Just a mere forty miles (65 km) east of San Jose in the Central Valley region of Cartago, Turrialba is a wonderfully rustic area in which to spend a few days as either an alternative to San Jose or if you’re en route to the Pacuare or coastal Caribbean regions.

Green coffee plantations comb their way through this region’s rolling mountains and farmland, and with a tangible bucolic feel there are some lovely, low-key luxury hotels to stay at from which we can organise hiking, bike riding, horse riding and excursions to local sugar cane, coffee and macadamia farms.

Another attraction to the area, albeit for the more adventurous, is that it offers some of the world’s best rapids to raft courtesy of the Pacuare, Reventazon and Corobici rivers.

What to do

  • White water rafting
  • Horse riding
  • Bike riding
  • Sugar, macadamia and coffee plantation tours
  • Hiking to Irazu, Poas and Barva Volcanoes
  • Visits to Guayabo, Costa Rica's only pre-Colombian site