Fun in Costa Rica’s Central Valley
Costa Rica is one of the safest and most exciting places to visit in Central America. The Central Valley area has a wide variety of fun activities with something for everyone. Whether you want to relax, have an adventure, or both, the following things to do will be sure to please novice and seasoned travelers alike.
National Theatre of Costa Rica
If you are flying into or out of San Jose, you will find that Costa Rica’s capital city has plenty of unique attractions. The National Theatre of Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful and ornate buildings in the country. With famous paintings, lavish furnishings, and a floor comprised solely of Costa Rican woods, this cultural landmark is not to be missed.
Pop quiz: where is the world’s largest collection of jade located? Hint: it is not in Asia. This fabulous and famous collection can be found in the heart of San Jose. The museum also features many pre-Columbian gold artifacts. It is a must for everyone who loves rich and sparkly things.
Catch a Saprissa Soccer Game
Even if futbol is not your favorite sport, taking in a home game at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Ayma will give you a taste of local Costa Rican flavor like nothing else can! Ticos are passionate about Saprissa and many of their players headline Costa Rica’s national team.
Our Lady of the Angels Basilica
Costa Rica is a Catholic country with no shortage of churches done in the old Spanish style. If you love beautiful architecture, you will adore this Basilica in Cartago, outside San Jose. Outside the church, a spring with healing waters can cure your ailments. Inside, the statue of La Negrita the Black Madonna is usually covered with many charms shaped like body parts for Our Lady to heal. There really is nothing like it anywhere else in the country!
Located in the Alajuela Province, this is one of the most active volcanoes in the country. Scientists think that a new eruption is imminent given the noisy gas that can be seen rising from the crater. The sulfur and other chemicals give the water in the crater an usual grayish hue. Get there early because you will enjoy a lovely view of the Central Valley from the crater’s viewing platform. However at about 9AM clouds will completely obscure it for the rest of the day. It is called a cloud forest for a reason! Despite standing on an active volcano, you should dress for the cold and wet. The hiking trails offer many opportunities for bird watching.
What can’t you do at this lush rainforest? Enjoy a tram ride, zip lining, and hiking. Exhibits include hummingbirds, snakes, butterflies, and much more. Explore the waterfalls and observe scientists at their work in the biological research station. You will certainly achieve a better appreciation for this beautiful ecosystem after this fun and educational visit.
Doka Coffee Plantation
What trip to Costa Rica would be complete without a trip to a coffee plantation? This plantation is unique to the especially immersive tours that are offered. The tour begins at the seedbed and takes you all the way through the coffee making process. There are also free samples of Costa Rica’s most notable export for everyone to try.
This bridge in the Alajuela Province is famous for its smiling crocodiles. Enjoy these wonders of nature from the top of the bridge but don’t get too close! Disney World this isn’t!
Botanical Orchid Garden
A stop at this beautiful location in La Garita will please any gardener you may be traveling with. With hundreds of rare and beautiful orchids and other tropical flowers, something is always in bloom for you to admire.
Atenas Central Park
Get a taste of classic Costa Rica at this quaint park. With lots of trails that wind through the palm trees and other tropical vegetation, you can work up quite a sweat! Afterwords, grab a refreshing traditional repast at any of the little restaurants around the park.
In Atenas on a Friday afternoon? Get a taste of local culture and flair at this market. Fresh produce and traditional handicrafts are on offer and haggling can be fun!
Atenas Swimming Pool
Atenas is more of a mountain town and is a little bit of a drive from the beach. If you need to take a dip, there are two public swimming pools. Bring a picnic lunch and prepare to spend the day swimming and sunning.
I think that about covers it. That is more than you can do in 10 days. 🙂 Well maybe. So come and enjoy!
Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well! If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!