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Irazu Volcano, Cartago Ruins and Sarapiqui River Tour from San Jose

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San José, Costa Rica

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon12 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Face masks provided for travelers
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Regular temperature checks for staff
Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

Overview

Discover Costa Rica's famous natural beauty, historical treasures, and fresh flavors on this full-day tour from San Jose. Visit the ruins of a 16th-century church in Cartago, soak up an awe-inspiring views into the crater of Irazú Volcano, and spot native wildlife such as sloths, crocodiles, and monkeys on a cruise down the Sarapiquí River. Savor a traditional lunch at a private farm and drive through the spectacular Braulio Carrillo National Park to round out a memorable day.
  • Full-day combo highlights tour from San Jose
  • Includes a breakfast stop and lunch at a private farm
  • Great way to fit several Costa Rican adventures into a single day
  • Round-trip transport and park entrance fees included
Transportation
Tour guide
Breakfast and lunch
Boat tour
Gratuities

Departure Point

San José Province, San José, Costa Rica

Traveler pickup is offered
On the arrival at the hotel the tour guide is going to ask in the reception of the hotel for the client

Departure Time

7:00 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Prepare for an early morning pickup at your San Jose hotel to make the most of this jam-packed day. Stop for breakfast en rout to the nearby city of Cartago, home to interesting ruins of a destroyed church and other remnants of a 16th-century colonial settlement. Hear the legends that surround the crumbling chapel before continuing north to Irazú Volcano National Park. Peer down into the active volcano’s lagoon-filled crater, and enjoy commanding views from the top of the peak. On a clear day, you may be able to catch sight of both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans from the 11,260-foot (3,432-meter) summit.

Next, travel to the riverside town of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí and board a covered river boat for a leisurely 2-hour cruise down the Sarapiquí River. Keep a sharp eye out for sightings of local wildlife that inhabits the surrounding jungle, such as crocodiles, monkeys, sloths, and toucans. The voyage concludes at a private farm, where you can stretch your legs on hiking trails and enjoy a homestyle Costa Rican lunch.

Pass through the beautiful Braulio Carrillo National Park on the return drive to San Jose, where the 12-hour tour concludes with hotel drop-off in the evening.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Santiago Apostol Parish Ruins
Prepare for an early morning pickup at your San Jose hotel to make the most of this jam-packed day. Stop for breakfast en rout to the nearby city of Cartago, home to interesting ruins of a destroyed church and other remnants of a 16th-century colonial settlement. Hear the legends that surround the crumbling chapel before continuing north to Irazú Volcano National Park.
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Irazu Volcano National Park
Peer down into the active volcano’s lagoon-filled crater, and enjoy commanding views from the top of the peak. On a clear day, you may be able to catch sight of both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans from the 11,260-foot (3,432-meter) summit. 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Sarapiqui River
Next, travel to the riverside town of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí and board a covered river boat for a leisurely 2-hour cruise down the Sarapiquí River. Keep a sharp eye out for sightings of local wildlife that inhabits the surrounding jungle, such as crocodiles, monkeys, sloths, and toucans. The voyage concludes at a private farm, where you can stretch your legs on hiking trails and enjoy a homestyle Costa Rican lunch.
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo
Pass through the beautiful Braulio Carrillo National Park on the return drive to San Jose, where the 12-hour tour concludes with hotel drop-off in the evening.
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • We suggest wearing long pants, comfortable shoes, a hat and bringing a camera
  • Minimum of 2 passengers is required for the tour to run; if the minimum size is not reached, the tour is subject to cancellation and all tickets are refunded or rescheduled.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Gray Line Tours Costa Rica

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

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Irazu Volcano, Cartago Ruins and Sarapiqui River Tour from San Jose?
A:
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Irazu Volcano, Cartago Ruins and Sarapiqui River Tour from San Jose.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Irazu Volcano, Cartago Ruins and Sarapiqui River Tour from San Jose?
A:
The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Irazu Volcano, Cartago Ruins and Sarapiqui River Tour from San Jose.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Irazu Volcano, Cartago Ruins and Sarapiqui River Tour from San Jose?
A:
The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Irazu Volcano, Cartago Ruins and Sarapiqui River Tour from San Jose.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Irazu Volcano, Cartago Ruins and Sarapiqui River Tour from San Jose?
A:
The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Irazu Volcano, Cartago Ruins and Sarapiqui River Tour from San Jose.

