One of Costa Rica’s most beautiful areas is just now becoming a destination for adventure travel and more. Turrialba is home to what many consider Costa Rica’s most picturesque and most active volcano, Turrialba Volcano. Along with the volcano, there are an endless amount of things to do in Turrialba.
The area has a population of 70,000, which sits in a valley surrounded by mountains. Views of rolling coffee and sugar cane plantations and large tracks of protected land give Turrialba the best of Costa Rica.
Here is a list of some of our favorite activities in Turrialba. You will quickly see why many are planning their next adventure to this up-and-coming destination.
The Turrialba Volcano sits just south of the Irazu Volcano. As a result of being so close to eachother these two volcanoes share some of the same chambers. When they reach the surface they form their separate structure.
Access to the Turrialba Volcano is not like many of the other Volcanos in Costa Rica. The volcano opened in Dec of 2020 after multiple years of being closed due to heavy activity. This activity shot gases and materials over 1Km into the air. As a result, dumping ash all over the capital city of Costa Rica. Certain days of the year it even shut down the San Jose Airport.
While the volcano is still active, the scientist has been able to measure that it is in a calmer state. This is allowing visitors to walk to the crater and look at the smoking gases that offer a spectacular view daily from the valley of Turrialba. Along with views of Turrialba and the Caribbean you also get a chance to look into the smoking crater.
The entrance to the Volcano at the moment is accessed through a local farm. You have to take a 2-hour hike with a guide. Only 15 people are allowed to the crater at a time, and you are only allowed to spend a brief moment up top. Your brief moment is spent taking selfies or soaking in the jaw-dropping views.
As breath-taking as the volcano is, can you believe it’s not even our favorite thing to do in Turrialba?
Acquires Waterfall & Coffee Tour
There are several Coffee tours in Costa Rica, and we can say we think we have done at least 80% of them. If we had to pick our favorite, it is without question the Acquires coffee plantation.
This tour is on the slopes of the Turrialba Volcano. The view of the smoking volcano as we chill in the coffee plantation you can’t beat. The tour is filled with information allowing you to become an expert on what they call the golden bean.
Another reason we love this tour is because of the majestic tree of the Ceiba. The farm has multiple Ceiba trees at a very mature stage in life. These trees will probably outlive our great grand-kids. Sitting at the base of these trees looking out of the coffee plantations while the smoking Turrialba Volcano sits behind you is something that dreams are made of. The dream becomes a reality when they start passing out coffee samples.
After you do the coffee tour, you mine and head down to the Acquires Waterfall located on the same coffee plantation. To arrive at the waterfall, hang a right at the Ceiba that sits on the edge of the road. You will notice the road was as it should have been built around the Ceiba tree.
You will have a short flat hike through coffee plantations and arrive at a 180ft waterfall. This water named Acquiares is one of the more picturesque waterfalls in Costa Rica.
Turrialba is arguably the best spot in Costa Rica for mountain biking. You can spend years getting to know all our favorite trails. The trails consist of Volcano highlands down to the indigenous reserves’ lower mountains.
One way to enjoy the best rides is on our week of adventure that we run, visiting just a few of our favorite bike routes.
You can get mountain bike rides for all levels in Turrialba. From flat plantation rides to more rigid and steep rides through the rainforest.
If you know anything about us here at the POC; you know we love paddling. One of our favorite sports is Lake Angostura which is located just five minutes from Turrialba.
The lake Angostura sits in the valley of Turrialba with views of the surrounding mountains and volcanos. Not a bad day for a leisurely flat float.
If you want to challenge your paddleboard skills a bit, we take our guests on the river. This allows them to paddle some class one or two rapids on the different River SUP’s. The same river we River SUP on dumps into the Lake Angostura. As a result, you end your paddle on the beautiful flat lake with epic views.
On your way out there in front of the University of Costa Rica Campus in Turrialba, you will see the POC headquarters, so be sure to stop by and say hola!
Canyoneering has been one of the more popular sports for those looking for extreme adventure in Costa Rica. Turrialba, until recently, has explored its canyons for commercial use, and they are far from finishing as there is a new waterfall popping up everywhere.
We take our guests to some of our favorite canyons. There are canyons for families or those looking for a more extreme descent.
Here at the POC, we love the idea of empowering our guests to take control of their adventure as much as their skill level will allow them.
The packraft is one of our favorite activities not just for us but our guests also. It is a small whitewater inflatable kayak. This vessel is easy to maneuver, allowing guests to steer their craft through some whitewater.
We take our packrafts with us almost everywhere we go in Turrialba as there is always a lake, river, or canal that has us quickly pumping up our packrafts and enjoying a quick adventure.
This is another activity where you can find many different places in Costa Rica. The difference is that Turrialba is where they discovered the hybrid species that can resist the fungus that spread through the region, destroying the cacao plantations.
Therefore, this is enough to say that Turrialba knows their chocolate and while before most of the information came out, Turrialba was your scientific journals from a local institute known as CATIE, now you can find your boutique coffee tours with fun and engaging tour guides.
On one end of Turrialba, you have the Turrialba volcano, and on the other end, you have the Pacuare River.
These two natural wonders and everything in between make Turrialba such a special place.
To say you should spend a night or two rafting on the Pacuare river goes without saying. NatGeo votes the river as one of the top 5 most scenics globally, and the expeditions that companies like the POC run are life-changing trips.
If you want to visit the best of Turrialba and feel like a local in our small adventure community here in Turrialba, you can book a week-long adventure with the POC. The joy of this trip is that we left out our favorite part of Turrialba, and that’s the people.
A trip to Turrialba to see its natural beauties is one thing but getting to chance to enjoy its people is when you realize the magic behind this place is more than the majestic rivers, volcanos, and waterfalls.
Combine all of these things to do in Turrialba, and I think you found the secret recipe for the perfect Costa Rica adventure trip.