Culture - 8 days
The following itineraries are examples of what you can do independently or through a Travel Agency.
ADay 1: San José/Arrive at Juan Santamaría Airport
BDay 2: San José/Explore the capital:
San José is the capital and the biggest city in the country. Enjoy the atmosphere of the Avenida Central, check out the post office building, take a photo in the Catedral Metropolitano, visit the National and Melico Salazar Theatres, or just go and eat a traditional dish in the Central Market. Very close to downtown San José, you can rest for a day and have a picnic in the La Sabana Metropolitan Park. The city is home to much of the country’s population, as well as business centers, institutions, cultural sites and tourist information offices.
CDay 3: Alajuela / Wagon factory in Sarchí and Poás Volcano
These two destinations are located in Alajuela, the largest province by surface area, and known as the "Land of Mangos" because of the large number of mango trees found here, mainly in the Central Park. It is a hotbed of historical figures and natural wealth, and has two of the most impressive active volcanoes in the country: the Poás and Arenal Volcanoes.
- Eloy Alfaro wagon factory: This is the only wagon factory in the country that has and continues to run on hydroelectricity. You can buy souvenirs in their store. It is located in Sarchí, in the district of Valverde Vega, famous for being an artisanal craft hub.
- Poás Volcano: It holds one of the largest craters in all of Central America, making it one of the most important tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Admission: A reservation must be made in advance at https://serviciosenlinea.sinac.go.cr/ in the “Buy and reserve online” section, where you will make an account, enter the names of the people who will visit, and pay for the tickets with a debit or credit card.
DDays 4-5: Limón/Puerto Viejo
Before heading to Puerto Viejo, visit Limón city and enjoy their delicious Afro-Caribbean cuisine, perhaps a nice plate of rice and beans. From Parque Vargas on the east end of the city, enjoy beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea or its unique architecture. Puerto Viejo is also a very colorful city, located in the district of Talamanca. It has a great selection of hotels and cuisine, and it has one of the most popular beaches of the Costa Rican Caribbean, Salsa Brava, where people usually go to surf. It has exotic flora and fauna. Here you can visit the Cahuita National Park, the Talamanca Indigenous Reserve, and the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge.
EDay 6: Talamanca – Limón/Bribri indigenous reserve
Talamanca is a place full of nature and mysticism, where ancient indigenous cultures such as Cabécar and Bribri meet. The Association of Bribri Indigenous Tourist Guides of Talamanca (AGITUBRIT) offers tours of their main attractions with local guides, such as cacao, medicinal plants, waterfalls, and hiking tours.
FDay 7: Limón/Cahuita National Park
Cahuita National Park was established with the purpose of protecting the most important coral reef in the country. It protects white sand beaches, turquoise ocean waters, and a lot of marine and terrestrial biodiversity. Here, you can go hiking, snorkeling, surfing, diving, play soccer or beach volleyball, or work out. For the Playa Blanca section: Every day from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For the Puerto Vargas section: Every day from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
GDay 8: San José / Departure from the Juan Santamaría Airport
ADay 1: San José / Arrival at Juan Santamaría Airport
BDays 2 -3: San José / Explore the traditions and nature of Palmichal
San José has several cities that stand out for the rural tourism experiences that they offer. One of them is Acosta, a region known for its mountainous landscape, and for growing coffee. Palmichal is home to the Palmichal Wildlife Refuge, less than a one-hour trip from San José. It is one of the last bastions of old-growth cloud rainforest in the Central Region. It holds 20% of the country’s flora and fauna species, including 16% of the wildlife in the area. You can enjoy beautiful scenery, and delicious cuisine.
CDays 4-5: Nandayure, Guanacaste/Punta Islita and Corozalito City (artisans)
Located in the southern part of Guanacaste province, Nandayure was part of the settlements of the Chorotega people. Visitors often observe the livestock and agricultural activities, and the community also offers both nature and beaches. The Islita beaches and the Corozalito community are on the south coast, between the Camaronal beaches on the west, and Bejuco on the east, separated by sea-sculpted, high, volcanic rock cliffs. In the month of October, leatherback and hawksbill turtle nesting is a common sight. Also, you’ll come across the open-air Museo de Arte Contemporáneo al Aire Libre in Punta Islita.
DDay 6: Nicoya, Guanacaste/Church and Casa de la Cultura de Nicoya
Nicoya was initially populated by native tribes like the Chorotega; one of their foremost leaders gave the city its name and contributed to the city’s modern culture. It is recognized for its livestock, the warmth of its people, its beaches and the selection of hotels offered. Studies confirm that Nicoya is among the four regions of the world where people have the highest life expectancies. One of the main attractions is its five-century-old church that houses a collection of antiques and historical mementos, many with religious and cultural significance. For those who have an affinity for local relics, you can admire them at La Casa de la Cultura, where regional artists exhibit their crafts and work.
EDay 7: Guanacaste / Parque Nacional Santa Rosa
Located 36 km from the city of Liberia, it is considered a World Heritage Site, as it was the site of a historical and patriotic battle, which is why it is the only Protected Wildlife Area that has a museum within its boundaries and why it is named after the battle. The only patch of dry tropical forest in Mesoamerica is conserved in this area, and it is connected to tropical rainforest and cloud forest, giving it great biological importance and richness. Its main attractions besides the museums are Playa Naranjo, Sector Murciélago (an area with trails) and the Sector Marino (ideal for diving and surfing).
FDay 8: Guanacaste / Departure from Liberia Airport