Welcome to Cartago

After the earthquake rubble was cleared, in the early 20th century, nobody bothered to rebuild Cartago to its former quaint specifications. As in other commercial towns, expect plenty of functional concrete structures. One exception is the bright white Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles, which is visible from many parts of the city, standing out like a snowcapped mountain above a plain of one-story... Read More

Top experiences in Cartago

Amazing hotels and hostels

We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

Travel guides

Starting at $24.99

Image for Image for

Cartago activities

$62 Day Trips & Excursions

Cartago Day Trip 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

Day Trip from San Jose to Irazu Volcano National P

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.

$64 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.

$71.11 Tours & Sightseeing

Irazú Volcano Half-Day Tour from San Jose

The trip begins by ascending the breathtaking summit of the volcano, on a road traversing different 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 Caribbean and Pacific coasts. 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 Virgin of the Angels (Virgen de los Angeles) Basilica, with rich displays of carvings, statues, and other art.

$102 Day Trips & Excursions

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

The tour will begin with a trekking south along the Panamerican Highway until you reach the base of the behemoth “Iztaru” (a 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 which 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, and is a must see. Next, after you visit the Basilica you will stop at the Lankester Gardens, a University of Costa Rica Center for investigation that protects more than 800 species of orchids, bromeliads and countless species of other plants. Then, you will continue to the Valley of Orosi, an area that overflows with unparalleled beauty.  You will be able to visit one of the few remaining colonial churches and we will stop to enjoy a scrumptious typical lunch at one of the local restaurants.

$3099 Active

Cycle Central America

This trip provides a piece of magic; aboard your bike, pedal through the lush countryside of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama past gleaming lakes, enormous volcanoes, colonial towns, and sunny beachfronts across the Caribbean. These are iconic destinations and seeing them on two wheels gives a unique perspective on the region. The ride of your life is waiting to begin. All that’s missing is you.