Whether your tastes veer more towards rafting down the Pacuare River and losing yourself midst the towering canyons or embarking on a tourist or religious trek to Costa Rica's own Mecca, Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, Cartago and Turrialba are sure to raise your spirits.
National Geographic Magazine calls the Pacuare River one of the top ten whitewater rafting excursion in the world. Others place it in the top five. No matter how you slice it, the class III/IV waters of this region are not to be missed by nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
Although Turrialba is best known for its world-class rapids, the opportunities to submerge yourself in nature are limitless. In addition to the Pacuare River, other natural wonders include Turrialba Volcano, with its fumaroles and sulfur pits. Costa Rica's highest Volcano, Irazu, is also nearby.
Cartago offers a different type of excitement. This quaint Costa Rican city is home to Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles. According to folklore, the Basilica's statue of La Negrita, also known as the Black Madonna, has amazing healing powers. People from around the world still visit La Negrita hoping to be cured. Every year on August 2, the Virgin of the Angels Feast is celebrated with long processions and celebrations at the Cathedral.
The Cartago/Turrialba region is a great destination for ecotourism and green travelers. Most of the accommodations in the area are ecolodges concerned with not only minding their carbon footprint but contributing to the communities with which they coexist. Contact our Costa Rica travel experts to find out how you can visit and/or volunteer with one or more of these communities.
Suggested Activities While in Cartago/Turrialba:
- Enjoy magnificent scenery while being led by an authentic Costa Rican cowboy on an exciting horseback ride.
- Exploring the beautiful hillside on a scenic bike ride along farm trails and picturesque plantations.
- Go rafting on the Pacuare River. The river has Class III and IV rafting for adventure aficionados. Pejibaye River is another option for those seeking a shorter, slower-paced ride. Both are excellent tours featuring amazing scenery, interesting wildlife and thrilling adventure.
- Repel down four waterfalls and traverse numerous hanging bridges as you go canyoning in through the Turrialba's wonders.
- Learn about the coffee growing and processing industry on the Grano de Oro Coffee Tour. Taste some of Costa Rica's best coffee as you learn about one of the country's most important and traditional agricultural products. To learn even more about Costa Rica's agricultural roots, combine this tour with a visit to a macadamia nut and sugarcane plantation.
- Explore! Visit the Guyabo Monument, one of the most extensive prehistoric ruins in Central America.
- CATIE Botanical Garden features over 400 species and 4000 specimens of plant life.
- If your taste for botanical gardens tends more in the direction of orchids, the renowned Lankester Gardens, with over 1,000 species of orchids, is sure to awe both flower-enthusiasts and novices alike.
- Ecology lovers will delight in a visit to Espino Blanco Reserve, a farm dedicated to the conservation of various flora and fauna.