If your perfect day in Costa Rica includes coffee, tropical rainforests, spectacular waterfalls, plenty of wildlife, a bit of shopping, and a delicious dinner, then you’ll love this full-day San Jose adventure!
We’ll start our San Jose tour by driving up into the mountains of Barva de Heredia. Colonised by Spain in 1561, this town is home to many quaint and charming colonial homes. In the centre of town is the lovely Central Park, with a gorgeous white stucco church. The church and the central plaza around it have been declared national monuments, along with the many old buildings and houses in the area. The town is also surrounded by vast coffee plantations, and coffee cultivation is the town’s main industry. As well, the town boasts excellent artisans and craftsmen.
We’ll then drive through many picturesque towns on the fertile slopes of the extinct Barva Volcano in the lush Central Valley. At the top of the mountains, we’ll cross the continental divide to visit a series of waterfalls, as well as a cloud forest and rainforest. You’ll get to take the hiking trails to discover an aviary with numerous species of birds, insect exhibit, serpentarium and butterfly observatory, plus animals like capuchin (white-faced) monkeys, black-handed spider monkeys, hummingbirds, jaguars, pumas, ocelots and margays.
After this adventure walk, we’ll visit a 100-year-old coffee plantation. Here we’ll have a typical lunch before taking a coffee tour. You’ll also be able to buy their coffee to take back home with you if you wish.
We’ll then head to the picturesque town of Grecia, which has the distinction of being one of the cleanest towns in Central America. It’s also an important agricultural hub, where sugarcane is grown and harvested and is known for its unique gothic-style metal church, coloured in a deep, dark red.
We’ll continue to Sarchi, a key artisan town best known for the vibrant oxcarts made here — in fact, the largest and oldest oxcart factory in San Jose is in Sarchi. Oxcarts were used to transport coffee beans and other goods to markets and ports, and oxcarts were often the sole means of transportation for families in the 1800s. Today, they’re often used as decorations, elegantly carved and hand-painted in bright colours. If you find yourself in love with the carts, you can even buy one straight from the factory to take home with you — talk about a unique souvenir!After all that exploring and shopping, we’ll drive back to San Jose, where you can enjoy a gourmet dinner with wine at one of our favourite restaurants in Escazu, also known as the city of witches.