Welcome to Central Valley & Highlands

Curvy mountain roads force travelers to slow their pace. Quaint and quirky agricultural towns invite leisurely detours to farmers markets and church processions, a refreshing break from the tourist-industrial complex on the coasts. But it's not all cows and coffee – world-class rapids, resplendent quetzals and close encounters with active volcanoes all show off the rich landscape in which Costa Rica's character is rooted.

Top experiences in Central Valley & Highlands

Travel guides

Starting at $32.49

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Central Valley & Highlands activities

$500 Private & Custom Tours

Disco Pirate Fishing Charters Los Suenos

We can target Mahi, Wahoo, Tuna, Sailfish , Rooster fish trolling. Or we can target Snapper, Amberjack, Grouper bottom fishing. We normally run about 20 miles off shore for a full day. It takes about 45 minutes to run offshore to out destination.  Full day includes lunch. 1/2 day includes snacks. Both trips we provide soda, water, ice tea. The boats leaves Herradura Bay at 7am.  You need to walk to the ocean and stand near the water. A water taxi will come and get you and bring you to the boat. The taxi is free of charge. Captain Carlos will be on the boat waiting for you.

$100 Water Sports

Whitewater Kayak Novice Clinic

Overview of the DayThe day starts at our base, the Sarapiqui Outdoor Center, where we have changing rooms, showers, and bathrooms for your convenience. After checking in and signing the waiver, you will meet with your instructor to go over some of the skills that you will work on for the day. Your instructor will also help you choose the proper gear and select a kayak.After loading up the van, you will take a short ride to the entrance of the lower, calmer section of the Sarapiqui River. Your knowledgeable and friendly instructor will equip you with all necessary information to keep you safe on the river. Then you will head downstream, learning new skills and admiring the natural environment all around you. You will stop along the way for some fresh fruits.Once you reach the take-out for this section of river, you will load into the van and take a short ride back to the Sarapiqui Outdoor Center, where a BBQ lunch by the river will be waiting for you. Enjoy your lunch and then view the photos and videos of the day (available for purchase).In the 1-day clinic you will learn the basics:Choosing proper equipment and clothing Carrying a kayak Entering and exiting a kayak Proper body position Wet exitSelf-rescueRiver safetyThe 2-day clinic focuses on:Essential flatwater strokes: forward, sweep, gliding, bow and stern draw, braces and maneuvers. Edging the kayak Eddy turns, peel outs, and ferriesRiver reading and identifying hazardsRiver runningThe 3-day clinic spends more time on the previous skills and introduces:Wave surfingRollingThe 4-day clinic gives you more practice time and by the end of the week, students can often:Run Class II rapids with confidence and finessePlay on Class II surf waves and holes with confidence Roll a kayakScout and run Class III rapidsLength of Tour: 8 HoursTour Time: 8:30 AMTour is available all year round. 

$85 Water Sports

Class III-IV Whitewater Rafting at Pacuare River from Turrialba

Before entering the river, guides will brief you, so you can familiarize yourself with the safety procedures along with the necessary commands and to ensure you an adventurous navigation downstream.  After practicing. the excitement kicks up a notch as you enter the first rapids, “Iniciación”. You will quickly understand why some of the rapids have had their names, established such as Huacas, Dos Montañas, El Indio and Cimarrones. You’ll also stop along to way to hike up waterfalls located in hidden canyons and to better enjoy some of the wildlife along the way. Halfway through the tour there will be a stop at the base camp which is located on a river bend. Here you will have a tremendous view of the Pacuare and the surrounding mountains.The guides then will prepare a delicious meal for you while you rest and enjoy the various flora and fauna of this region. After lunch, you’ll continue your adventure down the river, braving more rapids and taking in the awesome surroundings. Tour ends on reaching the bridge in the town of Siquirres. This tour takes approximately 4 hours (on the river), with a lunch break during the course of the tripTransportation returns accordingly.

$65 Day Trips & Excursions

Safari Float Sarapiqui

Our will begin from our Sarapiqui Operations Center, in Chilamate, at 9.30 am. After getting settled with your lifejacket and paddle, wewill be ready to enjoy the sights and sounds of the rainforest and the tranquil experience of slowly paddling downriver to not miss anything.Your local bilingual guide will point out detail of this unique landscape that you have never seen before. During the tour, there is a stop to rest to enjoy a snack with fruits and cookies. Once the tour has completed, you will take a delicious traditional Costa Rican lunch in our riverside facilities with tortilla and natural drink. Then, you will be ready to return to your hotel with amazing pictures and stories to tell. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars for this tour! This half-day activity has been specially designed for nature lovers, families, and people of all ages.

$15 Cultural & Theme Tours

Ants Tour - Hormigas Town

With convenient facilities with roof, allowing us to enjoy a very different and unique way of the wonderful process of these insects.It can appreciate closely how the leaf-cutter ants cut the leaves with their jaws and move to the colony. During the tour, there is the opportuny to see how they grow fungus and surprisingly to see the real queen, normally in few cases almost impossible to see in the wildlife but with our system and colony is possible to see it. It´s very imprtant to mention the caste divisions and functions of these important insects.During one hour of learning about the society and model of the ants, their long way of transportation of the leaves, the importance of the queen and more, this amazing crossing through the life ants will marvelous to anyone. At Operation Center Aguas bravas in Chilamate, Sarapiquí, it find the Zompopas Ants Colony, between 9 am to 4 pm. 

$190 Transfers & Ground Transport

Private Airport Transfer from San Gerardo de Dota to SJO Airport

We leave San Gerardo de Dota according to your flight departure time. Remember that for international flights you must be at the Airport 2 hours prior departure. The ride takes 2.5 hours approximately but it may vary depending on traffic conditions so we strongly suggest to leave with enough time. Fresh-cool bottle of water in a comfy Minivan will make the 2.5 hours a nice experience while the driver shares facts and history of our Country.  For complete peace of mind we’ll take you directly to the SJO Airport departure doorsOur services include:Latest model vehiclesAirport meet & GreetFlight TrackingTravel InsuranceLuggage AssistanceFree Local Calls during the tripTaxesBilingual driverAirport pickupStops on the roadDoor to Door ServiceWhat is Costa Rica? Relaxing, Adventurous, Landscaping, Biodiverse, Charming... but above all:  Natural! From the Caribbean to the Pacific, through its beautiful mountains you will discover that enjoying life is possible. It only takes a few minutes to fall in love and feel the warm greeting of those who live in this land of PURA VIDA!

Central Valley & Highlands in detail