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The top 5 coffee tours in Costa Rica

Coffee is very important in Costa Rica and has a long history, as coffee was the first export good and helped the economy immensely.

In this blog, I will tell you more about the coffee and in which places you can get the best and most authentic experience for yourself.

Coffee - The Golden Bean

In the late 1700’ s, the Ticos discovered that the climate and soil conditions were perfect to grow coffee. In 1832, Costa Rica began to export their coffee, as the first boat was sent to Chile. There, it was re-bagged and sent to England. At the same time, the famous carretas (ox-carts) were used to bring the coffee to the harbour of Puntarenas on the Pacific Coast. The ox-carts are handcrafted and colourfully painted. Today, an important place to see them is in Sarchí, Alajuela, where they were originally built.

Around 10 years later, the first ship was finally sent directly from Costa Rica to England, which then started to invest in the coffee production of Costa Rica. Until World War ll, England has been the most important client to Costa Rica, which helped the Ticos leave the poverty conditions they where living in, as well as the construction of streets, street lighting and the National Theater in San Jose. Since the coffee production helped the countries economy so much, the coffee bean is today still known as the “Golden Bean”, and still an important export good of the country. 

Costa Rican coffee is known in the whole world for its good quality and taste which makes it also a popular tourist attraction in the country. Coffee is mostly cultivated in the Central Valley and as it grows mostly close to the volcanoes, every region has a different taste. 

1. Monteverde: 

Monteverde is located in the North of Costa Rica and is known for the cloud forest, which is a highly visited tourist destination. The Santa Elena Reserve and other parks are popular for hiking and zip-lining, but also many beautiful birds, for example, the Quetzal, can be seen here. 

Monteverde is also known for coffee production; the coffee here has a light acidity and is a little bitter. In the 1990s, the farmers of Monteverde earned some of the highest prices paid in the world for their coffee beans.

In Monteverde, we visited a local farmer who explained to us how coffee cultivation developed and how his family participated in developing the instruments to dry coffee. At his farm, he also grows other fruits like sugar cane, bananas, and other fruit trees, which he showed us and explained the cultivation of each one. It is a very interesting and authentic experience, which I highly recommend you to do when you are in this area!

2. Alajuela, Poás

Doka Diciembre 2009

Another important location for coffee cultivation in Costa Rica is Alajuela, at the Poás volcano. The volcano has one of the biggest craters in the world, but due to the high activity in April 2017, the local residences had to be evacuated temporarily and the Poás National Park closed for visitors. In September 2018 the Park reopened, though a previous reservation is obligatory and the amount of visitors at a time is limited. 

Anyway, the surroundings of the volcano are very beautiful. Thanks to the volcano, the climate, and soil here show the perfect conditions to grow coffee and other plants, which makes nature very lush and green. 

Here you can visit an actual coffee farm and learn about ancient techniques to produce coffee, as well as the process of cultivation, harvesting, and roasting. 

Of course, you can book just the coffee tour, but I recommend you to combine this Tour with the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, which is close to the coffee farm. At the Waterfall Gardens, five big waterfalls flow down the mountain in succession, in the middle of the stunning rainforest. There is also an animal sanctuary and a restaurant where you can try the typical Costa Rican food. This is one of my favourite tours and I wrote a blog with all the information about La Paz, which you can read here.

This was the first coffee tour I have ever participated in and it was really interesting and informative. I did the Tour together with the La Paz Waterfall Gardens and all in all it was a great day I always like to remember!

This Tour includes the transfer from and to San José, a guide, lunch in a typical restaurant, the coffee tour and the entrance to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

3. Turrialba: 

tueste de cafe aquiares

Turrialba is a small city in the province of Cartago, in the beautiful Central Valley. Not far from the capital San José, you can admire the beautiful nature of Turrialba and the active Turrialba Volcano. Turrialba is also a hot spot for whitewater rafting, for example on the Pacuare River and famous for its cheese production.

