San Jose & Coffee Towns Region
San Jose is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with all the modern conveniences – department stores, Internet cafes, shopping malls, fast food chains and universities. It is also home to excellent fresh food markets, museums and gardens, city parks and restaurants. Nightlife here is exciting and diverse – travelers can sip martinis in upscale bars, dance the night away to techno music, learn to salsa or check out one of the city’s gay clubs.
San Jose and the Central Valley are, unsurprisingly, located in the center of Costa Rica. The San Jose and Coffee Towns Region consists of the areas in and around the city of San Jose, including the Juan Santamaria International Airport, the province of San Jose and parts of the Alajuela, Cartago and Heredia provinces. Included are Costa Rica’s most populated cities – Alajuela, Cartago and Heredia
– as well as Irazu Volcano, Poas Volcano, Turrialba Volcano, Braulio Carillo National Park and many other attractions.
Tourists to the Central Valley are also greeted with options aplenty. San Jose offers museums, pre-Columbian culture, live music, a butterfly garden, colonial architecture, colorful markets, live theater and many other activities found in an urban capital. To the north, tranquil Heredia hosts Braulio Carillo National Park and Barva Volcano, two of the region’s greenest and most beautiful outdoor offerings.
West of San Jose, Alajuela promises spectacular views of Poas Volcano, rushing waters at La Paz Waterfall Gardens, one of the country’s best butterfly gardens and Zoo Ave, a wildlife rescue center and animal sanctuary. East of the capital, Cartago is home to Irazu and Turrialba Volcanoes, the best whitewater rafting in Central America, Costa Rica’s only pre-Columbian town and the exquisite Lankester Botanical Garden.
Though it has much to offer, the Central Valley is an oft-overlooked and underappreciated region. If you planned on just passing through, think again – the region’s extraordinary views, perfect weather, pulsating nightlife and rich cultural offerings await.