Central Valley Activites
Costa Rica Regions
Poás Volcano Tour
Poás Volcano (8,788 ft or 2,708 m) is a still active, but tranquil volcano with seven craters that are over 8,000 years old. The seven craters that make up the formation are 25,000 years old. The second largest crater in the world- bubbling with active fumaroles and a simmering lake that is almost a mile wide and 1000 feet deep.
This live volcano had major eruptions as recent as 1953. The Crater Lake is one of the most acidic lakes in the world because of hydrochloric and sulfuric acid in the water from the percolating gas emissions. The Poás Volcano National Park contains a dwarf cloud forest and you can stand on the Continental Divide.
Walking just 15 minutes from the visitor’s center, the main crater supplies guests with a spectacular view. Standing on the rim, visitors often smell the sulfur in the air, which at times has proven to be acidic enough for the park to close. Sightings of 79 species of birds have been identified inside the protected zone including the quetzal, emerald toucanet, black guan, and countless hummingbirds. Hiking along the Botos Trail you arrive at Botos Lake, a beautiful crater with a diameter of 1,312 ft (400 m) that has a beautiful jade color and is frequented by many of the bird species in the park.
Braulio Carillo National Park
Over 9,500 feet above sea level, rugged mountains, dormant volcanoes, deep canyons, swollen rivers, and seemingly interminable clouds, characterize Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo, The 118,000 Acre Park (84 percent of which is primary forest) extends from 9,530 feet above sea level atop Barva Volcano down to 118 feet at La Selva, in Sarapiquí in the Caribbean lowlands. Monkeys, tapirs, jaguars, kinkajous, sloths, raccoons, margays, and porcupines all live in this forest, and resident birds include the resplendent quetzal and the eagle. Orchids, bromeliads, heliconias, fungi, and mushrooms live closer to the floor.
Cultural Highlands Tour
Experience Costa Rican Culture and History with Finca Rosa Blanca’s knowledgeable guides, who will take you on a magical journey through the colonial towns of Barva and Heredia. Barva was founded in 1561 and has been declared a national monument. It is still filled with 17th and 18th century buildings made with walls of adobe and horse hair and roofed with ancient ceramic tiles. You will visit the famous mask makers of Barva, where they still pass on the traditions of mask making for the community festivals and the giant puppets that dance through the streets to the wild music of the cimimarron, a percussion and horn accompaniment. You will be immersed in the spiritual traditions of the people, visiting the Iglesia San Bartolome, completed in 1575, and then on to Heredia, the provincial capital founded in 1706 which has several lovely old Spanish Colonial style landmarks arranged around the Parque Central: the main cathedral, El Fortin, the Guard tower as well as the Casa de La Cultura, an historic colonial residence. Experience the sights, smells and sounds of the Central Market, crowded and bustling and filled with exotic fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs. On your way back to Rosa Blanca we will stop at the Museo de Cultura Popular (The Museum of Folk Art and Culture) which recreates Spanish colonial Costa Rica in a century-old farmhouse, restored with period pieces and ingenious tools. If you are lucky, docents in period costumes may use the beehive-shaped ovens to make typical Tico foods. But, not to worry, as you will return to El Tigre Vestido to enjoy a made-to-order typical meal of tamales, homemade tortillas with black bean soup and spicy or sweet empanadas. You will taste the exotic fruit from the market and drink freshly ground Rosa Blanca coffee made with a chorreador, the traditional Costa Rican way to prepare coffee. Enjoy!
On Saturdays you will visit the weekly outdoor produce market in Barva where Ticos shop to find the freshest produce. The local Fiestas, Patronales, Processiones , Turnos, y Topes, festivals with music and dance, religious processions and patron saint celebrations , horse and ox-cart parades and rodeos will be on the hotel’s calendar. Please let your concierge know if you would like to join in any of these festivities and they will create a special cultural itinerary for your stay. They also offer cooking classes and will arrange for dance instruction, both folkloric and salsa for your visit.
SIBU Chocolate Tour and Tasting
On the tour and tasting at SIBÚ Chocolate, guests embark on a fascinating journey through the history of cacao, from its origins as a sacred food of the gods to its use as a regional currency up to the 19th Century. You will discover how Europe transformed chocolate into the bars and bonbons we all enjoy today and witness the rebirth of chocolate as an artisan treat, packed with antioxidants. SIBÚ’s signature dark chocolate is made solely with premium, locally sourced organic cacao beans and organic sugar. During the visit, you will savor gourmet truffles, caramel and pure dark chocolate tasting squares accompanied by spirited discussion about cacao genetics, terroir and the future of fine flavor chocolate. Visitors will also learn about how cacao is grown, the indigenous cosmology surrounding it, and the social and environmental importance of the cacao crop to Costa Rica and the region.
La Paz Waterfall Gardens
When you think about Costa Rica, you probably imagine lush tropical rain forests, flowing white rivers, spectacular waterfalls, birds, butterflies, monkeys, sloths, snakes, frogs and jaguars. At La Paz Waterfall Gardens, you are guaranteed to see all that and more.
Five waterfalls, cloud forest and rain forest, safe hiking trails, aviary with 40 species of birds, toucan feeding, marmoset monkeys, insect exhibit, butterfly observatory and butterfly gardens, butterfly laboratory, two-toed sloths, Capuchin (white-faced) monkeys, black-handed spider monkeys, hummingbird garden with 26 documented species, hummingbird hand feeding in the mornings and afternoons, serpentarium (snake exhibit), Jaguar, pumas, ocelots, jaguarundi, margays, casita de la paz with petting zoo and ox cart, ranarium (frog exhibit), orchid exhibit, heliconia exhibit, bromeliad exhibit.