The small city is also home to the biggest coffee plantation in Costa Rica, with a total expansion of 924 hectares. Coffee production is an important part of the village, as many people work there. For this reason, it is also called the “Coffee Village”. The taste of the coffee here is mildly acid and has a soft aroma.

During a coffee tour, we drove through the coffee plantation to a viewpoint where we got an incredible view over the huge coffee fields. Later, we learned everything about the production, different types of coffee, drying, and packaging. The farmers are very nice and open-hearted and showed us different flavours, textures, and colours, and of course, a coffee tasting was also included! Very delicious!

4. Cerro de la Muerte, Talamanca Mountain range

This coffee farm is surrounded by mountains, in the middle of the green nature which is home to many birds. It is close to the Cerro de la Muerte at the Talamanca Mountain range in the south of Costa Rica. Here, coffee is cultivated since 1960 and the coffee tour is very informative. They told us about the quality of coffee and how the weather influences the coffee. What I liked is that the coffee is cultivated 100% environmentally friendly. Later we learned about the difference between the colours and what is important when it comes to packaging. The coffee had a caramel-taste, which was very delicious. I really liked this tour because they give you more background information, while others are more specialized in the cultivation and roasting process. 

5. Central Valley

granos de cafe

We did this tour as a day trip from San José. We live close to the Braulio Carillo National Park, which you have to pass to get to this coffee farm in Sarapiquí. But the best thing is, that the coffee tour was just a part of a whole adventure and history. 

The coffee tour was in Alajuela, but close to Heredia. We learned about the history, the cultivation, and the processing of coffee. It was shorter than other tours, but also informative and interesting. Then we visited a farm in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, where a Tico grows mostly pineapple but also other products like sugar cane. But let’s talk about the pineapple!

Have you ever tried a ripe pineapple in its country of origin? Of course, if it has to be exported to Europe, they are greener and not that sweet. But if you eat them directly here in Costa Rica, they taste so good! Afterwards, we visited a cocoa farm. Like coffee, cocoa has an important history.

Years ago, cocoa beans were used as payment and an important part of the rituals of the indigenous people. The indigenous group Bribrí in Talamanca still uses cocoa in their rituals. As you know, cocoa is an important product in the world, as it is used to make delicious drinks and chocolate. When we came back to San José, we were tired but happy and thinking about all the delicious things we tried that day. So if you want to experience more than a coffee tour in one day and you are looking for a day trip from the capital, this tour is perfect for you!

I am sure you will enjoy these coffee tours, no matter what you decide to do! These tours are for every age, and no matter if you like drinking coffee or not, they are all very informative and interesting. If you like to do one of these tours, you can book them directly here or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you have questions or need help planning your trip to Costa Rica, we will always be more than happy to assist you!

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  • Janaina & Dieter, Brazil

    The trip was wonderful! Your help was invaluable and without your choices it would not have been so good! I am very very satisfied and very happy with the choices you made!

    Thank you very much for everything!

    Janaina & Dieter, Brazil
  • Kathrin, Ines, Matthias & Ingo, Germany

    Hello dear Aline, many thanks to you for the great compilation and organization of the trip. We were able to spend eventful, interesting and wonderful days in Costa Rica and will keep them in good memory. A thank you also goes to the ARA Tours team, which was available 24/7 for problems and questions, which were solved and answered quickly and reliably. The punctuality of the transfers offered should also be emphasized. In summary, it was a wonderful holiday.

    Kind regards

    Kathrin, Ines, Matthias & Ingo, Germany
  • Carina & Thomas, Germany

    Hello dear Aline,
    Now we have arrived back at San Jose Airport after a great trip. Everything worked out great and the tour was just perfectly planned and organized. Thank you very much. We take a lot of positive memories with us.
    Best regards.

