We leave San José on a well maintained asphalt road eastwards. After about a 30 minute ride, we turn off the major highway and start the climbing the majestic Irazú volcano. Starting at an altitude of approx. 3.500 ft and reaching the peak at 11.000 ft (!), we will not only pass an endless number of curves and turns, but also many different vegetation zones, characterized by changes in altitude and climate, passing ranches with cattle and horses and riding over hilly fields where potatoes, onions and other vegetables are grown.
After visiting the impressive volcano with its green lagoon deep inside, we will go on to the second stage of our trip, which takes us through the town of Cartago, the religious capitol of Costa Rica. After another 20 minutes we start climbing down to the beautiful Orosi valley, enjoying scenic view as we drive through coffee plantations and along an artificial lake. After the small town of Orosi, the road turns into a gravel as we continue to the Tapantí National Park. On an old supply-road we can enter deep into the park, where we will have some breathtaking views of untouched rain forests and the valley of Rio Macho.
After a long ride, we then have lunch at the rustic Kiri lodge, where we can enjoy freshly caught trout for lunch. After a good rest, we return to San Jose. If time allows, we can take a larger loop that will include several gravel sections.
After lunch, we will go on over small gravel trails through coffee and vegetable plantations to the small town of Ujarras, located beautifully on an artificial lake, surrounded by green mountains and rain forests. Here, we can visit "Dreamer's House" of the famous artist Macedonio Quesada. In the afternoon we return via another scenic road to San José.
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