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Central Valley

In the heartland of Costa Rica lies the grandeur of the lush, green Central Valley, with its magnificent volcanos, beaches and sunsets, and the soul of Costa Rican culture. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Central Valley has everything. The Valley is bursting with jungles, wildlife of all kinds, volcanos, waterfalls, birds, butterflies, and tropical flowers – and all the activities that come with them. It also has Jaco beach - one of the best surfing beaches in Costa Rica - just a 45-minute drive from San Jose, the seat of the country’s culture, history, architecture, and government.

Popular Destination

Irazu Volcano National Park

The uncontestable star of the Irazu Volcano National Park is the volcano itself. It is the tallest volcano in Costa Rica, and it is considered one of the world’s most impressive. The volcano is active, but it hasn’t erupted since 1994, although there are occasional bursts of steaming fumaroles – just to announce that it is still there. On a clear day you can see both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea across the magnificent valley. The park has nice walking, hiking and bicycle trails that provide a jaw-dropping panorama of the Central Valley. History buffs visiting the park, will appreciate a trip to nearby Cartago to tour its historic ruins dating back to the 1600s, the Roman Catholic Basilica built in 1649 and the bustling central market. Touring the Volcano takes only an hour, which makes it good for a morning and afternoon day trip to add to another journey or to take a long nap on the beach.

Sneak into the Sanatorio Duran, the long-closed sanitorium thought to be the ‘most haunted’ spot in Costa Rica. You’ll be safe.

Popular Destination

Poas Volcano National Park

Located in the Central Highlands, the Poás Volcano National Park is an excellent example of how Costa Rica has integrated tourism into the country with minimal intrusion to its many natural parks, wildlife refuges and biological reserves. The park is steward to the Poas Volcano and its green acid crater lake, one of the largest open volcanos in the world. The volcano is believed to be 11 million years old and remains the most active volcanos in Costa Rica. While it has produced little of its epic power since its last eruption in 1950, occasionally you can see geysers shooting up as high as 800 feet. The volcano is often filled with mysterious dense clouds and, except for the area around the volcano's main caldera, the park is steeped in dense vegetation, small wildlife and an impressive showing of bird species. There is every sort of jungle activity to join in at the park, but just staring at the imposing volcano is a wonder.

Grab a cup of coffee at Hacienda Alsacia, Starbuck’s global research and development farm in Alajuela.

Popular Destination

La Paz Waterfall Gardens & Nature Park

Located in the heart of central lowlands, the La Paz Waterfall cascades down the side of the Poas Volcano dense cloud forest. A web of paths, bridges and lookout points lead to the exquisite La Paz waterfall and its rich rainforest. 
Beautifully set in the area is The Waterfall Gardens Nature Park, a captivating ecological attraction park in Costa Rica that is worthy of at least one full day. It has five volcanos, several animal sanctuaries, tropical and cloud forests, the largest butterfly observatory in the world, sublime gardens and some of the most beautiful birds you have ever seen. Visiting the La Paz Waterfall Gardens is a masterclass in the beauty and grandeur of Costa Rica. Have a coffee in the park’s café to get a last glimpse of the Garden in before heading off. 

Catch your own dinner at the trout lake in The Waterfall Gardens. They will cook them for you too.

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