    Carina & Thomas, Germany
  • Yvonne, Switzerland

    The Costa Rica trip together with my family is already behind us - it was wonderful!!! Everything went smoothly from A to Z, we had a wonderful time, no incidents and wonderful experiences.
    We all enjoyed it very much; the nature is enormous, but also the warm-hearted people, the cleanliness, the food - we are very enthusiastic!
    At this point I would like to thank you very much for your support in the preparation, for all the bookings, clarifications and enquiries!!!
    We visited the waterfall in La Fortuna and had a great view of the Arenal. In Monteverde we did a Hanging Bridges and Zipline tour and in Nosara a surf course. In Finca Rosa Bianca we did the coffee tour, it was all great, fun and interesting 😊. All in all, we saw lots of animals, always ate well, enjoyed the beaches....even in rainy weather 😊. Often we were even glad that it was overcast, otherwise it would have been almost toouuu hot for us.
    So THANK YOU again so much for everything!!!!

    Yvonne, Switzerland
  • Christina, Switzerland

    Many thanks for the extensive support (before, during and after the trip) and the professional handling of our concerns. With your support we had a smooth and unforgettable vacation in Costa Rica! Our favorite hotels: Hotel Plaza Yara and the Poas Volcano Lodge - a dream!
    All the best

    Christina, Switzerland
  • Jeanne, Bernd & Bill, USA

    Yay! I´m glad we are back on track. Thank you again for helping us with all these changes.
    I´m glad we choose ARA-you are amazing! Thanks for all your help! It made it a very memorable visit!

    Jeanne, Bernd & Bill, USA
  • Janka, The Netherlands

    Hi Eli & ARA Team,
    We have spoken to the guest and they are super enthusiastic about their Costa Rica roundtrip! Everything was well organized, nice hotels, nice mix of activities & beach and they have big compliments for you guys!!
    Many thanks for all the good work!! The guest highly appreciate it!!
    They had lunch nearby in Ara Ambigua Lodge, and they loved this place. Friendly staff and good food!
    Do you work with this accommodation? If so, we would love hear 😊
    Once again, heads off for this amazing trip!
    With warm regards

    Janka, The Netherlands
  • Thomas, Deborah, Eva & Paula, Switzerland

    Dear Priska
    Happily I write some words to you in English, so you can easily forward them also to Ara Tours, please. Thank you all, we spent a magic time in Costa Rica! Baumeler's and Ara Tours organisation and logistics were perfect, everything worked out even better than we expected. The tours were brilliant, we really enjoyed everything very very much!
    All the accomodation was absolutely wonderful... the setting, the quality, the food, with happy helpful friendly staff everywhere. It was a wonderful way to experience this beautiful country the way we did, on a private tour with personal guide and drivers. We saw and learnt sooo much - it would have been impossible to do so on our own.
    Especially we praise our brilliant guide Fernando Perez, we benefited so much from his truly wide knowledge and deep love for his Country which he passed on in lovely encouraging way. We even became friends and we will meet in Switzerland coming September! Also our driver Carlos Sandi was great, not only as a driver but also as a compagnion, animal spotter and photographer. Thank you!
    So.... now we just enjoy our last day...
    Sunny greetings, pura vida

    Thomas, Deborah, Eva & Paula, Switzerland
  • Yvonne & Andrea, Switzerland

    Hello all
    Unfortunately, our wonderful trip is already over and everyday life has caught up with us again. We would like to thank you very much for everything. The trip was planned exactly according to our wishes and we have seen so many beautiful places.
    Thank you Stefanie!
    We have felt completely comfortable and top cared for by you. Via Whats App we got immediate answers to our questions, with the car everything worked out great. In all locations we were treated very warmly and nicely. It was just so indescribably beautiful, we will dream of the beautiful experiences for a long time. In any case, we will warmly recommend you and hope for a next time. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Best regards.

