Cartago Day Trip by Rail from San Jose: Bike Ride and Market Tour - Reviews

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Leslie H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2018

I enjoyed the train ride to Cartago. The Cartago market and the opportunity to experience authentic empanadas was wonderful. The bike ride was refreshing. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly.

Karin R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2017

Amazing is right - wonderful day spent with an excellent tour guide, Vinicio! Did a train ride, bicycle ride around Cartago, then a local bus ride back to San Jose. Got to visit the local market in Cartago, as well as the wonderful cathedral there. Vinicio is a wealth of knowledge and information about the area, history and culture, and his love for his country is extremely evident throughout the tour. What a lovely experience for my first time to Costa Rica! A special bonus was sampling thebest empanadas in Cartago made fresh by Rolando and Angelina in the market!

Jillian Y

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2017

Natalie my tour guide was exceptional. She took me around to a few sites in San Jose before our very scenic train ride through the country side to Cartago. She shared with my a local desert on the way and we talked about the culture of Costa Rica. Once in Cartago, we had a brief visit to a local art gallery and then went on our way on a beautiful bike ride through the city center. Afterwards, we visited the local market and we visited various stalls.. the best being the most delicious bean empanadas I've ever had. Natalie was knowledgeable, funny, engaging, helpful and an excellent tour guide and host.

Ravi V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

My wife and I had a great time on this trip. Juergen,our guide was well informed and shared all his knowledge about Costa Rica. We loved his enthusiasm and love for his country. When we arrived in Cartago, our bikes were waiting for us. We also met Eric the owner of Urban adventures who dropped us back in our hotel in Eskazu. I would highly recommend this trip as well as other trips organized by Urban. The trip lasted just under 5 hours and we had rest of the day to check out San Jose and other points of interest. Pura Vida!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2016

Bring water!!! Our tour guy was excellent! He had so much knowledge and was so proud about his country it was great. The ride was a little intense but worth it, views were incredible.

Ian W G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

This was an amazing tour that allowed me to learn about and see many parts of Costa Rican culture e.g., commerce, religion, transportation, food, education, social structure, political climate, history, and language. The guide Jurgen and his assistant were tremendously helpful and communicated well in English. They were even curious to learn about the U.S. After a little while, I honestly felt like I was hanging out with my buddies. This trip is for anyone who is not dissuaded by a small amount of physical activity. Thanks for making this a great adventure guys!

Zuriel R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2016

This tour was great!!! You will feel like a local, first the train ride and then the bus ride! The bike riding was awesome!!! We had a lot of fun!! The church at Cartago is beautiful!

Jan-Sheri M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the history and culture of San Jose and Cartago. He was an excellent guide and made sure that we took full advantage of the rich history of the people of Costa Rica and explored all of the wonderful sights. I would recommend this tour to anyone who is visiting San Jose, Costa Rica.

Rochelle M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2015

This is an awesome immersion experience. I learned a lot about Costa Rica's history, heritage, exports and imports. The train ride to Cartago was very nice. I didn't feel so much like a tourist on one of those buses with the yellow stickers on the side, front and back. The Básilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles was very beautiful and it was great to be given the chance to drink some of the Holy water that flows beneath the Basillica. Hearing the history of the Black Madonna and of the yearly pilgrimage that is made by people from all over to this Basillica was just awesome.The bike ride to me was very manageable, just make sure you are used to the altitude. I slept like a baby later that night after the bike ride.The Market was very cool. Eric recommended an Empanada from a vendor who's family has been making them in that very market for many many years. It was delicious. The hand made cheese quesadillia and the Dulce de leche I think that's what it was drink from the same vendor was also very tasty and inexpensive. I recommend this to anyone who is staying in the area. Eric is a great and knowledgeable tour guide. While I'm still here I plan to take another day trip with them.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

We found this half day trip very relaxing after three conseciative full day tours. The train trip was a nice experience to Cartago. The guide did a great job showing us points of interest on the trip to Cartago. Bikeing through the city gave us an appreciation of what the locals experience on their daily routine. We enjoyed the stops at the historical points of interest along the way.

Looking for a real local experience this is it.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

This was a wonderful tour that starts early in the morning at Espania Park. After a short walk to the station we rode a train to Cartaga, where we walked through various locations in central Cartaga, including the market place. We then picked up bicycles, that were provided, and rode to other interesting locations around the city. After that we had a wonderful lunch at one of the Sodas in the Market. The tour ended with a comfortable ride back to San Jose on a public bus. I was fortunate to be the only one on the tour that day, but later found out that they prefer to keep the groups small. The guide, Myanna, was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic... a real people person. She made the tour both enjoyable, and educational. I highly recommend this tour.

