JD's Watersports in Costa Rica

San Jose is the economic, geographical and political center of Costa Rica. It sits in the Central Valley,which is home to more than half of Costa Rica's population. It is blessed with an extremely pleasant climate year-round.

You'll fly in and out of San Jose, which typically requires you to spend your first and last nights in the area. The airport is about 10 miles West of San Jose. In between are several high-quality hotels. Further out, in the mountains above the valley, are several small, charming B&B's.

Downtown San Jose has few sights to see, but lots of restaurants, hotels and nightlife. Traffic in downtown San Jose is congested at almost all times of day, and walking at night can be dangerous.

Many tours depart daily from San Jose, but most are long distances from town. San Jose is a central location with a wide variety of hotels to choose from.

Pacuare River Whitewater Rafting: The Pacuare is always ranked as one of the top 5 whitewater rafting rivers in the World. This is a truly magical experience. This is not rigorous and no prior experience is needed. You must be in San Jose the night before this trip and the night after. Thus, it is best to do this at the end of your stay in Costa Rica. 2-day and 3-day trips are available. We highly recommend it.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens:
La Paz is one of the highlights of Costa Rica. This immaculate property has perfectly maintained, safe trails along a river with 5 dramatic waterfalls, the World's largest butterfly observatory, a hummingbird garden, and a great restaurant. Trails are set within primary, unspoiled rainforest. This place is enchanting and we highly recommend a few hours here.

Poas Volcano: About 90 minutes from San Jose, Poas Volcano is geologically active. It spouts steam and sulfur, and features a 1-mile wide crater. Trails through an "Elfin Forest" lead to the second, older crater. Poas sits in an extremely scenic area with a very pleasant climate, and is a totally different experience than Arenal Volcano. Well worth a visit.

Coffee Plantation Tour:
Doka Estate is located on the slope of Poas Volcano, near San Jose and La Paz Waterfall Gardens. This working coffee plantation and processing plant gives short tours about how coffee is cultivated, harvested and processed. This is a very pleasant experience in a perfect climate.

Golf at Cariari Country Club: Built in 1974, this George Fazio-designed course offers challenging golf in a residential area of San Jose. Excellent layout, topography and climate make this a great golf experience. You must stay at the Melia Cariari Hotel to play the course.

Irazu Volcano:
is often overlooked and undervisited. Like Poas Volcano, you can go right to the rim of the crater at and look down into it. But Irazu is much higher - about 11,000 feet above sea level. On a clear day, you can see the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans. You can also mountain bike down Irazu if you are up for an adventurous ride.

Sarchi Village:
Famous for its oxcarts and woodworkers, Sarchi is a charming town in the rolling hills around San Jose with lots of giftshops. You could easily visit Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall Gardens and Sarchi in one day. A great place for getting high-quality gifts, it's a little "touristy," but very pleasant.

Rainforest Aerial Tram: A cascading 40-foot waterfall, giant rainforest trees and panoramic views of the ocean are all part of the ride. Open-air gondolas with canvas awnings seat eight passengers and a naturalist guide. The rugged topography of the forest means the modified ski lift skims the forest floor, and then soars to a maximum height of 130 feet above a rugged valley. The tour also includes a 45-minute guided nature walk.

Cruises to Tortuga Island - Transfer from San Jose to board a lovely catamaran yacht to Tortuga Island, which is famous for its beautiful beach. Play in the surf or sun on the beach. This is a very scenic, relaxing full day on the ocean and beach.

  • Access to many services and tours
  • Wide variety of hotels and restaurants
  • Great climate
  • Nightlife
  • The center of Costa Rica
  • Terrible downtown traffic
  • Limited cultural attractions
  • It's a big, congested city!

Hotel Bougainvillea

Grano de Oro
Peace Lodge
Vista del Valle

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The Wonders of Costa Rica
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Volcano

Jungle River Cruise
The Canopy Tour
La Paz Waterfall Gardens
Whitewater Rafting

San Jose
North Pacific
Central Pacific
South Pacific

Jungle River Cruise
Carara Rainforest Hike

Sunset Cruise
The Canopy Tour
Whitewater Rafting
Rainforest Hiking
Cruise Ship Tours