A San Jose day trip to Turrialba Costa Rica can be just the ticket to spice up a an unexpected layover or routine business trip to Costa Rica’s bustling capital city Located just thirty-three miles southeast of San Jose, Turrialba Costa Rica is a famous starting point for white water rafting trips. The city is also rich in Pre-Columbian history and artifacts and teeming with tropical botanical wonders.
The easiest way to get to Turrialba Costa Rica is to take one of the hourly buses from Calle 16 between avenidas 6 and 8. The fare is only $1.75. Driving is a bit trickier, but not at all impossible. Take the road from Cartago to Paraiso. You’ll pass through Juan Vinas and continue on to Turrialba. The roads are pretty well marked, but if you get lost you can always stop and ask for directions.
Start your San Jose Day trip with a visit to the only excavated Pre-Columbian site in Costa Rica that has been opened to the public. Located just 12 miles northeast of Turrialba Costa Rica, the Guayabo National Monument preserves an entire Pre-Columbian town dating back to between 1000 B.C. and 1400 A.D. At one time, the ancient city of Guayabo was home to as many as 10,000 inhabitants, but all of them vanished mysteriously shortly before the arrival of the Spanish in the New World. To this day, the reason for their disappearance is not known.
Guayabo National Monument is open from 8 AM to 4 PM. The entrance fee is $6. Visitors to the Pre-Columbian site can tour the excavated ruins of paved roads, stone bridges, aqueducts, houses, gravesites, and petroglyphs.
Arriving in the city Turrialba Costa Rica proper, San Jose day-trippers might want to break for lunch at Turrialtico, an open-air restaurant located on a hill that overlooks the entire Turrialba Valley. The valley scenery is lush and volcanic mountains loom in the distance on a clear day. The Turrialtico is also a popular hangout for white water rafters, and if you decide to hang out too, the small hotel in which it is located rents out comfortable rooms for around $52 per night.
If you are feeling especially adventurous and want to try your hand at white water rafting, any one of half a dozen adventure touring companies will arrange your entire experience and make certain it is a positive one. Most major hotel sin San Jose will provide a list of white water rafting companies and help you book your trip. The average cost for one day of rafting is between $75 and $95 per person, and multiple day trips are also available.
Last but not least, just three miles south east of Turrialba Costa Rica, the Center For Agronomy Research and Development, also known as CATIE (www.catie.ac.cr), houses one of the most famous facilities for research on tropical agriculture in the entire world. CATIE cultivates over 2,000 acres of tropical plants, including hundreds of varieties of cacao and thousands of varieties of coffee, as well as many varieties of rare tropical ornamentals you won’t find anywhere else on earth.
Guided tours of CATIE can be arranged in advance for only $10 per person, or you can tour the grounds yourself from 7 AM to 4 PM.