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Cartago Day Trip by Rail from San Jose: Bike Ride and Market Tour

San José, Costa Rica

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icon6 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more
Good for avoiding crowds

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
More questions?
(888) 651-9785


Escape the ordinary on this immersive bike-riding day trip to the charming town of Cartago. Experience the Costa Rican rail system with a short train ride, and then hop on your bike for a two-wheeled tour around Cartago’s historic streets. Learn about the town’s colonial history with your expert guide, and visit a local market to sample delicious produce and traditional treats before heading back to San Jose by bus. A small group limit of 12 people provides a personalized experience on this half-day tour.
  • 5-hour Cartago day trip by train from San Jose
  • Travel by rail through the mountains past coffee plantations outside the capital
  • Bicycle through the historical streets of Cartago with an informative local guide
  • Discover Costa Rica’s colonial history and learn about daily life in town
  • Sample local cuisine at Cartago’s Central Market
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 12 people ensures a personalized experience
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Local English-speaking guide
Food samples
Use of bike and helmet
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Additional food and drinks
Casa Amarilla, Calle 11, Otoya, San José, Costa Rica

Departure Time

7:00 AM

Departure Time

7:00 AM

Return Details

Avenida 3, Aranjuez, San José, Costa Rica
Take a break from the urban hum of San Jose with a visit to the charming neighboring town of Cartago. Connect with your knowledgeable guide at the beautiful Parque de Español (Spain Park) in central San Jose, and then kick off the day with a walking tour of some of the capital’s lesser-known attractions. You’ll pass by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Liquor Factory while learning historical trivia along the way.

A short hike into the hills above San Jose leads to an Atlantic Railroad station. Here you’ll board a train for the 45-minute ride to Cartago. Rolling into the mountains, you’ll pass verdant coffee plantations and other beautiful scenery of the Costa Rican countryside.

Once you arrive in Cartago, join many of the locals who navigate the historic city streets by bicycle. Your guide will lead you past architectural and cultural highlights and share interesting background on the town’s colonial history.

Immerse yourself in the sights and smells of the Central Market — an important focal point of daily life for many of Cartago’s residents. Wander among the market stalls, and sample fresh produce and local specialties for an authentic taste of regional cuisine. Join local commuters on a bus ride for the return trip to San Jose. Your guide can provide tips on other urban sites to explore or direct you back to your city hotel.
Pass By:  
Old Atlantic Rail Station
Totally over the San Jose hustle and bustle? Want to feel the wind in your hair? A change of scenery perhaps? This San Jose bike tour gives you all those things and more. Just outside the city of San Jose sits the beautiful town of Cartago, a sleepy oasis filled with Costa Rican local culture and the freshest air outside the big city. 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!
Pass By:  
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.
Pass By:  
Central Market (Mercado Central)
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.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum age is 10 years
  • Maximum group size is 12 persons
  • Casual clothing. Please bring a hat and sunglasses for hot weather.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Urban Adventures - Latin America

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on sanitization during Cartago Day Trip by Rail from San Jose: Bike Ride and Market Tour?
The policy on sanitization is:

  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Cartago Day Trip by Rail from San Jose: Bike Ride and Market Tour.
What is the social distancing policy during Cartago Day Trip by Rail from San Jose: Bike Ride and Market Tour?
The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Cartago Day Trip by Rail from San Jose: Bike Ride and Market Tour.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Cartago Day Trip by Rail from San Jose: Bike Ride and Market Tour?
The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Cartago Day Trip by Rail from San Jose: Bike Ride and Market Tour.
What is the maximum group size during Cartago Day Trip by Rail from San Jose: Bike Ride and Market Tour?
This activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Cartago Day Trip by Rail from San Jose: Bike Ride and Market Tour.

