Paddle the rapids from the city to the coast in Costa Rica.

Pick up a paddle and prepare for a thrilling stopover in San Jose that takes you from the city streets to the wild reaches of Cahuita National Park. Encounter the artisans and outdoor markets of Costa Rica's lively capital, then set out on a rafting expedition down one of the world's best rapids, passing through the grassy gorges and rainforests of the Pacuare River. Recharge at a tropical retreat before swapping jungles for coastline, exploring the coral reefs and idyllic nature reserves near Puerto Viejo. This Costa Rican adventure packs so much punch the word 'stopover' will never be the same again.


Start
San Jose, Costa Rica
Finish
San Jose, Costa Rica
Countries
Costa Rica, Guatemala
Style
Original
Code
QVHS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Unmask the beauty and culture of contemporary Costa Rican life on this San Jose walking tour that takes you through the busy streets, bustling markets, and tranquil parks

  • Savor several tasty seasonal samplings of Costa Rica as well as its famous organic coffee

  • Discover Cartago, a historical town just outside San Jose

  • ravel by railroad through the mountains and coffee plantations outside San Jose.

Itinerary

Hola! Welcome to Costa Rica! This stopover adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

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, a fantastic place to get comfy and do 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • San Jose - Gold Museum - USD11
  • San Jose - Jade Museum - USD10
  • San Jose - National Museum - USD12
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today you have to make your way to the entrance of Central Market, at the corner of Teodorico Quiros st and Av Central by 8.30am sharp to meet your Intrepid Urban Adventure local guide.

Your San Jose food tour starts with a morning pick-me-up cup of coffee in a café located in the Borbons market where you’ll get to know your guide and relax into your surroundings. From here, we’ll take a stroll through the vibrant market, tasting local fresh fruits while learning about the agricultural history of the area. We’ll visit a number of stands, from a coffee stand to learn the Costa Rican chorreado brewing method to a local folk medicine stand where we’ll learn about curing everything from a hangover to a broken heart. Coffee and markets play a very important role in the history of San Jose and you’ll get the inside scoop on what they mean to the city and its citizens.

Your San Jose market tour continues along local roads towards the Central Market. Seeing the diverse sites of these markets will help you get to know the country and its rich history and on this tour, you’ll be another sense – taste – to get more in tune with San Jose. There’s no better place to experience local cuisine than the Central Market, a 120-year old building full to the brim with typical Costa Rican food and drink. Here you can sample local delicacies, learn about the herbs used in local medicines, or simply sip on your second rich and smooth Costa Rican coffee of the day. The Central Market is an experience that no visitor the San Jose should miss, and with a local guide by your side you’ll unearth all the secrets behind this San Jose treasure.

The Central Market will be the last stop on this San Jose tour, and by the end you’ll be full of local knowledge (and perhaps even some local lingo!), giving you the full San Jose experience that is sure to be a highlight of your time in this vibrant city.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • San Jose - San Jose Bites and Sights Tour - Urban Adventures
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today is an early start as you need to make your way to the northeast corner of Espana Park (in the cafe across the street) by 7am sharp to meet your Intrepid Urban Adventure local guide.

You’ll take a wander across the street and admire the view of the Yellow House, and then head onwards to the National Liquor Factory. Your local guide will be giving you snippets of information about these landmarks along the way, before you head out on your journey out of town.

Next you’ll take a quick 10-minute hike up into the hills of San Jose and arrive at the Atlantic Railroad, where you’ll hop on a train to head to Cartago. This scenic 45-minute journey will take you past the University campus, further out in to the mountains, and through the coffee plantations. At the end of the journey lies Cartago, where adventure awaits!

You’ll hop on your bike in Cartago and cruise through the streets of this beautiful town, learning all about its history along the way. Many of the locals travel by bike here, so you’ll fit right in! You will make regular stops with your guide, so that they can fill you in on all the history behind this fascinating town.

After getting your fix of all that Costa Rican history, your Cartago tour will finish up at the Central Market, where you can sample the local life through foods and flavours. Here you’ll be able to brush shoulders with the locals and dive into local cuisine, gaining plenty of insights from your guide as well. After this, you’ll hop on a local bus to return to San Jose, where your guide will happily point you in the direction of your accommodation, or give you some more tips to explore the city of San Jose.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • San Jose - Cartago Bike & Train Tour - Urban Adventures
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today your free to depart at any time after breakfast. Departure flights can be at any time

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Local transport, Bike

Accommodation

Hotel (3 nights)

Included activities

  • San Jose - San Jose Bites and Sights Tour - Urban Adventures
  • San Jose - Cartago Bike & Train Tour - Urban Adventures

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SHORT BREAK ADVENTURE:
This Short Break Adventure is a ‘join in’ group departure, which means you are not accompanied by an Intrepid group leader – our local representative fills this role – and the configuration of any fellow travellers in the group might change during the trip.
This trip will run with a minimum of one person, so you may be joined by other travellers booked on the same date as you, or you may be on your own.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.