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San Jose Stopover

Take four days to find the true Costa Rica on a city escapade in sultry San Jose. Savour a stopover in the country’s capital by discovering the historical neighbourhoods and markets jammed with local treasures and colourful characters. See more of the area by whizzing through the mountains by train to sleepy Cartago and exploring its colonial streets by bike. Let San Jose surprise you with its cultural richness and culinary flair as you get a local look around town.

4 days, from


per person


12 people max


Trip code: QVHS
Print itinerary


Countries Visited:  Costa Rica
Accommodation: Hotel (3 nights)
Transportation: Train , Bicycle
Meals: dinners, 3 breakfasts
Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • See San Jose the local way with time to get under the skin of this Costa Rican centre. With the best bits organised and plenty of time to explore by yourself, you’ll get to know the real San Jose.

  • Wander through San Jose’s massive Central Market, tasting exotic fruits and learning the secrets behind a proper cup of Costa Rican coffee with your expert local guide.

  • Get active with an included short hike up the hills of San Jose, a train ride on the Atlantic Railroad and a guided bike ride through the laidback beauty of Cartago.


Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: San Jose

Hola and welcome to Costa Rica! A welcome pack will be waiting at the hotel including all the information you need for your tour. With over half the country's population living within its parameters, San Jose is a bustling capital city with lively markets, intriguing museums and a dynamic atmosphere. A good place to start exploring is the main plaza – ideal for some people watching. Artisanal booths are common here and you never know when there'll be a spontaneous art fair. If there's time, perhaps have a look at the Gold Museum and see its amazing collection of indigenous gold art, or head to the outdoor markets at Plaza de la Cultura and Central Market, where you can buy anything from handicrafts to seafood.

Day 2: San Jose

Rise early and meet your local leader at the Borbons Market for a food tour. There’s no better place to experience local cuisine and the colourful characters that sell it than at some of San Jose’s bustling marketplaces, full to the brim with traditional and fresh Costa Rican food and drink. Here you can sample local delicacies, learn about the herbs used in local medicines, and hear about the unique chorreado coffee brewing method while sipping on your second (or even third!) coffee of the day. Your expert local guide will take you past different stalls, tasting as you go, so you can better understand the coffee and food culture of Costa Rica and unearth all the secrets hidden in the markets. Who knows – you may even have the opportunity to test out the local lingo!

Day 3: San Jose

Get ready for another early start, this time meeting another local leader near Espana Park. There’s a lot of ground to cover today so the group will be meeting at 7 am sharp. Grab a cup of coffee and then take a 10-minute hike into the hills of San Jose, arriving at the Atlantic Railroad, where you’ll hop on a train. This scenic 45-minute journey travels past the San Jose University campus, through coffee plantations and deeper into the mountains. At the end of the journey lies beautiful Cartago – a historic town where many of the locals still get around by bike, and what you’ll be doing too! Saddle up and then cycle the streets, stopping to visit the key sites with your leader. Pull up at the Cartago Central Market for another round of delicious local food before catching a local bus back to San Jose. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore. Perhaps freshen up and get back out into San Jose this evening with dinner in the trendy Barrio Amon.

Day 4: San Jose

With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave the accommodation at any time, provided you comply with the hotel’s internal check-out times.

Unscripted experiences, insider access and authentic local flavors

Our team of travel specialists and local contacts have curated some of the best, most exclusive and authentic experiences, restaurants and accommodations in Costa Rica to truly immerse yourself in a way that wouldn't be possible in larger groups or just on your own.

4 days, from $1,345

to book call 1-844-205-6226

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