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The capital of Costa Rica, the large, sprawling city of San José is the focal point of the Central Valley with a spectacular setting, ringed by jagged mountains and volcanoes on all sides.

Due to earthquakes over the years, most of the colonial buildings and much of the charm of the city has disappeared. What remains today is a mixture of restored and rundown buildings huddled under a modern skyline.

The city still retains a good mix of museums and general attractions that are of interest for those willing to get under the skin of the capital.

The Central Valley

Rafting to Pacuare LodgeThe surrounding countryside of the Central Valley is stunning, characterised by coffee plantations; pockets of rain and cloud forests teeming with birdlife, butterflies and orchids; spectacular volcanic craters and tumbling rivers for rafting.

It’s a great place to begin any trip to the country.

Audley Travel specialist Chris
Speak to someone who's been there

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Costa Rica specialists on 01993 838 665

Speak to someone who's been there
Audley Travel specialist Nik

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Costa Rica specialists on 01993 838 665

Suggested itineraries featuring San José & Central Valley

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in San José & Central Valley, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Accommodation choices for San José & Central Valley

We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit San José & Central Valley. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

Ideas for experiencing San José & Central Valley

Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting San José & Central Valley, and which use the best local guides.