If you have decided to visit Costa Rica for dental care, you may have a few extra days on your hands between appointments.  Consider adding a few days onto the beginning or end of your trip to take advantage of enjoying all that Costa Rica has to offer.  Naturally, you may not feel well enough to enjoy whitewater rafting or scuba diving, but there are still plenty of low-key activities to experience within a few hours of San Jose.


Poas National Park
The Poas national park is about an hour’s drive from San Jose and offers easy hikes through the cloud forest, and a short 15 minute walk to viewpoints with spectacular views of the Poas volcano.

Mercado Central
This is the Central Market in San Jose, selling everything from fresh fruits, vegetables, and souvenirs to native herbs, Costa Rican coffee and cheap meals.  The sodas, or small restaurants are a great bet for an inexpensive, authentic lunch.  This is not primarily a market for tourists, and many locals do their shopping here.

Tabacon Hot Springs & Resort
The Tabacon Hot Springs and Resort is located a few hours from San Jose, in the town of La Fortuna.  This resort has a renowned hotel and spa, and includes one of the purest natural hot springs in the world.  At night, you can see magma erupting from the nearby Arenal volcano while you soak away your concerns.  Nearby to the resort is the famous Monteverde cloud forest and Lake Arenal.  This is best experienced with a one or two night stay.

Costa Rica aerial tram
Most of the wildlife and activity in the rainforest occurs in the canopy.  Taking an aerial tram ride through the canopy is an excellent way to experience the wonders of the rainforest –all without having to take any strenuous hikes or expeditions.

Manuel Antonio National Park
A good overnight trip some San Jose.  Manuel Antonio National Park offers incredible white sand beaches bordering lush evergreen forests.  Canopy tours, sportfishing, birdwatching, sunset sailing golfing and beach activities are just a few of the options in Manuel Antonio.

Playo Jaco
Playo Jaco is two hours away from San Jose, and the closest beach to the capitol city.  Enjoy a quintessential friendly Costa Rica beach town with nearly two miles of clean, sandy beaches.  The road to Playo Jaco is well maintained, and comfortable private shuttle buses come here daily from San Jose.

Coffee farm tour
Taking a tour of a local coffee farm is an excellent idea for visitors looking for relaxed activities.  See how the coffee is grown, and processed.  Sample some of Costa Rica’s justifiably famous coffee and pick some up to bring home.  Numerous plantations offer tours around San Jose.

Visit a botanical garden
Costa Rica is home to a staggering amount of biodiversity.  Numerous botanical gardens can be found around San Jose and include herb & flower gardens, orchid & native plant gardens.  Some gardens are set up a butterfly and hummingbird sanctuaries with dozens of species present at any one time.  Bring your camera!

Go golfing
Costa Rica boasts more than ten professional golf courses. Close to San Jose, there are a number of excellent golf courses to choose from.  The Costa Rica Country Club in Escazu offers a 9-hole golf course with tennis courts and a swimming pool.   Or, check out the Valle del Sol in Santa Ana, which has a brand new an 18-hole par 72 course.

Enjoy a spa
Costa Rica has innumerable quality spas to help you relax, unwind, and heal.  And, like at the dentist, expect to pay much less for a great massage or spa treatment in Costa Rica.  Ask your hotel concierge for recommendations close to your lodging.