Outdoor Activities in Cartago

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The Central Valley region of Costa Rica, Cartago makes for a thrilling destination for travel adventure. Highlights of this province include Turrialba, the white water rafting capital of the country, which provides tourists with access to both the Reventazón and Pacuare Rivers. If you're looking to carve through rapids, this is the place. Another standout is the Irazu Volcano National Park, home to a network of hiking trails and A-class bird-watching.

White Water Rafting

Cruise through two of the top rivers in the world in this hotspot. Home to the Pacuare and Reventazon, Cartago is no stranger to both beginner and expert paddlers. These two rios cut through a landscape filled with farms, gorgeous old churches and national parks. The Pacuare has been ranked one of the best destinations in the world for rafting, taking riders through the roaring bends and pouring waterfalls.

Not to be outdone, the Reventazon sits near the top of Costa Rica's list for most adrenaline-pumping rivers, offering Class II to V rapids. This river stems from Lake Cachi and flows all the way to the Caribbean, and is split into two sections: Pascua and Florida. Along the way, you'll spot a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, sloths and lots of birds. With dozens of tour operators in the area, families have no trouble finding the perfect adventure.

Eco Tours

Despite being the smallest province in the country, Cartago offers a mix of biodiversity and preservation programs that help to maintain its flora and fauna.

Chirripo National Park is a gem. As the second-highest peak in Central America, Chirripo Volcano is truly a sight to behold. This park shelters the largest population of tapir in the country, along with monkeys, peccary, jaguars and the respledent quetzal. On some tours, you can traverse through five different ecosystems in one day!

Other places include Tapanti National Park near Orosi and the Volcano Cordillera Reserve, both of which preserve the natural beauty of the area.

Adventure Travel Tours

Cartago may not boast any coastline, but it is filled with plenty of steep mountainsides and thick rainforests to explore. Hike the craters of Irazu, with its stunning green waters. This region is also home to the Turrialba Volcano, a stratovolcano that stands a total of 3,340 meters high. From the summit, hikers can see the Irazu, Barva and Poas volcanoes in the distance. Despite the sparse facilities, the trip is still worthwhile. You can also take off on great trails in the Savegre Reserve, which will prove a remote adventure where waterfalls tumble and the treetops play host to colorful birds.

Canopy Tours

For zip-lining adventure, head to Turrialba, located just north of the Central Valley. Here you can cruise through the treetops on some of the most heart-pounding courses in the region. On some of the tours you can even go canyoning, which involves rappelling and descending cliffs and waterfalls within the canyon. If you consider yourself an adrenaline buff, you won't want to miss these activities! A handful of operators will take you to Puente Vigas Canyon in Turrialba. Most tours are available for children aged 12 and older.

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