Explore the most popular Hiking trails in San José with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Lovely hikes and views. We got a little lost but the path we got lost on was beautiful. We followed that path back to the original and was happy we got side tracked. Paths were easy to follow and clear. The first 15 mins was a incline but the rest a mixture of incline and descend. I will definitely go on this hike again. It was peaceful and enjoyable.

Amazing trail system starting in San Gerardo de Dota. Leads through beautiful cloud forest terrain, over streams, next to a raging river, view many waterfalls along the way. A sweet back door into the basin of Los Quetzales National Park. Flora and fauna are supreme. Possibility to see beautiful birds including the quetzal. As long as you want to make it. Out and back. Moderate difficulty depending on how far you go.

Amazing trail system starting in San Gerardo de Dota. Leads through beautiful cloud forest terrain, over streams, next to a raging river, view many waterfalls along the way. A sweet back door into the basin of Los Quetzales National Park. Flora and fauna are supreme. Possibility to see beautiful birds including the quetzal. As long as you want to make it. Out and back.

I was only able to reach the first cross as was super muddy

over grown
3 months ago

Difficult but very beautiful route of 20.5 Kms. We start on the dirt road that goes up to the Alajuelita Cross. We went down behind the Cross and to the left of it, passing through the place where you take -to the right- the Potrero Rompe-breasts that goes down to the Agres River: it was not our route. We continue along the path that runs parallel to the barbed wire fence and with a soil and vegetation like paddocks. Further on you have to go into a forest. You start to climb and you reach another sector like a pasture. It continues down to a corral for cattle and a red gate. After which, about 100 meters, continuing along the street that leads to Alajuelita, you take a path to the right that, along a very beautiful forest path and following the hill of the hills, will reach another ballast road, which it goes up to the ICE antennas of the Cedral, and it seriously warns that one is on private property and that there are armed guards. Continue along that street until after some rocks there is a path to the right that you have to take, entering the forest and leading to the Quesera. The detour after the Quesera to the plane is difficult and quite rugged: landslides, creeks, fallen trees, weeds, etc. You have to bring machete in this section. You reach the place where the commemorative cross of the death of the 23 people of the accident of the Sansa plane (January 15, 1990). I have seen photos of the remains of the plane of the year 2016, but now we did not know where to locate it. We went a few meters down the path to the northwest but we returned, we no longer had time to explore further. The whole tour is a great experience. It is necessary to carry GPS and have experience in this type of hiking.

over grown
4 months ago

I think people must be taking an alternate route than shown. I found it incredibly overgrown about 3/4 mile in (by cross) Appeared unused for a very long time - I turned around. Seems there are other trails in the area but are unmarked

I hike a little and I didn’t find it as difficult as people say, an hour and 10 minutes to the third cross is reasonable if you’re fit and don’t stop for too many photos! I can imagine it’s much tougher in the wet as it is quite slippery under foot The view from the second cross is stunning Took an alternative route down and an Iber was easy to find back to Escazu

My wife and I enjoyed this hike, I’d say the proximity To Santa Ana and Escazú plus the views of the Central Valley and physical challenge makes this a good hike to try. It is very steep with a mix of gravel, small rocks, and clay—so at times it wasn’t the best traction even for good hiking boots, but it was good exercise and do-able for all ages and average fitness levels. We missed the turn to go up by the cow pasture initiative so got extra credit hiking in (thank you Costa Rica and your usage of signs), so make sure you watch for a small social trail shortly into the hike to your left! (Btw, the hike is misnamed, solo hay un Cruz , not tres! )

over grown
5 months ago

Moderate/Intermediate Hike: It could use better trail signage- make sure to take a left at the cows!

6 months ago

Great trail. From the directions given in this app you can make a good start up. We took an uber there from Escazu, starting the trail Just after 200/300meters you can/should go left on the cow path, let the climb begin! This trail is a continues climb up till the top, pretty steep! At the second cross you can go down via a different path if you like. Just know that if you came with your own car you won’t get back to the same spot, in that case i strongly recommend to take the same way back. The view on the second cross is super! From there it is only 15min further to the top. Tip: Be sure to wear good shoes, we went on our nikes and slipt a lot resulting in dirty dusty hikers when we got down. But that kinda makes it fun as well :). Time up: 1.5hour Time down: 1 hour We are beginners.

A good trial made up of gravel/dirt roads and dirt/stone cow path. Steep in places, might rate difficult for some during the rainy season. I hiked during the summer and the only issue was it was very dusty. But lots of great views, and a decent work out going up.

no shade
over grown
9 months ago

I'd rate it an intermediate level hike

Straight up. Slightly overgrown. But worth the views when killing time in San Jose.

Awesome hike!! I would definitely recommend this to those who want to get out into nature and challenge themselves. You can make it up in an hour, but it will likely take more time than that (90+ minutes) if you want to chill a bit along the way. Definitely follow the "getting there" instructions as it's a bit tricky to find! At the second cross, you can head down to the lower path and take a different way back: from that way you will find a road with a semi-regular bus to San Jose!

Great little hike - takes about an hour up to the high point and the same back. It’s pretty steady uphill all the way and can get very warm under the trees but a nice breeze awaits at the top. We only saw one cross and one place where there used to be a cross so not sure what happened to the third one. The effort to views ratio is very good. Fantastic vista of the city and then further on from the last cross you come to a saddle with tremendous views of the valley and Pico Blanco.

Mon Nov 19 2018

This hike is pretty steep and primitive. Definitely not for beginners. Would certainly not recommend doing this after it has been raining substantially. The trail is very slick when wet. Spectacular views from the top. After completion of your hike I highly recommend the Aztec restaurant on the left side. They have three floors - the second floor is a sports bar with $2.50 US beers and excellent views. The Italian restaurant to the right is expensive and you’ll stick out like a sore thumb in your sweaty hiking clothes.

Amazing views and the crosses were really cool. The second one had fallen down to the side. The hike is pretty difficult, with a steep incline the majority of the way up. Also had to double back a time or two to get to the right trailhead— off the dirt road there’s a small white sign on one of the trees to the side of a pasture. It’s very easy to miss so keep your eye out! I wouldn’t recommend this hike to an unseasoned hiker. I’m a 22yo from the blue ridge mountains and had some trouble w it.

Sat Sep 08 2018

The views are well worth the hike. Park off the road by what is no longer an Italian resturant. you cannot miss the only dirt road up the ridgeline. After a few KMs you will see a small white sign labeled "tres cruzes" follow the trail for the rest of the way.

Great views of the whole valley as you up the path. Not too challenging but does get a little steep in places.

Take caution if you come here. I’m studying abroad in Costa Rica for five months and one thing I learned is that if a local tells you not to go somewhere..don’t go. I got home after doing this hike and my host mother was appalled that I went to such an unsafe place. The location of this hike is in one of the most dangerous/ crime-infested areas of San José, so if you go, go in a group or not at all. The view was cool though.

Sun Mar 04 2018

Great views! Very steep in several places, but worth it.

Great trail in the dry season. Seems nearly impossible during the rainy season. Well worth the easy half-day trip out of SJ.

there are multiple trails that actually go up to the biggest cross so I've heard. the trail was slick and overgrown, but the views going up were worth it. very steep and rocky.

the trail itself was great. our only difficulty was that there was zero signage and a few times we had to double back. there were a few spots where the rain has washed the trail to a fairly steep grade but other than that it was good.

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