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San José Province

Family-friendly activities

Our most recommended San José Province Family-friendly Activities

La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour

1. La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour

Escape into the nature of the La Fortuna on a guided hike. Walk by the river and follow a trail to a panoramic viewpoint. Have a delicious lunch at a Maluku Indian village and trek through forest, lava fields, and farmlands before relaxing at a natural hot spring resort with a drink. Be collected at your accommodation and be driven to the beginning of the forest walk. Trek on the easy track along the crystal clear La Fortuna river. En route, hop on a tractor cart uphill to a panoramic viewpoint. Spot the next location from a distance then begin the return walk down a jungle staircase. Halfway down is a high suspension bridge to cross. The trail leads further down the huge canyon, which was shaped by a volcanic mega-eruption. Encounter the spectacular La Fortuna waterfall. Be amazed by the lush vegetation on its 70-meter high walls, the huge volcanic rocks at its foot, and the water splashing down in its massive pool. Bask in its beauty or even take a refreshing dip. Return to the viewpoint then walk down to the little village of the Maluku Indians. Seated in their Palenke (main house), enjoy a rest while listening to an interesting story about their culture, art, and history.  After being active for a few hours, the time has come to relax and enjoy a typical hot lunch. Next to the restaurant is a butterfly garden and frog pond that you can explore until your food is served.  Reenergized, take a 15-minute ride to the park at the foot of the Arenal volcano. Being the trek through the primary forest where you can see huge trees with giant roots. Besides a variety of birds, the forest is host to monkeys, sloths, and coati. Leave the forest and each the highest viewpoint that exists around the volcano and absorb the most spectacular panoramic views of Lake Arenal, the jungle, the valley, the lava fields, and most of all the Arenal that towers over you.  Conclude your tour at the natural hot spring resort. Relax in its soothing warm water for about an hour and enjoy a volcanic mud facial and a complimentary cocktail. Afterward, you will be taken back to your accommodation.

La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano and Hanging Bridges Combo

2. La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano and Hanging Bridges Combo

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in the La Fortuna area, and travel to Arenal Volcano to hike the paths surrounding the mighty mountain. Get back to nature in Arenal Volcano National Park, where most of the 850 species of bird identified in Costa Rica can be found. Look out for other wildlife, such as white-faced capuchin monkeys, jaguars and deer. Marvel at the stunning landscapes of a secondary rainforest at the base of the park, and a primary rainforest with amazing biodiversity amongst the hanging bridges. Walk through the rainforest on a network of 15 suspension bridges of various levels of difficulty in Mistico Park. Then, cool down with a swim in a natural pool at La Fortuna waterfall.

San José: Guided Volcano, Waterfall & Coffee Farm Day Trip

3. San José: Guided Volcano, Waterfall & Coffee Farm Day Trip

Visit the Poás Volcano, the picturesque La Paz Waterfall (outside), and the one-and-only Starbucks coffee farm on a day trip from San José, Costa Rica. A wonderful choice for coffee aficionados and nature lovers alike, this tour includes a hotel pickup and lunch at a local restaurant. Enjoy a convenient pickup directly from your accommodation in San Jose and make your way to your first stop for the day, the Poás Volcano. Travel in an air-conditioned van and admire coffee plantations as well as flower and strawberry farms along the way. Poás is one of Costa Rica's most active volcanoes and last erupted in April 2017. The volcano and the surrounding park were closed for close to 17 months and a safety perimeter of nearly 2.5 kilometers was established around the erupting crater. At the volcano, you'll have time to enjoy the impressive main crater with its sulfur fumaroles. Then, follow a trail to the Botos Lagoon, a crater lake located inside the Poás Volcano National Park. As you hike, learn about the different ecosystems in the park. After your trek, refuel with a delicious lunch of local fare at one of the restaurants in the area. Then, head out to your next destination, the La Paz Waterfall. Discover La Paz waterfall(outside) as you stroll along paved trails through cloud forests and rainforests. Make the most of excellent photo opportunities as you visit this falls and see them from different vantage points Then, head to your final stop for the day, the Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm, the first and only Starbucks coffee farm. See the visitor center and learn what Starbucks is doing to empower farmers, promote sustainable practices, and develop the next generation of coffee. At the end of your Costa Rica adventure, enjoy a convenient transfer back to your hotel in San José.