Traveler Tips


  • "A lot of driving but worth it in the end." See review
  • "This is a long day with a lot of van time." See review
  • "Lots of time in the car, but a great way to see sights in a day." See review

Reviews

4.0
star-4
26 Reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 26 reviews
star-4
Awesome guide and view at Irazu over the clouds
MF_Auger
, Feb 2020
Our guide (George? Jorge?) was awesome! He gave us a lot of interesting information all through the day. We did only a short stop to Cartago to take a picture of the ruins. It was nice and really, no need to stay there for a long time (the ruins were closed anyway and we could see inside from the grid). Typical breakfast was OK but we have experienced better. Then we went to see the volcano. Wow! We were over the clouds and this moment was the highlight of my entire trip to Costa Rica! We were lucky since we had a perfect visibility on the crater (we were told that it happens only 20/30% of the time). For me, the tour should have ended there. Then we took the road for too long in the cloudforest to go to the cruise on the Sarapiqui river. We had lunch on a cute property with beautiful flowers. The food was ok, but again, we have seen better typical food in other excursions. We saw a couple of crocodiles, monkeys, birds and a sloth during the cruise, which lasted about 45 minutes (road works slowed our ride to the cruise so we were late for the cruise and had to do it from the end to the departure point and I guess they had to rush during the cruise and the boat was going pretty fast). In my opinion the cruise was not worth all the time we spent in the bus. In the end, we spent about 7 hours on twelve in the bus. The guide and part to Irazu were awesome. I would have skipped the rest.
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Hello! Greetings from Gray Line Costa Rica. Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback with us! We’re so glad you had a good experience.
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star-5
Great day experience
Claudia_M
, Feb 2020
We loved that day tour. Jorge and Juan Carlos made sure we had a great time. We got tones of information on the sites we visited and the overall history of the country. The boat tour was a bit less than 1 hour.
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
Hello! Greetings from Gray Line Costa Rica. Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback with us! We’re so glad you had a good experience. We hope you visit us again soon!
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star-5
Excellent service and great experience
Sandra_D
, Feb 2020
Amazing experience!! Juan Carlos (Driver) and Jorge (Tour guide) both are great and professional staff, comfortable transportation, multilingual staff, rich information, well organized, Super friendly and excellent services. Very Respectful and professional with high skills & information. Strongly Recommend!!!
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star-3
Nice tour guide but tour was average
kcscheflen
, Feb 2020
I struggled with how to rate this. Tour guide was very nice and knowledgeable however it was a long day in the tour van. The ruins really weren’t much to see our group was there for less than 20 mins. Be aware of the weather conditions for the volcano. It was very foggy and rainy so that we couldn’t see a thing. Obviously not the tour guide’s fault but I wish it would’ve been communicated and another option offered. It was cool to see some animals in their natural habitat on the river cruise but I don’t know if it’s worth hours there and back.
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star-4
Good way to squeeze in activities in 1 day
OntheroadDI
, Jan 2020
Lots of time in the car, but a great way to see sights in a day. George was helpful and made the guests aware of the agenda and kept us on schedule. We made it to Irazu before the long long line of buses in the morning, so that was great! Weather is variable, and on the day we went, it was still cloudy. However, the sight was still amazing and we got to see a bit of the volcano. Good amount of restroom breaks and the lunch was good.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Dear OntheroadDI, Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback with us. It means so much when our best customers share their experiences.
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star-3
Great Sites, LONG day made even longer
Where2GoNext2013
, Dec 2019
