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Cartago activities

$62 Day Trips & Excursions

Cartago by Rail from San Jose: Bike Ride and Market Tour

Meet your local guide and small group at a central location near Parque de Español (Spain Park), one of the oldest parks in the city. Learn a bit of history about the area, crossing the street for a close-up view of the Yellow House — the Ministry of Foreign Affairs — before continuing on foot to the National Liquor Factory. Your guide shares snippets about these 19th-century landmarks before you make your trip out of town. Follow your guide on a 10-minute hike up into the hills of San Jose until arriving at the Atlantic Railroad, where you’ll hop on a train to Cartago. This scenic 45-minute journey takes you past the university campus and further into the mountains through local coffee plantations. When you reach Cartago, hop on your bike and coast through the streets of this beautiful city, learning all about its history along the way. Your guide makes regular stops at colonial landmarks to fill you in on the background of this historical Costa Rican town, where you'll be among many locals who get around by bicycle.Finish up at the Central Market, where you can brush shoulders with the locals and sample the cuisine, gaining plenty of insight from your guide on regional foods and flavors. Afterward, hop on a local bus and return to San Jose, where your guide will happily point you in the direction of your accommodation or offer tips on exploring the city.

$105 Day Trips & Excursions

Irazu Volcano Park, Cartago, Orosi Valley Tour from San Jose

You will be picked up from your hotel in San Jose between 7 and 7:30am. You will then travel 12 miles Eeast through the Panamerican Higway to Cartago province.At 9:30am you will arrive at Irazu Volcano National Park for a short walk to the main craters, enjoying great panoramic views of the Caribbean and Central Valley. A tour guide will explain all important facts about history, activities, vegetation and wildlife. After spending one hour at the volcano viewpoint, you will start to make your way to downtown Cartago in order to visit the main Basilica.At around 11:30am, you will visit Cartago City's main attractions including the Los Angeles Basilica. At 12:15pm you will continue to the wonderful Orosi Coffee Valley, stop at a viewpoint for beautiful pictures of the region and proceed to a restaurant for a great lunch.Lunch will be served at 1:15pm at La Casona del Cafetal, a gourmet Restaurant located at the edge of Cachi Lake. Afterwards, you will be taken back to your hotel in San Jose, arriving at approximately 3pm.

$67 Tours & Sightseeing

Half-Day Trip to Irazu Volcano and Cartago from San Jose

The trip begins by ascending the breathtaking summit of the Irazu Volcano, passing all types and forms of vegetation, from coffee plantations, to ferns, depending on the elevation. The trip leads up to a spectacular view of the massive crater which is home to a lagoon with a mystical green hue surrounded by jagged rocks.It should be mentioned, that on a clear day you can actually see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans!After an exciting tour of the volcano, you will descend to the historical city of Cartago. Here you will visit the mysterious ruins of the old Parish and take in the beautiful Basilica of our Virgin of Los Angeles (Virgen de los Angeles) with rich displays of carvings, statues and other art.

$133 Day Trips & Excursions

Irazu Volcano and Hacienda Orosi Hot Springs

Take the South Pan-American Highway and then begin the ascent up the slopes of Irazu Volcano. The winding road travels through fertile lands cultivated with all kinds of vegetables and passes by panoramic viewpoints along the way. On the top of the volcano, you can observe the main craters and even as far as the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea on a clear day. As we descend to the city of Cartago, we will stop at the Virgin of the Angels Basilica that, according to religious custom, is a peregrination site for many believers.Surrounded by rain forest and lush vegetation, La Hacienda Orosi has hypothermal mineral water ideal for soaking. Relax in the hot waters and take in the minerals, salts, and ions in the pools, which enrich skin tissues and stimulate the senses. Hacienda Orosi is a mystical land where positive energy is perceived as you walk, tranquility as you breathe, and peace as you enjoy this place.

$104 Day Trips & Excursions

Irazú Volcano, Orosi Valley, and Lankester Gardens Combo Tour from San Jose

The tour will begin by trekking south along the Panamerican Highway to reach Irazú Volcano National Park and the base of the behemoth 'Iztaru' (the name of an indigenous village that was situated on the flanks of the volcano, and a likely candidate as a possible origin for the current name of the Irazú Volcano).As you descend to the city of Cartago, you will stop at the Virgin of the Angels Basilica – a famous peregrination site for many believers, some of whom travel for days or even weeks on foot, in a pilgrimage of faith, to the site. The basilica has large vaulted ceilings and exquisite examples of stained glass windows.Next, stop at Lankester Gardens, a University of Costa Rica Center for Investigation that protects more than 800 species of orchids, bromeliads, and countless other species of plants. Continue to the Valley of Orosi, an area that overflows with beauty. After visiting one of the few remaining colonial churches, stop to enjoy a scrumptious typical lunch at one of the local restaurants.

$168 Outdoor Activities

Total San Jose Tour: Cartago, Irazu Volcano and Nightlife Adventure

Make the most of San Jose! This Total San Jose Tour combines two of our most popular experiences (Cartago Bike & Train Tour and San Jose by Night), with a bonus volcano visit thrown in, all to make for one epic adventure.We’ll start with a train trip beyond San Jose to the beautiful town of Cartago, a sleepy oasis filled with Costa Rican local culture and the freshest air outside the big city. The scenic 45-minute journey will take you out into the mountains, and through the coffee plantations.Once in Cartago, you’ll hop on your bike and cruise through the streets, learning all about the town’s history along the way. Many of the locals travel by bike here, so you’ll fit right in! You will make regular stops with your guide, so they can fill you in on all the history behind this fascinating town.After getting your fix of all that Costa Rican history, we’ll visit the Central Market, where you can sample local life through foods and flavours. Here you’ll be able to brush shoulders with the locals and dive into local cuisine.Next up, we’ll ditch our bikes and drive along the winding roads to Irazu volcano – the highest active volcano in Costa Rica. You’ll get to take in a stunning panoramic view amid the moon-like landscape of this national park.After you’ve soaked up the view, we’ll hop on a local bus to return to San Jose for the evening portion of our tour, filled with good food, good wine and great nightlife!We’ll visit another Central Market, where we’ll learn the secrets and uses of the roots, herbs, and fruit common in local cuisines, including ingredients that will play a role in your authentic Costa Rican dinner later on.After the market, we’ll make our way down Central Avenue, enjoying a trip down San Jose’s memory lane, as well as visiting one of the most architecturally beautiful buildings in San Jose, the National Theatre.From there, our appreciation for San Jose’s historical architecture continues with a walk through Morazan Park and Spain Park, and past some buildings that will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time to the 1800s, including the National Distillery, Paseo de las Damas, Supreme Court of Elections, as well as the National Park. We’ll end up at the artisan market and pay a visit there before we continue our walk to Paseo de la Luz, an area on the east side of San Jose that’s well known for its gastronomy.We’ll spend the rest of the evening at a favourite local restaurant that specialises in Argentinian wine and gourmet food. Their menu is Mediterranean, but the ingredients are Costa Rican, and the wine pairings you’ll receive have been specifically selected for your three-course meal (lucky you!).