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This combination is a wonderful way to experience the exuberant natural beauty which surrounds the Costa Rican captial, as you drive out east from San Jose. You'll head out to Cartago, the original capital of Costa Rica, and then onwards towards the 3,432 metre high Irazu Volcano - the highest active volcano in Costa Rica. Neil Armstrong once described the landscape here as being similar to that of the surface of the moon, but look closer and you'll see the surprising patchwork of crop fields which cover the lower slopes. Your local guide will share with you the history and might of the volcano, before you head out to the lush Orosi Valley. Panoramic views will afford vistas over the region, including the Reventazon River, the Cachi Dam, the Orosi church and the breathtaking valley landscape.

You then continue to the famous Lankester Gardens, the legacy of Sir Richard Lankester - an English botanist who made Costa Rica his home in the late 19th century. The gardens are home to one of the largest collections of orchids, bromeliads, ferns and anthuriums of the region, as well as almost one hundred species of birds. They provide great introduction to Costa Rica's tropical forest species and an excellent place to observe birds or simply relax.

Some of our favourite places to go and things to do around San Jose
What to do around San Jose

Poas Volcano

Peer into the smouldering crater of an active volcano in the Central Valley, not far from San Jose.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Observe a variety of beautiful butterflies and hummingbirds up close and marvel at spectacular waterfalls.

Doka Coffee Plantation

Learn all about the entire coffee production process and enjoy a full sensory guided tasting session.