The Best Places to Stay in Turrialba, Costa Rica

Best Places to Stay in Turrialba, Cartago

Turrialba is a small valley in the province of Cartago, in the Central Valley of Costa Rica. It’s an off-the-beaten-path location focused on rural tourism and nature exploration, great for travelers who like an adventure in the mountains.
Accommodations in Turrialba reflect this focus, prioritizing visitors’ connection to the surrounding forests and expansive vegetation. There are various options such as boutique hotels, lodges, and even camping areas, depending on your travel style. One of the best is Casa Turire, a former hacienda from Colonial times turned into a luxury boutique. The beautiful and green grounds of the hotel merge with the antique, comfortable style of the rooms in a demonstration of all the best things Turrialba has to offer travelers of all ages.
One of the reasons Turrialba is famous is the nearby Turrialba Volcano (15 miles away from the main town). There are hiking tours to the national park where the volcano sits, and it’s a good location for birdwatchers. Turrialba’s location means not only that your experience of Costa Rica is authentic, but also that it is not as crowded as the more popular destinations. You can enjoy the trip on your own terms, at your own pace.

Turrialba, a Hidden Gem of Adventure and Culture

Don’t let Turrialba’s unassuming facade trick you—there is a lot to do if you’re in search of action. One of Turrialba’s most popular activities is whitewater rafting. For over 30 years, Turrialba has been promoting this extreme sport, especially in the famous Pacuare River. This river includes rapids levels III and IV, which are both a beautiful and thrilling experience for anyone willing to take the plunge. If you want more river-related activities but less action, there’s also kayaking and river tubing.

Embrace the Wild: Adventure Activities and Wildlife

The list doesn’t end here. Mountain biking and ATVing, canyoning, rappelling, and horseback riding are among the choices for adrenaline seekers. If you want to take it easier, hiking is great, especially for birdwatchers. Turrialba is home to around 60% of all the species that live in Costa Rica, making it a great choice for birders who like getting away from the most tourist-crowded destinations to immerse themselves in the less-trodden Costa Rica.

Savor the Local Flavors: Culinary and Agricultural Experiences

Turrialba is also a place of history. Cartago once was Costa Rica’s capital city, and it was one of the first cities founded by the Spaniards who colonized the area. This rich history adds a level of charm to Turrialba. As a rural town, Turrialba is a good choice for cultural experiences. The local restaurants serve mostly autochthonous meals and foods, and it’s a great place to go on coffee and sugar cane tours. Learn how Costa Rica’s golden grain is grown, harvested, and processed to create world-class drinks, as well as the sugar you sweeten it with.
There is also a famous type of cheese called “Turrialba cheese,” which originated and is still produced in the area. Make sure to try some, it’s always fresh and great for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Step into the Past: Exploring the Guayabo National Monument

Moreover, there is a protected area called Guayabo National Monument. This is more of an obscure place but of great interest to anyone who wants to learn more about pre-colonial Costa Rica and its anthropology. The reserve protects the archeological remains of an indigenous town that thrived here between 1000 B.C. and 1500 A.D. Graves, various architectural remains, and aqueducts are part of what you can find here.
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