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Turrialba Costa Rica

Turrialba Costa Rica


Turrialba: a family destination full of adventure, culture and nature


Beautiful landscapes, green fields, fast-flowing rivers, colorful wooden houses...

This is part of what you will find in a charming little town, located 53 kilometers east of the capital, San José.

Its name is Turrialba, canton number 5 of the province of Cartago, home of the most active volcano in Costa Rica and a nice destination to visit at any time of the year.

It is famous for its adventure tours (rafting, zip-lining, rappelling, mountain biking, and horseback riding), the pre-Columbian ruins of Guayabo, and the captivating Turrialba Volcano National Park.

In today's article, we will rediscover different spots and outdoor activities that you will find out in the city of coffee and sugar cane.

Guayabo National Monument

Located about 19 km (12 miles) northeast of the city of Turrialba, the Guayabo National Monument is the largest and most important archaeological site in Costa Rica.

Built between 1,000 BC and 1,400 AD, it was home to over 2,000 people, according to archaeologists.

Although we still don’t know too much about this ancient civilization, the architectural complexity of the 49-acre site, with its system of buildings, aqueducts, roads, and bridges, as well as extraordinary art, suggest that it was an advanced society.

Visiting it is a back-to-the-past experience, full of ancient streets, stone and wood structures, petroglyphs, and statues.

Because of its enduring engineering achievements, Guayabo National Monument holds the Civil Engineering World Heritage designation from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Turrialba Volcano National Park

Home of the active Turrialba volcano, it is one of Costa Rica's least visited national parks.

Located just 15 km northwest of the city, it has an impressive panoramic view of its counterparts, Irazú, Poás, and Barva.

With an area of approximately 500 km², Turrialba is one of the most active volcanoes in Costa Rica and the second highest in the country.

After its last big eruption in 2006, the access to visitors was completely closed as a security measure. However, the park was renovated and reopened in September 2020, during the covid-19 pandemic.

The walk includes a 5 kilometers ascent from the entrance gate, at Finca Monte Calas, (2,657 m) to the crater viewpoint, at about 3,340 m. The route has steep slopes and loose material (ballast).

Las Trillizas and La Muralla Waterfalls

On the way to the Guayabo National Park, in the Santa Cruz de Turrialba sector, we have some popular waterfalls: Las Trillizas and La Muralla.

To reach them you must face a 20-minute moderate difficulty walk among trails.

At the base of the falls, which measure between 20 and 40 meters tall, you can take a dip and take impressive photos.

CATIE Botanical Garden

Located a few kilometers away from the center of Turrialba, CATIE is one of the most important facilities in the world for tropical agriculture research.

It contains more than 4,000 species of plants from Asia, Africa, Oceania, and tropical America, including hundreds of cocoa and coffee varieties.

Here you will be able to learn about endangered species, identify different types of fruits, and observe butterflies and exotic birds in the middle of a natural and relaxing environment.

Pacuare and Reventazón rivers

For extreme sports lovers, the Pacuare and Reventazón rivers are the best options.

Recognized as world-class training camps for rafting and kayaking races, they offer not only pure adrenaline but also breathtaking views of waterfalls and lush tropical forests.

Closer to Turrialba, you can also enjoy fun rafting trips on the Pejibaye River, a slightly smaller river.

There are dozens of tour operators available to organize an exciting and safe adventure trip for you and your friends.


Turrialba is a friendly, warm, and cozy town with everything to delight national and international tourists: nature, adventure, gastronomy, bird watching, and ancient culture.

To get there, a 4x4 rented vehicle is not a “must”, although having one can make it easier in certain irregular roads.

At Toyota Rent a Car we have different rental car deals that achieve your comfort and safe expectancies.

Just contact us and we will gladly help you make your tour to Turrialba an unforgettable experience aboard a rented Toyota.

Reserve now:, email:, or phone numbers: 4036-7422 / 7235-8722


Article written by:

José Ricardo Carballo Villalobos

Works as a journalist, blogger, writer, and freelance copywriter. He is a frequent press columnist, co-director of the digital media La Revista CR, and administrator of the current affairs blog: For more information about the author, visit his website or Facebook




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