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Things to Do in Central Valley - page 2

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Sarchi
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1 Tour and Activity

The capital of Alajuela province, Sarchi is renowned for its arts and crafts, in particular its decorative oxcarts recalling the heyday of Costa Rica’s coffee industry. Lying almost 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) above sea level in the Cordillera Central, the whole of Sarchi is devoted to crafts, from woodworking and leather goods to textiles.

The most famous handicrafts are known as carretas, the ornately painted carts that have proved so popular as Costa Rican souvenirs over the years. While you’re here, tear yourself away from browsing the stores to visit the lovely church, with its wooden carvings. The gardens in front feature an oversized, brightly painted oxcart. The drive to Sarchi is part of the appeal of this popular day-trip destination, leading past coffee fields, pineapple farms and landscape dotted with volcanoes, villages and rainforest.

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Orosi River Valley (El Valle del Rio Orosi)
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The thick green forests, fertile coffee plantations and scenic mountains of the Orosi River Valley draw bird watchers, freshwater fishermen and nature lovers to the banks of the Reventazon River, as well as the pristine lake formed by the Cachi Dam.

Travelers can spend the morning wandering through Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi Church, where Spanish Colonial artifacts and religious paintings line the interior of Costa Rica’s oldest church still in use. Adventurers will enjoy an afternoon at the Irazu Volcano. Crater lakes and lush farmland make for scenic hikes and picturesque views.

The Ruins of Ujarras, with peaceful gardens and even a nearby public swimming pool, prove another popular destination for both travelers and residents. Buy lunch from one of the local women selling fragrant arepas before exploring the historic ruins and cooling off with a refreshing dip.

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Sarapiqui Canopy
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You’ve heard all about Costa Rica’s famous biodiversity – and the tropical rainforest Sarapiqui Canopy is the place to experience it first-hand.

Home of the endangered green macaw, and a number of famous reserves including the Braulio Carrillo National Park, Sarapiqui’s river-filled fertile landscape is best discovered by boat cruise. From the waterways you’ll spot monkeys, sloths, otters, turtles and all kinds of birds, including the quetzal.

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Doka Estate
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1 Tour and Activity

Costa Rica has some of the world’s most flavorful coffee and travelers who favor this bold brew can see how these prized beans make it from farm to table on a tour of Doka Estate. This iconic plantation puts visitors right up close to the production and practices of this age-old crop. Travelers can tour the grounds, see where workers hand-pick coffee berries from prized plants and even sample some of the eight roasts the Doka Estate creates on site. Organized small-group, on-site tours ensure visitors receive personalized attention and loads of information, while the plantation’s gift shop, Casa de Artesanias, is filled with unique and flavorful items picked fresh from the farm that are perfect souvenirs for friends and family back home. The Doka Estate is also home to a Bonsai Tree and Orchid Garden, as well as a Butterfly Farm, making it the ideal place to spend the day exploring some of Costa Rica’s natural wonders.

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