With its mild and essentially dry climate most of the year, Costa Rica’s Central Valley in its highlands is a wonderful place to start your journey of discovery in this small, but fascinating, nation.
From coffee plantations to active volcanoes, from cloudforest to hot springs, there are many places to escape and upwind in the relative cool of these highlands, before continuing on to the warmer and more humid coasts with their dense rainforests.
One of our favourite spots is the quaint little village of Bajos del Toro amid some quite spectacular mountain scenery. Head to one of the country’s most gorgeously decadent properties where you can sip sparkling wine from your private hot tub or enjoy a candelit dinner overlooking a roaring river.
Volcanic and fertile soil means that many of the communities here are rural farming villages and, in this area, you can not only enjoy the forest, falls and hiking trails but also try your hand at cooking with a lovely local Tico lady or shopping in the local markets for produce as well as wine-tasting classes, yoga, spa treatments and many more.
Perhaps you will see local farmers still using the brightly coloured traditional oxcarts to take their crops to market or take time to explore traditional coffee or cacao plantations. Visit spectacular volcanoes such as Poas or Irazu (with considerably fewer visitors than to neighbouring Arenal and whose displays of geothermal activity are just as impressive).
Adrenalin buffs will love the many activities on offer here from white-water rafting for children aged 9 years and onwards (easier river floating trips for smaller children), canyoning, rapelling, horse-riding and zip-lining.
East of San José, the beautiful region of Turrialba is washed by the pure waters of the Reventazón and Pacuare Rivers, amid a green collage of primary forests and plantations of coffee, macadamia and sugar cane. A selection of remote but chic and very comfortable mountain lodges combine a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere amongst rainforest with a wealth of active adventures, such as kayaking, white water rafting on the river rapids, and discovering the biological diversity.
This wonderful terrain mixed with charming lodging options makes Turrialba a perfect location for anyone seeking adventure and action in a beautiful setting. Mix the action with a little indulgence, staying at a luxurious lodge with a private pool in your villa overlooking the forest after you have dried out from your river adventure on the grade II-III Pacuare River, perfect even for adventurous beginners.
With its cooler climate, it makes a great way to unwind after your transatlantic flight and acclimatise to the humid and stunning tropical cloudforest only a short distance from the capital. Give us a call to find out what hedonistic indulgence or active adventures are right for you.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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