The sites on this trip were great! The Cartago ruins have been transformed into a beautiful looking park...unfortunately we had to leave 10 minutes before they opened to really get to see the inside. The day we were there the Irazu Volcano was quite foggy and drizzling. We pulled up and were offered the bathroom. When no one needed the facilities the guide got quite rude about how 'we paid the park entrance fee he didn't want to hear it in the reviews that no one saw the volcano'. After confirming that this was the stop for viewing the volcano as well as using the bathroom we got out and walked the short way to the volcano crater. Initially it was foggy, but as is common with mountain weather wait a minute and it changes, the fog cleared and we got a beautiful view of the crater. After getting back in the van we made a short drive down to the coffee/breakfast stop. The food was great! Following this we needed to head back towards San Jose to meet with an additional 4 passengers who were joining for the afternoon. The boat ride to lunch was GREAT! We saw lots of birds, monkeys, sloth, and crocodiles. The boat driver (pilot? captain?) was very good at knowing where the wildlife hungout and spotting it. Once we got to the lunch spot the 4 additional passengers we picked up went and did other activities while we were just left alone. This was not expressed in the initial plan...we waiting over an hour and a half of just nothing time waiting for these other guests to zip line and horse back ride. It was unnecessary, I understand that they were just trying to maximize on their resources and not run so many tours but it made us feel very ignored and not valued as a guest on the experience we had booked. On the van ride back to San Jose our guide said next to nothing and checked out and fell asleep. We were scheduled to be picked up at 6:40am and were returned to our hotel about 6:30pm. A 12 hour day that could have probably been 2 hours shorter if we wouldn't have had to coordinate meeting with the other tours and wouldn't have had to just wait around for them to complete their separate itinerary. I think if I would return to San Jose I would look for a smaller tour company that had more of a focus on the individual guest experience over a large company like Gray Line what was just trying to pump the most people thru the day.
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star-5
Off-Season Personalized Tour
89charleswright
, Nov 2019
Visiting in the off-season resulting in my wife and I, by ourselves, enjoying the services of the guide, Victor, and of his incredible driver, Carlos. Our guide was experienced and therefore very knowledgeable of the country, geography, ecology and history. He enjoyed sharing information and would answer the questions we had comfortably and accurately in English or Spanish. Carlos was quite patient and comfortable navigating the complex myriad of streets, cyclists, obstacles, ascents and descents from sea level to over 11,000 feet. We were quite comfortable; even my wife who can get quite nervous with any deviation from near perfect. Victor and Carlos were a good team and both very proud of their country, their work and chance to share. The tour included a beautiful tour of The Irazu Volcano with its rugged and picture perfect crater lake (well worth it) and a cruise on a tropical river in a steamy jungle with crocodiles, monkey's and a colorful variety of birds.
icon Response from Host , Nov 2019
Dear 89charleswright, we are so grateful for your kind words. Thanks for sharing your review with us and the community.
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star-5
Great Taste of Costa Rica
lindar604556
, Oct 2019
This is a long day with a lot of van time. BUT if that doesn't scare you, it is a great way to see a lot of the highlights of Costa Rica. The day starts with a quick stop at a beautiful 16th century church in the original capital. Then on to Irazu Volcano before the clouds and crowds come in. Then breakfast which is OK but you might want to eat and get coffee before you start the tour. Also walk slowly at the volcano - I really felt the altitude but it didn't bother everybody on the tour. The river tour was fun but sadly we didn't see any sloths but we did see plenty of monkeys and crocs. The final stop at a farm was great. There were ziplining and horseback riding options. Most of my group took the ziplining options and really enjoyed it. We were surprised to find out it was an option. The meal here was delicious. Then finally back to the hotel. Like I said a long day but I highly recommend it. Our driver and guide were both great In fact our driver lent me his jacket It was very cool at the volcano Take a light jacket or sweatshirt. ENJOY!!
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Dear lindar604556, Thank you very much for your review! We are very pleased to know that you visit such an amazing place here in Costa Rica with Gray Line Costa Rica. Also, we hope that you continue traveling with us and hopefully see sloths during your next visit!!
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star-5
Really enjoyed our tour!
Climber01912461080
, May 2019
We started the day with rain so we decided to still go and it turned out that the day was getting better, no rain so we’re able to enjoy all the places that we went...Jorge (George) our guide is a friendly and knowledgeable guy and he speaks English very well and clearly...Carlos, the driver is an excellent and safe driver...We really recommend this tour to anyone who have an interest with these three places...
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star-5
Great all rounder of a day
Cruiser11083372994
, Jan 2019
A perfect mix of both culture and nature. Very efficient driver who coped brilliantly with some difficult driving conditions. Informative guide too.All in all a lovely day out - would thoroughly recommend 😊
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Product code: 3171P62

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