Add dates
San José Province

National parks

Our most recommended San José Province National Parks

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.

La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano, Lunch, & Hotsprings Morning Tour

3. La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano, Lunch, & Hotsprings Morning Tour

Explore the Arenal National Park on a guided morning tour, see the Arenal Volcano, swim in an emerald lake, and enjoy a local lunch before relaxing in natural hot springs. See all the stunning beauty of the Arenal area on this day tour. Explore narrow jungle trails and conquer huge lava rocks as you explore the natural beauty and landscape of the area. Admire the impressive Arenal Volcano looming as you explore the area at the base of the volcano, and take in the immensity of this now silent giant. Make your way down as a bilingual guide teaches the group about the ecosystem and the wildlife that may be encountered. Reach the bottom part of the trek and take the opportunity to swim in an emerald green clean lake. Jump in with a Tarzan swing and take time for a refreshing swim in this magnificently beautiful place. Enjoy a typical local lunch after swimming, and finish the experience with a visit to a small resort, and relax in natural hot water pools for about an hour.

San Jose: Irazú Volcano, Cartago City & Orosi Valley Tour

4. San Jose: Irazú Volcano, Cartago City & Orosi Valley Tour

Start with a pickup from your hotel and travel by minibus along the Panamerican Highway until you reach the base of the Irazú Volcano. Travel up the winding road through fertile farmlands where many types of fruit and vegetables are cultivated.  Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys. At the summit of the volcano, on a clear day, marvel at the spectacular view of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Next, descend to the city of Cartago and stop at the Virgin of the Angels Basilica. Discover this local pilgrimage site which has large vaulted ceilings and exquisite examples of stained glass windows.  Continue the tour through the Orosi Valley, an area of magnificent natural beauty. Visit one of the few remaining colonial churches in the region and stop for a tasty typical lunch at one of the local restaurants. Finally, be returned to your hotel to complete the tour.

San Jose: Tortuguero Park Day Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

5. San Jose: Tortuguero Park Day Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

The day begins with pickup from your accommodation in San Jose, Heredia, or Alajuela at 6:00 AM. On your way to breakfast, drive past rolling coffee plantations and admire the mountains of Braulio Carrillo National Park. At around 7:15 AM, stop for a traditional Costa Rican breakfast to set you up for the day's adventure. Enjoy fresh fruit juice, coffee, eggs, and the popular gallo pinto (a typical Central American rice and bean dish.) After breakfast, visit a local banana plantation and learn about the process of growing and exporting fruit. At around 10:00 AM, leave the bus behind and hop onboard a boat as you cruise into the jungle of Tortuguero National Park. Surrounded by tropical rainforest, which covers over 29,000 hectares, soak up the magic of this luscious green landscape. As you sail along the jungle canals, see native green sea turtles, as well as other endangered animals such as sloths, monkeys, and manatees. There are also countless colorful butterflies, toucans, herons, crocodiles, and more. Learn about each of the animals and their habitat in the jungle, as well as about local conservation efforts to protect them. Once you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, enjoy a hearty buffet lunch. After lunch, take a relaxing stroll through Tortuguero Village where you’ll discover local life and learn about the history of the town and its residents. At the end of an unforgettable day, get back on the bus at around 3:30 PM and begin the return journey back to San Jose.

Poás Volcano, Coffee Plantation & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

6. Poás Volcano, Coffee Plantation & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Experience Costa Rica's nature and culture on this full-day tour from San José. Your first destination is the Doka Estate coffee plantation, where you'll learn all about the ancient techniques of producing some of the best coffee in Costa Rica and around the world. Experience the careful process involved in the cultivation, harvesting, and roasting of the Golden Bean before tasting the delectable product. After your coffee tour, continue to Poás Volcano National Park, where there is a noticeable change in temperature and beautiful scenery in a cloud forest. Climb up Poás Volcano, an active stratovolcano that most recently erupted in 2017. The crater of the volcano is over a mile across and 1,050 feet deep, making for breathtaking views. Hike on a trail to the beautiful Botos Lagoon as you learn about the different ecosystems in the park. Then, continue to La Paz Waterfall Gardens and enjoy a buffet lunch of traditional Costa Rican dishes. After lunch, explore the lush tropical rainforest. See the flowing white rivers, spectacular waterfalls, birds, butterflies, monkeys, and hummingbirds before returning to San José.

