Top Day Trips from San Jose – Part 1

San Jose is the perfect place to explore Costa Rica and if you base yourself there then you can take advantage of many awesome day trips that are available. You do not even have to spend hours in a car or bus to explore superb beaches, forests, and volcanoes, in fact you can spend the whole week visiting something completely new. Here are some top day trips that you can take from San Jose that will take you places that you have never dreamed of.

Poas Volcano

The most popular national park in Coasta Rica is Poas Volcano, partly because it is so easy to get to from the capital, but also because of its stunning beauty. It is also home to one of the largest geyser craters in the world. Everybody loves volcanoes, it is human nature, and Poas Volcano is well worth the visit.

The park opened in 1971, as a way of protecting both the volcano and the surrounding fauna and flora from the damage tourists were causing. But also, for the protection of visitors as the volcano is still very much active, so much so that in 2017 it erupted several times spewing lava and rocks high into the air. All this activity forced the authorities to close the park for over a year, but it has now reopened and accepting visitors.

Irazu Volcano

Our second day trip from San Jose is another volcano, and national park. Irazu Volcano stands at three hundred meters high and is the tallest volcano in the country. It is located in Cartago and on the way to Irazu you will pass through some stunning scenery. You can even stop off at Finca Sanatorio Duran, which is reputedly the most haunted place in the whole of the country. Irazu Volcano National Park is a big favorite with visitors as it is only a short drive from San Jose and is a great day trip. To climb the volcano, you need to be fairly physically fit as you will have to walk up a paved trail the whole three hundred feet. But it is all well worth it as the views are stunning from the top. There are actually four craters to see in the park, but they are not all visible at first, the main one being Diego de la Haya Crater.

Irazu Volcano
Irazu Volcano

Rio Pacuare

For the more adventurous it is worth traveling down to Rio Pacuare which is one of the best rivers in the world to go white water rafting. The river offers Class 3, 4, 4+ rapids and on either side is lush jungle complete with the local wildlife. Just two-hour drive from San Jose is this marvelous river that offers so much fun for an activity packed day excursion. You can even use the river as a connection to your next destination if you are traveling to Rios Tropicales or Puerto Viejo.

These great day excursions are just some of the fantastic places you can go to from San Jose, and there are numerous other as well.