Welcome to San José

Chances are San José wasn't the top destination on your list when you started planning your Costa Rica trip, but give this city a chance and you just might be pleasantly surprised. It's true that Chepe – as San José is affectionately known – doesn't make a great first impression, with its unremarkable concrete structures and honking traffic, but it's well worth digging deeper to discover the city's charms.Take your... Read More

Top experiences in San José

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San José activities

$107 Day Trips & Excursions

Costa Rica Day Trip from San Jose

Enjoy a drive by luxury air-conditioned coach from San Jose to begin your exciting Costa Rica adventure. Start your full-day trip with a complimentary breakfast and cup of authentic, delicious Costa Rican coffee. Embark on an exhilarating mountain hike with your local guide and enjoy the gorgeous scenery before making your way to Doka Estate, a 350-acre (141-hectare) coffee plantation. Tour the impressive estate and admire the surrounding rolling hills. Next, escape into a world of tropical wildlife and scenery at La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Journey through the Hummingbird Garden and admire colorful butterflies at the Butterfly Observatory – one of the largest in the world! Enjoy a picturesque riverside hike through the rainforest before indulging in a delicious lunch with your group. Then, sit back and relax on a scenic drive back to San Jose.

$133 Day Trips & Excursions

Arenal Volcano and Baldi Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

Combine adrenaline and relaxation as you view Arenal Volcano and soak in Baldi Hot Springs on this rejuvenating day trip from San Jose! Your expert local guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you to Arenal Volcano National Park. En route to La Fortuna, stop for approximately 30 minutes in the artisan town of Sarchi, where you’ll have an opportunity to admire the colorful oxcarts or shop for souvenirs. When you reach the park, experience the thundering Arenal Volcano from a safe viewing area. Since a major eruption in 1968, this stratovolcano has been one of the most active in Costa Rica, with mild and nearly continuous explosive activity from the conical crater, whose summit reaches an elevation of 5,436 feet (1,657 meters). As you watch for any lava flows, clouds of smoke or ash, your guide will share information about the park’s thermal features. After your thrilling show, enjoy a complimentary lunch at the Arenal Volcano Inn Resort or La Perla Restaurant. Spend your afternoon soaking in the region’s rejuvenating thermal baths and mineral pools at Baldi Hot Springs Hotel and Spa. This family-friendly spa consists of several therapeutic pools of varying temperature, allowing people of all ages to steep in relaxation. Later, enjoy a gourmet dinner under the stars at the hot springs and continue admiring one of the world's most active volcanoes!

$98.99 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Sarapiqui River Sightseeing Cruise and Zipline Canopy Tour from San Jose

After pickup from your San Jose hotel in the morning, begin your 1.5-hour journey to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui with your naturalist guide and pass through one of the most famous national parks in Costa Rica.Once you arrive, discover Costa Rica's beautiful tropical wildlife on a riverboat trip. Enjoy views of the magnificent rainforest on a 2-hour boat ride along the water, and look out for forest inhabitants such as toucans, monkeys, sloths, crocodiles and more!Arrive at the private reserve, where you’ll have the choice to horseback ride or hike up to the canopy. After receiving a safety briefing from your naturalist guide, embark on your canopy adventure. Using a special system of steel cables and professional climbing gear, you’ll roam through the treetops and leap from platform to platform in the tropical rainforest. No experience required for this unique experience! After an adrenaline-packed two hours, enjoy a home-style lunch at the private reserve before relaxing on a scenic drive back to San Jose.