    Yvonne & Andrea, Switzerland
  • Anita, Switzerland

    We have arrived safely in Switzerland and have already returned to work.
    It was a wonderful trip you put together for us.
    Your excellent service, as well as the 24 hour support service from ARA Tours, was truly outstanding.
    I have already recommended you several times and would book with you again and again. Thank you very much and keep me informed if there are any interesting offers.
    Best wishes.

    Anita, Switzerland
  • Lukas & Isabelle, Switzerland

    Hello Pedro, our time in CR is coming to an end and we wanted to say "thank you very much for organizing a phenomenal week". Everything has been well organized and we have seen many beauties of nature. Thanks!

    Lukas & Isabelle, Switzerland
  • Reinout & Yvonne, The Netherlands

    Thanks Jenny for the clear answer. We will make an appointment via the link you gave us.
    Today we visited National Parc Cabo Blanco. What an amazing park, so quiet for tourists, so full of animals, really lovely and therefore together with Monte Verde, Cahuita and Corcovado the park today, Cabo Blanco, scores high in our ranking of most beautiful parks of CR.These parks give us reason, together with the Pura Vida in CR, to come back soon. We'll keep in contact.

    Reinout & Yvonne, The Netherlands
  • Dominik, Germany

    Good day Jennifer
    As we have already told Simone, the stay at Lapa Rios is extremely enriching, thanks to the well planned planting and the untouched environment we see a lot of animals. Contrary to the plans before the stay, we do not want to visit more animals in captivity at the end. We will have a look at the few hours before we leave.
    We thank you and your team very much for the excellent advice and the permanent support! We can only recommend Ara Tours.
    Best regards.

    Dominik, Germany
  • Daniel, Jana & Theo, Germany

    A big thank to you, you saved our vacation!
    Communication already worked very well in Germany. The help from you, especially through Aline, should be mentioned here. This was fantastic from the first WhatsApp message to the last. We already know Costa Rica, so we knew what we wanted and what not. Ara Tours was an important point of contact for us. We are very grateful to Aline precisely because our actual travel agent cancelled our trip 36 hours before departure. She immediately organized everything for us. Whether the hotel in beautiful Punta Leona, the tours to the national parks, even the shuttle service with the great driver Guillerno Ortega has to be mentioned here. We are very grateful to you, dear Aline, but also to the entire Ara Tours team. You too made our almost 3-week trip to Costa Rica unforgettable again. We would love to come back and of course we will book through Ara Tours again.

    Daniel, Jana & Theo, Germany
  • Alexander & family, Switzerland

    Thank you, everything really worked out great. Super organization and at any time quick info / help / support from you!
    We liked it very much. The conclusion in Quepos was crowning. We liked the beach in the National Park Manuel Antonio very much. We would have liked to stay longer, but we take home many wonderful, unforgettable impressions. PURA VIDA!
    Many thanks to you Aline! We will gladly recommend you to others.

    Alexander & family, Switzerland
  • Neumann Family, Germany

    - The route was super planned, first on the beach time to arrive and then only from Monteverde with excursions inland etc. and at the end again beach - perfect!
    - Support from Ara Tours was VERY good!!! Through Whatsapp reachability the service was great, very quick answers / very flexible, good suggestions etc. Also with the doctor Ara Tours helped with translations by phone - that was really very, very good!
    - The home stay day was an absolute highlight - very authentic - so we got to know the locals REAL, the family was super friendly and very open and have talked about everything. Not at all touristy perceived.

    Neumann Family, Germany
  • Marine & Bruno, France

    We would like to thank you personally for this beautiful trip that you organised for us and for the follow-up that you did throughout the stay. A big thank you also to Jennifer d'Ara tours! Thank you again and have a great week!

    Marine & Bruno, France
  • Walter, Switzerland

    We really appreciated your (almost) daily updates from Costa Rica on Covid and related issues. That was a highlight compared to other incoming agents worldwide! We thank you for your effort and wish you that you manage the coming time well and stay healthy.