Darrell W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

What an incredible adventure to top off our week in Costa Rica! Our tour guide, Eric, is an incredible guide. He is knowledgeable of the area and took great pride showing us a part of Costa Rica that most tourists don't visit. Cartago is a beautiful town and is easy to navigate on a bicycle. Don't miss this tour!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2014

An enjoyable cycling tour around an interesting and pretty city just a train ride away from san jose. a well run tour with lots of information and set at an easy pace with many local sights explained so you get to see another side to life in costa rica. The major attraction is the beautifully decorated church wth an interesting story of its founding and an equally interesting local tradition associated with pilgrims seeking divine intervention for sickness or ailments. highly recommend this easy tour for those who enjoy cycling and want to see another aspect to life in costa rica.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

The tour guide Eric was phenomenal and very informative. We have learned so much that we may consider being future residents of Cartago. The combination of the train and bike tour was much fun! Awesome tour!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

Our guide was punctual, courteous and extremely informative. The train ride was great as the scenery was viewed from a different perspective other than car or bus. Cartago is a beautiful city and well worth the trip of exploration as it was the original capitol of the county. The market was as authentic as it gets and the bike ride challenging as we rode up and down the hills. A good workout with a good guide. Thanks for the experience! Joe and Donna from Florida.

Ashley K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

This tour was great! Biking around the scenic town of Cartago with Eric was not only a work out but very informative and fun. We stopped at the local feria for lunch and bought exotic fruits and veggies. I highly recommend this tour if you are looking to explore the beautiful Central Valley!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2014

Tour guides were awesome !!! I had the best day. The history lessons given with the tour was interesting and in depth . I had a wonderful day. Thanks to Carlos and Eric

Karlyn B

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2017

This trip included walking tour of historic sites in San Jose, and the train ride was quaint and included parts of San Jose and Cartago we wouldn't have otherwise been able to see. Hector was knowledgeable and fun, and the best part was the market tour sampling tropical fruit and the authentic empanadas at the market lunch counter.

Douglas W

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2017

Nice tour! Our tour guide did well teaching us about history and culture of Costa Rica. The Basilica was something I was not expecting. I did not know such remarkable place existed in Cartago. The empanada in the market place was a joy. The local corn made a big difference in the empanada's flavor. The only change I could see for the tour is to make it a little longer.

Helen D

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2016

We really enjoyed the day. Our guide was very friendly and knowledgable.

Casey B

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2015

A great way to get out of San Jose for part of the day. The guide was friendly and had very good English. It was just the two of us which made for a very personalized experience. The church at the end is gorgeous.

jeffrey g

3 star rating: Worth doing
April 2017

Natalie was nice, interesting train ride between cities, bike tour itself was on a sidewalk/path in heavy traffic, not enjoyable.


3 star rating: Worth doing
March 2017

Carolina was great. She is very informative. We had a bit of a tour around San Jose which we appreciated. The train was a great experience. Open air and a fun ride. Very disappointed in the bikes. Had to walk the tour as couldn't ride the bikes. We loved the market and the empanada. It was the best.


3 star rating: Worth doing
April 2016

You need to do a better job describing the bike ride on the tour. It didn't mention hills and with my bad knees and feet it was very difficult for me going up the hills. I ended up walking on that part and slowing everyone in the group down. I feel you need to make two different tours. One for the young and in shape person who can handle the hills on the bike ride and one that is for Seniors and the disabled. A tour for Seniors and disabled could go without the bike ride and spend more time in the shops and market place. I feel by the end of the bike ride we didn't have much time to explore the shops or marketplace. Also when you are on the bike ride it limits the conversation with the tour guide to find out information about Cartago. Our guides were very nice and informative when they could be, but as I said once your on the bikes its difficult to talk and ask questions. The church was very beautiful.
Thank you,
Jim and Dianne Sproull

Yean H

3 star rating: Worth doing
February 2016

Cartago is a great city to have a day tour. The train ride was fun, but our bike ride was rained out. We walked around and visited the monuments on foot. The guide was not very informative, we have to ask to get some vital background information, but she did answer. The market trip was fun. At middle of the tour, she left us with the trainee because she need money from the bank and she had an exam in the afternoon. One suggestion, the tour should have a clear meeting place and a sign, it took our taxi driver a long time to figure out where to drop us.

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