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All these towns are northwest of San José and can be visited in a long day trip if you have a car, perhaps in conjunction with a visit to Poás Volcano (when it reopens) and/or the Waterfall Gardens. The scenery here is rich and verdant, and the small towns and scattered farming communities are truly representative of Costa Rica’s agricultural heartland and campesino (rural farmer) tradition. This is a great area to explore on your own in a rental car, if you don’t mind getting lost a bit (roads are narrow, winding, and poorly marked). If you’re relying on buses, you’ll be able to visit any of the towns listed below, but probably just one or two per day.