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.

From San José: Carara National Park and Tárcoles River Tour

8. From San José: Carara National Park and Tárcoles River Tour

Begin your journey by being picked up from your hotel, and going on a scenic 1.5-hour drive along Route 27, making your way to your first stop at Carara National Park. Head straight out onto some flat walking trails suitable for all fitness levels and wheelchair users, and admire the biological reserve's abundant jungle life in person. Look up to the 40-meter high canopy, and keep an eye out for bright scarlet macaws, agouti rodents, stunning poison dart frogs, spider monkeys, dozens of birds, fantastic fungi, and huge wild cashew trees. Next, enjoy lunch like a local and eat at a traditional soda diner, where you have the option of eating fresh fish or seafood. Re-energized, lower your gears and enjoy a relaxing boat ride for some birdwatching on the Tárcoles River. Admire the river's mangroves, which are some of the most unique and scarce ecosystems of the world, and considered to be biodiversity hotspots. Keep a lookout for the 6-meter-long American crocodiles — the largest of the continent. Finally, dig your toes into the sand of a peaceful beach at your last stop, where you will relax with the sound of the waves before heading back to your accommodation.

La Fortuna Town: Rio Celeste and Tenorio National Park Tour

9. La Fortuna Town: Rio Celeste and Tenorio National Park Tour

Following your pickup from your hotel in La Fortuna Downtown, you will venture to the heart of the Tenorio Volcano. Once having arrived there, you will discover the mystery of the minerals that produce the reaction that causes the river to turn a marvelous light-blue color. You will explore right where the Buena Vista River and Roble River merge, with both rivers originating from the volcano. The colors of these rivers is caused by the different concentrations of minerals. The natural chemicals mix and cause a reaction between the sulfur from the volcano and calcium carbonate from the rain, creating one of the most beautiful attractions in Costa Rica. Later on in your tour, you will be taken to a breathtaking waterfall called the “Bride’s Veil”, which is the highlight of your adventure. You will then be taken to the Tenorio Volcano viewpoint, thermos mineral hot springs, and volcanic mud ponds. At the conclusion of your geothermal experience, you will be returned back to your point of origin in La Fortuna Town.

From San Jose: 3-Day Tortuguero National Park Excursion

10. From San Jose: 3-Day Tortuguero National Park Excursion

Explore the protected Tortuguero National Park in the Limón Province, reachable only by airplane or boat. Take in the wealth of biodiversity in its eleven different habitats, including rainforest, mangrove forests, swamps, beaches, and lagoons. Trip itinerary: Day 1: After an early morning hotel pickup, admire the biodiversity of a primary forest through the window as you drive past Braulio Carrillo National Park. Sample a delicious Costa Rican breakfast during the drive. Mid-morning, board a comfortable boat and travel along the Tortuguero Canals. Be enchanted by the surrounding paradise and its varied flora and fauna. Then, enjoy a refreshing cocktail and a delicious lunch at the hotel. After lunch, tour the canals and take incredible photos for the rest of the afternoon. Arrive at Pachira Lodge (or similar) for a delightful dinner and a restful night's sleep. Day 2: Discover the flavors of Costa Rica with breakfast at the Lodge. Then, hike along the Lodge's private trail and work up an appetite for lunch. After lunch at the Lodge, visit the Sea Turtle Museum, the beach, and the picturesque village of Tortuguero. In the evening, enjoy dinner at the Lodge again. Day 3: After breakfast at the Lodge, head back to San José, stopping for lunch at El Ceibo in Guápiles on the way. Arrive back in San José in the afternoon.

  • Adventures
  • Day trips
  • Water activities
  • Multi-day trips
  • Transfers
73 activities found
Sort by:
1 - 16 / 73

Frequently asked questions about San José Province National Parks

What are other things to do than National Parks that are worth visiting in San José Province?

The other unmissable things to do in San José Province are:

Other Sightseeing Options in San José Province

Want to discover all there is to do in San José Province? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about San José Province

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 57 reviews

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!