The agricultural town of TURRIALBA, 45km east of Cartago on the eastern slopes of the Cordillera Central, boasts sweeping views over the rugged eastern Talamancas – and not much else. With the demise of the railroad to the Caribbean and the opening of the Guápiles Highway further north, Turrialba has faded in importance, though there are a number of worthwhile day-trips around town: most visitors come through here en route to the Monumento Nacional Guayabo or for a white-water rafting trip on the thrilling ríos Pacuaré or Reventazón, but there are also the excellent biological gardens at CATIE and the smoking cone of Volcán Turrialba to explore.

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