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Cartago Day Trip by Rail from San Jose: Bike Ride and Market Tour

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2 travellers
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    What to Expect
    Take a break from the urban hum of San Jose with a visit to the charming neighboring town of Cartago. Connect with your knowledgeable guide at the beautiful Parque de Español (Spain Park) in central San Jose, and then kick off the day with a walking tour of some of the capital’s lesser-known attractions. You’ll pass by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Liquor Factory while learning historical trivia along the way.

    A short hike into the hills above San Jose leads to an Atlantic Railroad station. Here you’ll board a train for the 45-minute ride to Cartago. Rolling into the mountains, you’ll pass verdant coffee plantations and other beautiful scenery of the Costa Rican countryside.

    Once you arrive in Cartago, join many of the locals who navigate the historic city streets by bicycle. Your guide will lead you past architectural and cultural highlights and share interesting background on the town’s colonial history.

    Immerse yourself in the sights and smells of the Central Market — an important focal point of daily life for many of Cartago’s residents. Wander among the market stalls, and sample fresh produce and local specialties for an authentic taste of regional cuisine. Join local commuters on a bus ride for the return trip to San Jose. Your guide can provide tips on other urban sites to explore or direct you back to your city hotel.
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    Important Information
    Departure Point
    The Yellow House, Casa Amarilla, Calle 11, Otoya, San José, Costa Rica
    Departure Time
    7:00 AM
    Return Details
    Atlantic Railroad Station, Av. 3, Aranjuez, San José, Costa Rica
    • Local English-speaking guide
    • Food samples
    • Use of bike and helmet
    • Hotel pickup and drop-off
    • Additional food and drinks
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    Additional Info
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Minimum age is 10 years
    • Maximum group size is 12 persons
    • Casual clothing. Please bring a hat and sunglasses for hot weather.
    Cancellation Policy
    For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
    Traveller rating
    • 13
    • 2
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    • 0
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    • English
    Popular mentions
    Loved the train, bicycle and bus modes of travel. Visiting the market and meeting locals provided an authetic experience. Angel's passion for his country and its history provided a great orientation to the country, Cartego and the locals. I strongly recommend this tour for
    Read more
    This tour was a perfect combination of public transportation, walking & riding bikes. We had a great time, and our tour guide Vinicio was very laid back and very knowledgeable! We learned a lot about Cartago and it's history. There were many neat stops along the way. Cartago
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    Response from Rock U, Front Office Manager at Cartago Day Trip by Rail from San Jose: Bike Ride and Market Tour
    Responded 5 Jul 2019
    Thank you so much for your words, Kara. Glad to hear you enjoy this experience! Hope to have you back.
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    I did this tour my second day in San Jose. Fully rested, my mom and I ventured out with Vinny. The train ride was unique and fun. Vinny was kind, knowledgeable and patient with my mom and I as we huffed and puffed up the steepest hill. The empanadas and coconut water at the
    Read more
    Response from CostaRicaFriendly, Director de Recepción at Cartago Day Trip by Rail from San Jose: Bike Ride and Market Tour
    Responded 12 May 2019
    Hello Kel! Thank you so much for your words. Vinny sure is a great one and we are lucky to have him. Hope to see you soon.
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    This was a great way to begin our trip! Getting to spend the morning with a local guide and ask her a variety of questions was very helpful to learn more about life in Costa Rica - definitely recommend putting one of these tours at the front end of your stay in San Jose! We
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    Response from CostaRicaFriendly, Director de Recepción at Cartago Day Trip by Rail from San Jose: Bike Ride and Market Tour
    Responded 13 May 2019
    Hi Rebecca! So nice to hear you had a good time. We hope to have you back soon.
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    This had to be the best City Tour and definitely worth the price of admission.First you go on a railrod trip through San Jose to Cartago on a old locomotive. Then you join the tour guide for a wonderful Bike tour throughout the old City of Cartago. This was the best and will do
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    About the operator
    By: San Jose Urban Adventures
    431 reviews
    Certificate of Excellence
    Hinsdale, Illinois
    Very enjoyable tour and dinner
    We really enjoyed this tour and learned a lot about Costa Rica - it's history, culture, food etc. Our guide
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    Great tour!
    Loved the train, bicycle and bus modes of travel. Visiting the market and meeting locals provided an authetic
    Read more
    Great food market and historic downtown tour
    Informative and fun, my family and I really enjoyed learning about local food and some historic sights in the
    Read more
    Vancouver, Washington
    Very good walking tour and tasty dinner
    We really enjoyed this walking tour of San Jose that began in the Central Market and stopped at several points of
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    Pros and cons to consider
    Of the three food tours I’ve been on (two in Europe, and this one) unfortunately this one was my least favorite.
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    David A
    Marathon, Florida
    Good guide, encouraged group interaction. Food and tequila shots were very good. I recommend for a fun evening.
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    Sounded great but not executed as advertised
    This tour is advertised as The Art of Craft Beer where you will experience the CR craft beer revolution, sample
    Read more
    Great Food and Walking Tour!l
    Gladys did a fantastic job showing us the food, history and Architecture of San Jose. She definitely hit the
    Read more
    My Girlfriend and I Loved it!
    Eli was a great guide - he took us to both of the markets in San Jose and gave us opportunities to try new and
    Read more
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Sights & Bites Tour - 3 hours
    We did the three hour Sights & Bites Tour with Gladys. She was a fantastic guide. On time, spoke great English
    Read more
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Would've been lost without a guided tour
    We visited San Jose during a holiday week and the streets were packed with people. We definitely would have felt
    Read more
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Take this tour!
    Angel was great. My wife and I were able to take in a lot of culture in a short amount of time and not at all
    Read more
    Variety of activities
    My husband and I enjoyed our trip with Eliu. We also enjoyed the variety of activities--from the stop at the
    Read more
    Davie, Florida
    San Jose Walking Tour
    There was a lot of interesting information packed into this tour and we thought it was a great way to begin our
    Read more
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Great Tour, great food
    My husband and I loved this walking tour of San Jose. We chose to go on our first day in Costa Rica and it was a
    Read more
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