Things to do in
Alajuela

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Top sights in Alajuela

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Our most recommended things to do in Alajuela

Poás Volcano, Coffee Plantation & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

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

Experience Costa Rica's nature and culture on this full-day tour 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.

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San Jose: Tortuguero Park Day Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

2. 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’s 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.

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From San Jose: 3-Day Tortuguero National Park Excursion

3. 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.

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

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

Start with 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.

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San Jose: Sarapiqui River & La Paz Gardens Tour with Lunch

5. San Jose: Sarapiqui River & La Paz Gardens Tour with Lunch

The day begins with pickup from your hotel in San Jose and heads to the stunning La Paz Waterfall Gardens. This private nature reserve has been designed to educate visitors and provide sanctuary for rescued wildlife through a variety of gardens and exhibits. Enjoy a stroll through the park's luscious green landscapes and see rescued jaguars, colorful butterflies, exotic birds, and unique plants. Theres's also plenty of tropical cascades to admire and snap photos of for your vacation album. Later, discover the wonders of the Sarapiqui River on a relaxing boat cruise. Soak up the tranquility of the river and surrounding rainforest as you listen to the sound of bird’s chirping and trickling water. At the end of an unforgettable adventure, be dropped off back to your accommodation.

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San Jose: Doka Estate Coffee & La Paz Waterfalls Garden Tour

6. San Jose: Doka Estate Coffee & La Paz Waterfalls Garden Tour

Immerse yourself in Costa Rican coffee, nature, and wildlife on a guided tour to Doka Estate coffee plantation and La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Begin your adventure with a hotel pickup and a relaxing private drive through the Costa Rican countryside. Pass by coffee plantations, sugar cane and citrus plantations, diverse fruit stands, and rural farming communities. Your guide will point out these sights of interest to you. After a 45-minute drive to Alajuela Province, enter the grand Doka Estate. Explore the lush surroundings before commencing the coffee tour. Learn about the step-by-step development process of plants up to the final point of grain collection. Find out about the estate’s history, its owners, the plant varieties, and the area’s geography. Get an insight into the ancient techniques used by the experts to produce some of the best-tasting coffee. Continue to your next destination, the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, which is a short drive away. This scenic nature park is home to more than 100 species of animals. Your naturalist tour guide will take you through trails that lead to 5 waterfalls. Appreciate the flowing white rivers, birds, butterflies, monkeys, and hummingbirds. Stop at educational animal exhibits. Visit a traditional house with a petting zoo and ox cart. Admire the flora and fauna of the tropical rainforest, complete with an orchid and heliconia exhibit. After building up an appetite in the ecological park, make a stop for a delicious buffet lunch. The spread includes multiple selections of traditional Costa Rican dishes, salad bar, pizza, french fries, fresh fruits, rice pudding. Enjoy this gastronomic experience with unlimited fresh fruit juice, coffee, and tea. Conclude your trip by mid-afternoon with a full belly. Take in the picturesque landscape before heading back to your hotel in San José.

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What people are saying about Alajuela

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 12 reviews

highly recommended day trip! a fantastic tour of a coffee plantation, poas volcano & la paz waterfalls. the volcano crater was super cool to see and the series of waterfalls were beautiful. always great to do this type of tour in a small group to have the opportunity to interact with others in the group...and especially the tour leader. in our case, Erick had a great interactive personality, was super knowledgeable and shared info about Costa Rica and the sites we visited. what a great experience!

An excellent tour, very good information, very entertaining, we were very lucky and we were able to see the Poas volcano totally clear and the guide, Daniel, showed a great willingness to make the trip more enjoyable and complete.

The guide, Álvar, very attentive, entertained the trip with explanations and stops. The experience was great and the day was well spent. Perhaps half an hour more in Tortuguero to visit with more pause. I recommend it.

Excellent tour. The guide Óscar is very knowledgeable about all the topics, very willing and very good vibes. It was a very good experience, it completely met my expectations. Fully recommended, we really enjoyed it.

Wonderful nature, unique and fantastically beautiful, highly recommended