Consider relaxing for awhile in the area of San Ramon, west of San Jose on the edge of the Central Valley in Alajuela Province. San Ramon lies on the common driving route to Arenal Volcano, just off the Inter-American Highway. This small, mountainous municipality has much to offer for a vacation, from cloud forest and dry forest eco-lodges and gourmet dining to hiking trails and canopy tours for the intrepid adventurer. Bird lovers will find rare quetzals alongside hummingbirds, trogons, and motmots. See monkeys, coatis, deer, and sloths in pristine environments. Learn to cook at Coyote Mountain and marvel at Costa Rica's agricultural abundance at the weekly farmer's market in the capital of San Ramon. Climate varies from warm tropical forests, galleria habitats along the Rio Barranca, to stunning, bio-diverse cloud forest in places like Los Angeles and Piedades Norte. This is the heart of Costa Rica, with friendly people, a relaxed lifestyle, and practically no crime.
The Tico Times says: "Really, it's not so hard to imagine the hills of San Ramon as the Tuscany or Provence of Central America"
San Lorenzo Canopy Tour, About 32 kilometers north of San Ramón. Two zip line options: (1) 13 platforms, eight cables, and two hanging bridges spanning two guided trails; or (2) the “Adventure Cable Tour” by zipline using six cables (the longest is 850 meters) in which one achieves a speed of 80 kilometers per hour! edit
Parque Aventura, El Silencio de Los Angeles, Los Angeles de San Ramon, ☎ 4461-0643. The private cloud forest park has 3 hiking trails (guided or unguided), horseback riding, and a canopy tour with 10 platforms. A nice and less touristy alternative to Monteverde.edit
Ecolodge Inn at Coyote Mountain, near La Guaria de Piededades Sur, ☎ 8383 0544, . checkin: 3 pm; checkout: 12 noon. Coyote Mountain offers guests a small & secluded place--with just 4 guest rooms--and a true eco-lodge, sister property to the renowned Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia. A perfect spot for honeymoons and romantic getaways, the hotel is managed by Costa Ricans from this traditional coffee-growing region. The Inn hires from the local community, uses alternative sources for electricity, maintains its own organic vegetable and fruit tree plantings, conserves energy and resources, and engages in local reforestation and nature preservation. Coyote Mountain is a great place to get to know the authentic Costa Rica, in comfort but without pretension, and as a true escape from the madding crowds of modern life. $89_219. edit
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel, Los Angeles de San Ramon, ☎ 1 (877) 256-8399, . Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Spa is a 75-acre boutique hotel surrounded by the spectacular Los Angeles Private Biological Reserve. There are 35 casitas to choose from, including 5 romantic Honeymoon Casitas, each with breathtaking views of pristine tropical cloud forest.edit
Casa Amanecer Bed And Breakfast, Apartado 567-4250 (Three kilometers NE of San Ramon, road to Zarcero), ☎ (506) 2445-2100, . Situated in the nearby mountains of San Ramón, Alajuela this family-owned, four-room, eco-friendly, bed and breakfast is surrounded by rolling coffee farms, sugar cane fields and banana plants. Owners and former Habitat for Humanity employees Christopher Panzer (USA), Luisa Valdivia (Peru) and their two small children welcome you to their living experiment — enjoying an abundant life while treading lightly on our Earth. Local organic foods are prepared and served, biodegradable soaps are used, waste materials are recycled and the owners pride themselves on their home compost project.$55. edit