Traveler Photos


46 Reviews
2 stars
1 star
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 46 reviews
Enjoyable Tour!
, Jan 2020
This day trip was a lot of fun! Our guide, Gladys, was wonderful. She was informative and answered all of our questions. I loved looking out the window on the train and visiting the market was refreshing. We had a few problems with our bikes but eventually made our way to the cathedral and colonial ruins which were interesting and enjoyable.
nice trip
Dale R
, Nov 2018
the train ride was interesting, the biking enjoyable and our guides were knowledgeable and helpful. we actually extended our tour to include a volcano and dinner.
Urban Adventure's slogan is : Best Day...
Ekene O
, Aug 2018
Urban Adventure's slogan is : Best Day ever! and boy or boy, do I agree. So, I am just gonna say it: Best day ever!!! Angel who was my tour guide is just the most thoughtful, dedicated and encyclopedic guide I have ever had. He knows his stuff and he delivers it in a way that sparks your curiosity and inspires organic conversation. The ride on the train to Cartago was scenic and peaceful. I really loved the bike ride around the quaint city of Cartago. The market and the palace ruins were the highlights of the afternoon along with meeting the genial Rolando and Angelita who make the most delectable corn and beef Empanadas. Angel really know's how to take care of his guests: taking numerous picture of me, a battery charger at the ready, offering his jacket when it got too cold. Just a great guy I have to tell you. I totally recommend this tour and Urban Adventures.
Fun with Angel in Cartago
, Jun 2018
Angel was an excellent tour guide! He was very outgoing, informative and hospitable! He answered many questions, taught us Spanish words and phrases, and was very kind and considerate! We took a very fun and exciting train ride to Cartago, rode bikes through the city and then visited the very beautiful Bascilia of our Lady of the Angels. We then took a tour of the church museum and went to the gift shop. We then visited the lovely Santiago Apostol Parish Ruins and ate an authentic Costa Rican lunch in the market. After taking an auto bus back to San Jose we visited The Casa Del Caca Cafe and tasted very delicious cocoa and chocolate. With Angel as our guide, this was an outstanding tour!
I enjoyed the train ride to Cartago...
Leslie H
, Mar 2018
I enjoyed the train ride to Cartago. The Cartago market and the opportunity to experience authentic empanadas was wonderful. The bike ride was refreshing. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly.
This trip included walking tour of...
Karlyn B
, Nov 2017
This trip included walking tour of historic sites in San Jose, and the train ride was quaint and included parts of San Jose and Cartago we wouldn't have otherwise been able to see. Hector was knowledgeable and fun, and the best part was the market tour sampling tropical fruit and the authentic empanadas at the market lunch counter.
Amazing is right - wonderful day...
Karin R
, Aug 2017
Amazing is right - wonderful day spent with an excellent tour guide, Vinicio! Did a train ride, bicycle ride around Cartago, then a local bus ride back to San Jose. Got to visit the local market in Cartago, as well as the wonderful cathedral there. Vinicio is a wealth of knowledge and information about the area, history and culture, and his love for his country is extremely evident throughout the tour. What a lovely experience for my first time to Costa Rica! A special bonus was sampling thebest empanadas in Cartago made fresh by Rolando and Angelina in the market!
Natalie my tour guide was...
Jillian Y
, May 2017
Natalie my tour guide was exceptional. She took me around to a few sites in San Jose before our very scenic train ride through the country side to Cartago. She shared with my a local desert on the way and we talked about the culture of Costa Rica. Once in Cartago, we had a brief visit to a local art gallery and then went on our way on a beautiful bike ride through the city center. Afterwards, we visited the local market and we visited various stalls.. the best being the most delicious bean empanadas I've ever had. Natalie was knowledgeable, funny, engaging, helpful and an excellent tour guide and host.
Natalie was nice, interesting train...
jeffrey g
, Apr 2017
Natalie was nice, interesting train ride between cities, bike tour itself was on a sidewalk/path in heavy traffic, not enjoyable.
Carolina was great. She is very...
, Mar 2017
Carolina was great. She is very informative. We had a bit of a tour around San Jose which we appreciated. The train was a great experience. Open air and a fun ride. Very disappointed in the bikes. Had to walk the tour as couldn't ride the bikes. We loved the market and the empanada. It was the best.

Product code: 5207CARTAGO

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