    Walter, Switzerland
  • Ronald, Germany

    Our great compliments for keeping us informed every day on the developments. We wish you all the best and keep yourself and families in good health and mood during this unprecedented period!

    Ronald, Germany
  • Kathrin, Germany

    You are really super! It is impressive how you manage the crisis with your super flow of information and the great reversal. Hats off!

    Kathrin, Germany
  • Michael, Germany

    Hello, we were on a round trip in Costa Rica from 27.11., which was booked through BigXtra and organised by them. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much. The tour was simply amazing! The support by Carlos was just great. We have done many trips before, but this one was an unforgettable experience thanks to Carlos. Carlos speaks very good German and was able to sensitively introduce us to Costa Rica, its incomparable nature and its great, friendly inhabitants. Pura Vida became for us a term for the attitude towards life in Costa Rica. Please say hello to Carlos from us and once again a huge thank you to him in the name of the whole group of 8. We wish him only the best for his future.

    Michael, Germany
  • Evelyne, Switzerland

    Wie just did a 4 week trip in Costa Rica which was organised from ARA tours and we really liked it - well done Ara Tours! We also had a guide - his name is Enrique. His German is really good and he knows a lot about Costa Rica and he showed us a lot of animals. We had a wonderful time with hime - thank you so much Enrique!

    Evelyne, Switzerland
  • Tanja, Germany

    perfect tour perfect tour guide pablo, everything very well organised 👍👍👍👍🇨🇷🇨🇨🇷 were thrilled

    Tanja, Germany
  • Ines, Germany

    Many thanks and great praise to our tour guide Mauricio and our bus driver Adrian! We felt very comfortable during the 2 weeks in Costa Rica. The wide-ranging knowledge of Mauricio and the super driving skills of Adrian were particularly admirable. Thanks to the eagle eyes of both of them, we had the opportunity to observe a variety of animals in Costa Rica. Thank you for everything!

    Ines, Germany
  • Sabine, Germany

    I can only recommend ARA Tours. Thanks again to Nicole for the great planning of the tour and the support. Our tour guide Peter Käser was simply incredible (a walking encyclopaedia) and always had an answer to all my questions about the flora and fauna and the history of CR. Our driver Julio carried my father on his hands, for which I am very grateful. CR is also worth a trip for wheelchair users at any time (with ARA Tours, of course).

    Sabine, Germany
  • Thieme Family, Germany

    We would like to thank you once again for organizing our trip [...] through the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Our special thanks go to our tour guide Enrique, who with his extensive knowledge of flora and fauna about his country brought it very close to us and made us want to come even a second time. We were very glad and happy to travel with him, as he was also very committed to our problems on site, in addition to his competent function as a tour guide.

    Thieme Family, Germany
  • Antonia-Maria & Boris, Austria

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sensational effort! I do not know such a competent tour guide as with you really from nowhere else... and we have already traveled a lot... 🙏🏻🍀

    Antonia-Maria & Boris, Austria
  • Katja, Germany

    I wanted to thank you again for the great Costa Rica trip. We flew back home very happy and with many great impressions. A compliment for the super organisation. Everything worked out perfectly (except for the handover of the rental car, which was force majeure...). So thank you again and I have already recommended you to friends:-)!

    Katja, Germany
  • Denise & Alain, Switzerland

    Thank you very much for your email and the tickets. We really appreciate how quickly and efficiently you deal with our requests each time!

    Denise & Alain, Switzerland
  • Philippe, Switzerland

    Hello Christine Thank you very much for this information. The support is super👍 many thanks Gruss

    Philippe, Switzerland
  • Marianne & Stefan Gräub, Switzerland

    Otherwise, the planned trip was a complete success. Everything went well and the visits you organised were all very interesting. The visits you organised were all very interesting and gave us a great insight into the respective topics. The fact that the Ticos are very friendly and always ready to help was fully confirmed.

    Marianne & Stefan Gräub, Switzerland

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