San Jose: Walking Nature Tour with Sloths, Birds, and Trees

4. San Jose: Walking Nature Tour with Sloths, Birds, and Trees

Departing from the nearby meeting point, visit the University of Costa Rica campus, home to some of the largest patches of forest in San Jose. Guided by young biologists, discover the nature hiding in the middle of Costa Rica's largest city. Experience wildlife you wouldn't have imagined existed minutes away from downtown.   On the first stop, you’ll look for resident and migratory birds, lots of incredible insects and amazing flowers. Then, see the largest indigenous stone sphere in San Jose, thought to derive from the extinct Diquis culture. Lastly, visit the main campus to seek out the friendly sloths climbing freely. The goal of this tour is to change the way tourism is done in Costa Rica, while supporting young scientists, researchers, and local entrepreneurs.

Manuel Antonio National Park Combo Tour from San Jose

5. Manuel Antonio National Park Combo Tour from San Jose

Expereince the stunning beauty of the Manuel Antonio National Park on this day trip from San Jose. Visit Crocodile Bridge and Tarcoles Beach. Discover the abundant wildlife on the park’s rainforest trails and eat breakfast and lunch at local restaurants.  Enjoy being picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in the San Jose area. Travel aboard an airconditioned coach on the way to have breakfast in a local restaurant located next to the biggest fruit market in the country.  Visit the market to observe a large variety of tropical fruits. Continue your journey with a stop at the popular crocodile bridge where you will have the chance to observe one of Costa Rica’s biggest crocodile’s populations.  Search for scarlet macaws in their natural habitat on Tarcoles Beach where they like to gather. Stop at the Jaco Bay lookout point and take pictures of Costa Rica’s most popular coastal town.  Travel to the Manuel Antonio National Park, hike the rainforest trails with your guide for about and hour and search for monkeys, sloths, toucans, and agoutis. Spend some free time relaxing on the park's pristine beaches or hiking to along rainforest trails. Savor a delicious lunch of local cuisine in a restaurant that provides great jungle and ocean views. Lunch is served in the early afternoon around 2 PM, after which you will be taken back to your hotel in San Jose.

Costa Rica: Río Balsa Half-Day Rafting Adventure

6. Costa Rica: Río Balsa Half-Day Rafting Adventure

See amazing wildlife and enjoy plenty of whitewater fun on this half-day rafting adventure, right near the base of the Arenal Volcano! Perfect for families and first-timers! Challenge yourself as you paddle through fun and safe rolling rapids with names like "Congo Loco" and "Rock around the Croc", plus the challenging “Las Dragas” section. Then play around in tranquil river pools in an isolated rainforest river canyon. Your professional, experienced bilingual guides will give you a safety talk and paddling instruction, lifejackets and helmets before you begin. You'll spot wildlife including monkeys, sloths and tropical birds such as ospreys, Oropendolas and toucans. This unique river trip is the perfect combination of adventure and nature. We call this our “Whitewater & Wildlife” tour. Enjoyable for kids and adults alike! After nearly 30, fun, easy-rolling rapids, you’ll have some delicious fresh fruit and end at our private take-out to change into your dry clothes in our dressing rooms. We then take you to have a delicious, home-cooked, traditional Costa Rican meal, which is guaranteed to please!

From La Fortuna: Rio Celeste Full-Day Tour

7. From La Fortuna: Rio Celeste Full-Day Tour

Start your full-day tour with a scenic drive from La Fortuna to the Tenorio Volcano National Park. Head out on a 4-hour hike that will take some effort but is definitely worth it. At the end of the hike you’ll have reached the Rio Celeste. The river’s blue color is the result of a chemical reaction between 2 merging rivers having different volcanic minerals. This rare phenomenon creates a fairy tale-like beauty. Visit a waterfall and a lookout point for great views and see the place where the river changes color. Your guide will point out local wildlife on this adventure as well. After your hike, enjoy a delicious lunch before the drive back to La Fortuna.

