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San José, Costa Rica Private tours

Our most recommended San José, Costa Rica Private tours

San Jose: Walking Nature Tour with Sloths, Birds, and Trees

1. San Jose: Walking Nature Tour with Sloths, Birds, and Trees

Departing from the nearby meeting point, visit the University of Costa Rica campus, home to some of the largest patches of forest in San Jose. Guided by young biologists, discover the nature hiding in the middle of Costa Rica's largest city. Experience wildlife you wouldn't have imagined existed minutes away from downtown.   On the first stop, you’ll look for resident and migratory birds, lots of incredible insects and amazing flowers. Then, see the largest indigenous stone sphere in San Jose, thought to derive from the extinct Diquis culture. Lastly, visit the main campus to seek out the friendly sloths climbing freely. The goal of this tour is to change the way tourism is done in Costa Rica, while supporting young scientists, researchers, and local entrepreneurs.

San Jose: One-Way Transfer to La Fortuna de Arenal

2. San Jose: One-Way Transfer to La Fortuna de Arenal

Make the trip between San Jose and La Fortuna a breeze with a professional transportation service. Choose between a private transportation option with no unnecessary stops and a shared option with a rest stop along the way.  Avoid the stress of navigating independently and be picked up at your door in San Jose. Let your driver take care of traffic and navigation for you while you relax and soak up the scenery on the drive.  Board a comfortable vehicle with plenty of legroom and stretch out. Travel in a well-maintained vehicle. All shared shuttles include a 10-minute rest stop where passengers can stretch, use the facilities, and get a snack. Be dropped off in front of your destination.

San José: Irazú and Turrialba Volcanoes with Guayabo Tour

3. San José: Irazú and Turrialba Volcanoes with Guayabo Tour

After getting picked up at your hotel, head to the Irazú Volcano National Park where you can admire and even enter the crater of the highest volcano in the country. You will also be able to experience the unique miniature fauna and flora of Paramo, a tropical dwarf forest nestled in the highlands. Afterward, take the back road to Turrialba Volcano. Here, visit the "Central Town" located at the foot of the volcano. Enjoy time to explore and take some photos of the eerily abandoned town, still filled with farmhouses and buildings. Next, stop for dinner at a family-run grill house for a traditional Costa Rican lunch. Finally, before beginning the drive back to San José visit the Archaeological Site of Guayabo, declared a Civil Engineering World Heritage landmark and the most important milestone of pre-Hispanic culture in the country.

From San José: Carara National Park and Tárcoles River Tour

4. From San José: Carara National Park and Tárcoles River Tour

Begin your journey by being picked up from your hotel, and going on a scenic 1.5-hour drive along Route 27, making your way to your first stop at Carara National Park. Head straight out onto some flat walking trails suitable for all fitness levels and wheelchair users, and admire the biological reserve's abundant jungle life in person. Look up to the 40-meter high canopy, and keep an eye out for bright scarlet macaws, agouti rodents, stunning poison dart frogs, spider monkeys, dozens of birds, fantastic fungi, and huge wild cashew trees. Next, enjoy lunch like a local and eat at a traditional soda diner, where you have the option of eating fresh fish or seafood. Re-energized, lower your gears and enjoy a relaxing boat ride for some birdwatching on the Tárcoles River. Admire the river's mangroves, which are some of the most unique and scarce ecosystems of the world, and considered to be biodiversity hotspots. Keep a lookout for the 6-meter-long American crocodiles — the largest of the continent. Finally, dig your toes into the sand of a peaceful beach at your last stop, where you will relax with the sound of the waves before heading back to your accommodation.

La Fortuna: One-Way Transfer from/to SJO International Ato

5. La Fortuna: One-Way Transfer from/to SJO International Ato

Enjoy a relaxing and comfortable transfer between your hotel in La Fortuna or Tabacon to Juan Santamaria International Airport or from Juan Santamaria International Airport to your hotel located in La Fortuna and the Tabacon area. Travel safely in a licensed vehicle with a professional driver. Choose a one-way private transfer to the airport or return service. Let your driver navigate you through the traffic smoothly. Take a hassle-free ride without worrying about hotel shuttles or taxis.

Welcome to San Jose: Private Tour with a Local Host

6. Welcome to San Jose: Private Tour with a Local Host

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel or Airbnb accommodation in San Jose city center, and then discover the best places to eat and buy groceries in your local neighborhood. Alternatively, meet at a central landmark to start your walking tour with a local host. Get tips about the easiest ways to get around, learn where to find hidden gems and more. After booking, a local representative will contact you to ask questions and discuss your needs to select the right host based on your interests. Get a completely customized itinerary, created exclusive to you and your group. Avail of the inside knowledge of a San Jose resident who is passionate about where they live and loves to meet travelers to share what they love the most. Learn what it’s like to live in the city, chat about cultural differences, hear about local events and much more. Feel more comfortable navigating the city on your own, confident that you have all the information you need by the end of your experience.