$107.99 Day Trips & Excursions

Tortuguero National Park

Meet your guide upon pickup from your San Jose hotel and stop for breakfast at Rancho Roberto's in Guapiles. After your meal, you'll travel through the Braulio Carrillo National Park, one of Costa Rica’s largest national parks. Pass numerous rivers, waterfalls and mountains covered in dense forests on your drive, until you reach a banana plantation. Here, board a boat and set sail for Tortuguero National Park. Since there are no roads to the park from Tortuguero village, access to the vast network of freshwater lagoons and creeks is by boat. Ride for approximately one hour to reach the canals and keep an eye out for all kind of birds in the lush vegetation along the way.Tortuguero, meaning ‘turtle catcher,’ formed from an archipelago of volcanic islands where high rainfall eventually created the bio-diverse wetlands – great for nature lovers! During your 3-hour boat tour of Tortuguero National Park, your expert guide will be on hand to teach you about the history and wildlife as you cruise between the marshy isles. Midday, you’ll have time for a lunch break at Evergreen Lodge, located just five minutes by boat from the entrance to the park. Under the high ceilings of the lovely main dining room, enjoy the ambiance that complements the surrounding jungle landscape.Get an up-close look at the park's great variety of flora and fauna as you ride among the canals. If you’re lucky, you might spot such wildlife as the spectacled caiman, southern river otter and possibly even the endangered West Indian manatee. The park is also home to sloths, howler and capuchin monkeys, tiny frogs and green iguanas.The secluded, black-sand beaches of Tortuguero National Park are some of the most important breeding grounds for the green sea turtle. These ancient reptiles once neared extinction as adults were hunted for their meat and their eggs were taken. You'll get the chance to see the sites where the green sea turtles nest and learn from your guide about the park’s efforts to protect this important species.After exploring the national park, enjoy a return 1-hour boat ride to dry land and then board your coach for the trip back to San Jose, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel in the evening.

$143 Day Trips & Excursions

Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

After a minivan pickup from your hotel in San Jose, your day trip begins with the 35-minute drive northwest to Sarchí, a Central Valley town famous for its crafts, particularly wood and leather furniture and decorated oxcarts. Pick up a souvenir or two from a local artisan before making the 2.5-hour drive further north to the town of La Fortuna, which sits below Arenal and offers an unobstructed view of the volcán on clear days. On arrival in La Fortuna, head to a local restaurant for a typical Costa Rican lunch of rice, beans, chicken or steak, and plantains, accompanied by a great view of Arenal. Then, continue your tour about 20 minutes down the road to Mirador Arenal 1968, a trail system on the edge of Arenal Volcano National Park (Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal) named for the 1968 eruption. Walk along the paths to find the best photo spots of the volcano and Lake Arenal (Lago Arenal), and watch for glimpses of bright orange lava flowing down the volcano. Finally, head a few miles back toward La Fortuna to the Tabacón hot springs — officially Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort — one of Costa Rica’s biggest and most luxurious hot springs resorts. Enjoy roughly 3.5 hours here to soak in the various pools, which range in temperature from 77 to 102°F (25 to 38°C).The resort is beautifully landscaped with waterfalls and lush vegetation and offers many ways to relax, from secluded pools to a swim-up bar (drinks at your own expense), so sit back and enjoy it until dinner is served. The resort’s buffet dinner lasts about 30 minutes and offers a selection of Costa Rican cuisine, similar to lunch. After dinner, head back to your hotel in San Jose (about 2.5 hours), where your tour ends.

$123 Day Trips & Excursions

Manuel Antonio National Park Day Trip from San Jose

Manuel Antonio National Park is considered one of the most beautiful areas in Costa Rica. It features a beach of crystal-clear waters with coral reefs and is bordered by exuberant tropical vegetation and rainforests. Its beaches are considered among the best in the country, with great snorkeling and the surfing spots.Enjoy a drive along the Pacific coastline and enjoy scenic views on the way to Manuel Antonio National Park. Travel past photogenic villages along the coast until you reach the port of Quepos and the park.Since the park is closed to vehicles, you can hike to the preserve. Relax and enjoy the beach, sunbathe or join a nature walk along the trails and observe the park's abundant flora and fauna. Spot monkeys, iguanas, birds and possibly even the famous three-toed sloth! Hike up toward Cathedral Point to enjoy spectacular views of the park and Pacific. Enjoy a perfect sunset on a scenic drive back to your San Jose hotel.