To start the day, grab a coffee and some ﬂower-shaped butter cookies for the road from Pastelería Merayo and start your trip to Orosi.
Next, then hit CATIE, the Center for Tropical Agronomy Research & Education. It’s the world’s foremost research facility on tropical botany, and guided tours of the laboratories, greenhouses and the library are available, as well as self-guided tours.
For more information, visit www.catie.ac.cr or call 2556-2700.
Hacienda Tayutic Hotel
For something truly unique, cruise up to the grounds at Hacienda Tayutic Hotel. This hotel has a labyrinth, a 300-year-old chapel and a traditional trapiche (sugar mill).
Tours require at least ﬁve people, include lunch, and can be booked by calling 2538-1717.
Another good stop for lunch is Bocadito del Cielo, which offers great views, coffee and chorreadas (delicious Costa Rican corn pancakes).
The gorgeous Orosi Valley
A little over an hour from Turrialba, the clandestine basin offers mountain vistas, hot springs and nearby, well-paved loop through cultural and historical treasures galore.
When you arrive at Orosi, take your Hyundai Creta for a spin on the 32-kilometer loop around the manmade Cachí Lake.
Start your journey by GPSing the Ujarrás Ruins, which are a bit northeast of Orosi. Here you’ll ﬁnd the crumbling walls of a 1693 church and a darn good picnic spot.
Next, get back to the main loop and GPS the Cachí Dam Street Vendors. Here, you’ll ﬁnd the Central Valley’s main source of electricity and a reliable place to buy pejibaye (a starchy palm fruit that locals eat with mayonnaise at tea time).
Lunch at Casona del Cafetal
Continuing on around the lake, you’ll hit La Casona del Cafetal, a great lunch spot on a picturesque lake. And then, the most famous attraction in the area – Casa del Soñador.
This log cabin contains hundreds of statuettes carved from coffee root by the sons of a famous artist, and they make for excellent souvenirs.
Dinner at Restaurante Coto
Things close early in the Orosi area, so be sure to show up back in town at Restaurante Coto before 9pm. The standout dish at this old wooden Tico eatery is the whole fried ﬁsh, and the blackberry juice is thick and tart. Tuck in early and you may just have the energy to visit Tapantí National Park in the morning.
Tapantí National Park
This secluded park is just 11 kilometers from the town and offers excellent waterfall hikes and legendary birding.
If you fall in love with Tapantí National Park, stay an extra night at Kiri Mountain Lodge. They’ll let you catch and cook your own salmon trout!
Orosi Lodge offers you cozy rooms; each with a queen size bed with orthopedic mattress, private hot water bath, ceiling fan, fridge and coffee maker. Upper ﬂoor rooms have shared balcony with a stunning view of Irazu and recently active Turrialba volcanoes; ground ﬂoor rooms have shared terrace with a nice garden view. Complimentary organic coffee in your room.