropical...Read More

  • 14. Church of Our Lady of Mercy

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The 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...Read More

  • 15. Church of San Ramón

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    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 an earthquake...Read More

  • 16. Else Kientzler Botanical Garden

    Garden/Arboretum

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

  • 17. Feria

    Market/Bazaar

    On Saturday mornings starting at 5, Heredia's open-air feria, a lively farmers' market, stretches for almost a kilometer (½ mile) along Avenida...Read More

  • 18. Fortín

    Building/Architectural Site

    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, it never did see...Read More

  • 19. Guayabo National Monument

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    On the slopes of Turrialba Volcano lies Costa Rica's most significant and only true archaeological site. Records mentioning the ruins go back...Read More

  • 20. Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    On the east side of the park stands this impressive neoclassical church that locals refer to as simply "La Inmaculada." It was built between...Read More

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