San José: Coffee Production Tour and Tasting

7. San José: Coffee Production Tour and Tasting

Immerse yourself in the world of Costa Rican coffee as you learn about all the processes, skills and passion that go into a perfect cup. Visit a sustainable plantation, roaster and learn about coffee’s subtle characteristics from an expert taster. After being picked up from your hotel in San José, your tour will begin at a plantation, where the beans start out as seedlings. Your expert guide will take you through the phases of coffee growing and teach you about the practices and techniques they use to produce the beans in a sustainable way. The tour continues at the roasting plant, where an expert taster will take you through all the characteristics they look for when choosing the perfect grains to roast. You’ll get the opportunity to roast your own coffee sample and directly experience how the beans change during the process. Next will be a demonstration of ‘cupping’, the process of exploring the tastes and aromas of a coffee batch once it is brewed. You'll be able to enjoy a coffee tasting, accompanied by an assortment of delicious chocolates, as well as full lunch.

San Jose: City Highlights Walking Tour with Local Guide

8. San Jose: City Highlights Walking Tour with Local Guide

San Jose offers you the chance to discover a secluded location in the Central Valley of Costa Rica with its skyline dominated by the majestic Talamanca Mountains, hugging the city to the south, and a volcano ridge to the north. Why Costa Rica is a trendy destination for ecotourism and adventure travel? Is that true that San Jose have not street addresses? Which is the Costa Rican influence at The National Theater? What means Pura Vida? Gaze at San Jose’s local architecture which reflects strong Spanish colonial influence manifested in places like Catedral Metropolitana in Calle Central, and the neoclassical National Theater presiding over downtown’s Plaza de la Cultura. Get ready to experience Costa Rica from a different perspective. A local charismatic guide will reveal interesting facts about San Jose. Pura Vida!

From Manuel Antonio: Shared or Private Transfer to San Jose

9. From Manuel Antonio: Shared or Private Transfer to San Jose

Take the hassle out of your trip to Costa Rica with a pre-booked transfer between Manuel Antonio and San Jose. Enjoy the ride and take in the views as you make your way to the next stage of your journey. With both private and shared options available, choose the transfer that best suits your needs. The daily shared shuttle offers a convenient and affordable way to travel to your next destination while the flexibility of private transportation can make your trip as smooth as possible.

San Jose One Day: Sarapiqui Class 2&3 Rafting Adventure

10. San Jose One Day: Sarapiqui Class 2&3 Rafting Adventure

The Sarapiqui River is famous for its lush rainforest scenery. Enjoy it up close rafting down the Jungle Run – a section of river that is home to monkeys, iguanas, and other amazing Costa Rican wildlife. Start with pickup from select hotels and travel to El Roble de Sarapiquí, where the adventure begins. Your guide will fit you with the proper gear and go over safety instructions before hitting the river. Duck, dodge, paddle, and laugh your way down the river. Along the way, the "paparrazzi" photographer will be around to catch the best action shots as your Costa Rican river adventure unfolds. About halfway down the river, stop to enjoy a refreshing tropical fruit snack, take a swim, and relax. This area is known for its variety of birdlife, so keep an eye out for interesting tropical species.  Finish the rafting adventure at the Red-Eyed Frog Restaurant, located right next to the river. Savor a traditional Costa Rican meal before heading back to your hotel in a comfortable, air-conditioned van with free WiFi. Photos are available for purchase from the local provider after the tour.

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Frequently asked questions about San José, Costa Rica

What are the best day trips and excursions from San José, Costa Rica?

The best day trips and excursions from San José, Costa Rica are:

La Fortuna

Other Sightseeing Options in San José, Costa Rica

Want to discover all there is to do in San José, Costa Rica? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about San José, Costa Rica

Cello, our amazing guide From Oropopo Experience Tour Co. promptly picked us up at the hotel in a very comfy van. There were only three people on the tour which was great because it made us feel like we were on a private tour. Previously, we had tours from a different company where they jammed 16-18 people on a small bus. Cello was very patient, knowledgeable, and passionate about his job. During our tour of the Carara National Park, Cello pinpointed monkeys, toucans, and various species of insects. Next, he took us to Tarcoles River for a boat tour. In this relaxing cruise on the river, we encountered multiple crocodiles, a wide variety of bird species including hundreds of pelicans on tree tops. After the boat ride, Cello took us to a small family-owned restaurant by the beach for an excellent lunch. After lunch, he drove us to a secluded beach taking a short trail to the beach enjoying beautiful scenery, huge rock formations, and surrounding mountain greenery. Amazing day!

Wonderful afternoon with a great guide. I’m so sorry, I didn’t catch his name! He was really knowledgeable and interested in what he shared with us. He knew we were focused on the sloths but made sure everyone became interested (if they weren’t already) in the birds, plants, and even ants that we saw first. We spotted several sloths so everyone was happy! He also booked an Uber for us as we had no internet at the end of the trip and stayed to make sure we were picked up. Fantastic!

This was such a great tour. We had Ismael who was really enthusiastic about sharing his local knowledge and passion for biology with us. We learnt and saw so much including sloths, lots of beautiful birds and plants. Anyone who is interested in finding out more about the local wildlife and nature of Costa Rica should book this tour.

Very good combination of the activity in the day. Nice tour guide, small group, very convenient.

Rigo was an amazing tour guide! Learned so much from him and he takes the best pictures!