La Fortuna: Rainforest Chocolate Tour

8. La Fortuna: Rainforest Chocolate Tour

Visit a cocoa farm in the rainforest with majestic views of Arenal Volcano. See where cocoa is grown, processed and produced and unearth the hidden secrets of local chocolate production. This interactive experience lets travelers eat as much chocolate as they want while learning about the history, culture, and traditions of this popular Costa Rican sweet. In this 2-hour hands-on program, have the opportunity to learn interesting facts about cocoa and chocolate, its origin and history. Participate in all aspects of the production process, from the harvesting of the fruit, drying, and grinding of the seeds.  Discover why the cacao tree was very important to ancient cultures. Find out how cacao was not only used as a ceremonial drink, but its seeds were also used as currency because of its economic value, in many regions of Mesoamerica, including Costa Rica.

La Fortuna: Canyoning & ATV Adventure with Lunch & Transfer

9. La Fortuna: Canyoning & ATV Adventure with Lunch & Transfer

We will pick you up and whisk you off to our canyon, about a 20 minute drive outside La Fortuna. Then transfer to 4x4 trucks for an exciting short drive to out ranch house to gear up. Then you are off for a morning of exciting & exhilarating waterfall rappelling, a canyon wall, Monkey drop (zip line & rappel) & rock climb all in our spectacular rainforest canyon. We then take you to our beautiful base offices & tropical gardens for a delicious Typical Costa Rican lunch that will to give you energy to continue your day of adventure. This 100% off road ATV experience is wet, muddy and exciting! You will cross streams, ride through the rainforest, swim in a river all with sweeping views of open pasture land and rainforest. All under the shadow of the Arenal Volcano. We stop at the Arenal River so you can take a dip in this rainforest river setting and we will serve you fresh tropical fruit and water. We provide you with rubber boots & a helmet with a full face visor. This is a semi-private tour. Minimum age for a single is 15 yrs (a guide can ride in back of a child as young as 12yrs). Drivers of single ATV's must have a valid driver's license.

San José: Arenal Volcano, Waterfalls, Coffee and Hot Springs

10. San José: Arenal Volcano, Waterfalls, Coffee and Hot Springs

Start your tour in the morning when you are picked up from your hotel in the San Jose area in an air-conditioned vehicle. Travel to Arenal on an alternative route that is more scenic than the regular highway to this popular destination. On the way, stop at a plantation where you will learn about the coffee of Costa Rica. Observe the coffee plants and see the workers picking the ripe cherries during the harvest season. Learn about this important product to the local economy and taste a freshly brewed cup of some of the best coffee in the world accompanied by traditional snacks. Continue the tour at the famous La Paz Waterfall. Stop at the San Fernando Waterfall look-out point and observe many exotic birds including toucans, hummingbirds, and many other colorful tropical species. Visit the iguana’s center, a place where you will see lots of iguanas at eye level resting on the top of numerous trees. Following this, arrive at the Town of La Fortuna, and enjoy a delicious Costa Rican lunch in a restaurant located at the base of the impressive Arenal Volcano. After lunch, visit various points around the volcano to take pictures of this amazing mountain on clear days. Next, participate in an indigenous presentation performed by native people from the Maleku Tribe, and learn about the native culture of Costa Ricans. Later, travel to the beautiful Paradise Hot Springs Resort and relax for a few hours in the multiple hot springs pools surrounded by lush tropical gardens. This hot springs facility is one of the best in the Arenal area and provides the perfect environment to relax in thermal mineral water pools, jacuzzis and cascading waterfalls. After this, go to a local typical restaurant to have a delicious Costa Rican dinner before you are taken back to your hotel in the San Jose area.

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What people are saying about San José Province

Had a wonderful time exploring Rio Celeste on this tour! The hike was a good workout (3.5+ mi with a lot of stairs down/up to the waterfall), which I really enjoyed. Mario was an awesome, energetic guide who made the experience fun. Rio Celeste is a must-see in Costa Rica - would highly recommend this tour esp if you’re a solo traveler!

I had the most amazing day on this tour! Our guide Eric was incredible and went above and beyond to point out interesting plants/animals and highlight historical/scientific facts along the way. It’s a long day but 100% worth it - the waterfall, views of volcano, and hot springs were all immaculate. Highly recommend for solo travelers!

I definitely recommend this trip. Santiago was super nice, knowledgeable and made sure everyone had a great time. Rio Celeste was very beautiful. Swimming in the river was great and even the food was very tasty. All in all a perfect tour.

Awesome trip Mauricio tour guide was amazing I highly recommend this tour and Mauricio!

Great tour, well packed! Our guide Aizek is excelent tour guide!