This attractive town is best known as the starting point for whitewater rafting trips. But the city’s increasingly active namesake volcano has brought it another kind of fame in recent years. In March of 2015, a series of ash eruptions briefly closed the Juan Santamaría International Airport. Despite all the volcanic activity, Turrialba is considered safe, as the eruption patterns head away from the town.

Turrialba is situated in the heart of a rich agricultural region where coffee and sugar cane are the principal crops. Along with rafters, many come to explore the area’s pre-Columbian history and tropical botany.

The area is lower in elevation than San José and much of the rest of the Central Valley, and for visitors (and the happy crops) this translates into generally higher temperatures. See “The Central Valley” map on p ###.

Turrialba sits on the old transit route between San José and the Caribbean port city Limón. This makes Turrialba an excellent stop en route to the Caribbean coast or back.