Turrialba's Top Attractions: A Tourists's Guide to Small Town Costa Rica

Turrialba's Top Attractions: A Tourists's Guide to Small Town Costa Rica

Introducing the Vibrant Businesses of Turrialba

Located in the heart of Costa Rica lies the small town of Turrialba, a hidden treasure just a 2.5-hour scenic drive from San Jose, Costa Rica's capital. Despite often being overlooked by tourists, this charming town is filled with captivating scenery, numerous opportunities, and a community known for its warm, welcoming spirit. Its picturesque landscapes and authentic Costa Rican culture make it a must-visit for travellers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience. These businesses not only exemplify the town's rich cultural heritage and breathtaking natural beauty but also epitomize the genuine warmth and hospitality of its residents.

1. Nortico Cacao Farm

Day at Nortico

Location: Turrialba, Costa Rica
Products: Sustainable Chocolate
Website: https://norticofarm.com/ 
Instagram: @norticocacaofarm
Facebook: Nortico Cacao Farm 
Nortico Cacao Farm, a gem in the region, is renowned for its dedication to sustainable cacao farming (and delicious chocolate). This business was started by husband and wife duo Aldo Sánchez and Ann-Elin Norddal. The "NOR" in Nortico stands for Norway, which is where Ann-Elin is from, while "TICO" is a term that is often used for Costa Rican people. They cultivate exquisite cacao varieties and produce high-quality chocolate, all while promoting environmentally friendly practices. Their commitment to preserving the local ecosystem and traditions.
In December 2024, the Wearsos team took a tour of the Nortico Cacao Farm, and it was a truly extraordinary experience. We had an incredible hands-on learning experience about cacao growing, roasting, and even made our own chocolate (which was delicious) It was a great experience to learn about another local business that is making a positive impact in the Turrialba community.

2. Angares Store Turrialba

(Image Source: Angares Store)


Location: Turrialba, Costa Rica
Products: Clothing and Accessories
Instagram: @angarestore
Angares Turrialba is boutique clothing store located in the heart of Turrialba. They offer a wide range of clothing options from dresses, to pants to sunglasses. This store is a hub of creativity, offering a range of creative clothing options. It located in a busy plaza that also features delicious restaurants. When visiting Turrialba, consider stopping by Anares Store to pick out a new and truly unique outfit! 

3. Explornatura Office 

(Image Source: Exploranatura}

Location: Turrialba, Costa Rica
Specialty: Ecotourism and Adventure
Website: https://explornatura.com/
Instagram: @explornatura
Facebook: Exploranatura
Embark on an unparalleled adventure with Explornatura Office, the epitome of ecotourism in Turrialba, Costa Rica. This haven for thrill-seekers offers seamless and eco-friendly experiences, featuring a spectrum of activities from heart-pounding white water rafting to the exhilaration of canyoning, all meticulously organized for authenticity and safety. What sets Explornatura Office apart is not just the adrenaline-packed adventures they provide but also their unwavering commitment to sustainable tourism. Their love for the outdoors is evident, making them a crucial part of the community's efforts to preserve Costa Rica's natural wonders. When in Turrialba, don't miss the chance to satisfy your wanderlust with Explornatura Office – where every exploration blends excitement with a deep respect for the environment, ensuring your next adventure is both thrilling and environmentally conscious.

4. Restaurante MoonB

(Image Source: Restaurante MoonB}

Location: Turrialba, Costa Rica
Specialty: Gourmet Dining
Instagram: restaurante_moonb
Facebook: Restaurante MoonB
Experience the culinary magic at Restaurante MoonB, a hidden gem in Turrialba that takes you on a tasteful journey celebrating the essence of local ingredients. Setting a new standard for fine dining in Turrialba, MoonB's menu beautifully captures the diverse flavors of the region, creating a dining experience that's both refined and rooted in tradition. Located on a scenic mountain, the restaurant not only treats you to an exceptional meal but also offers an unmatched panoramic view of Turrialba. You can even enjoy your dinner on a swing over looking the town of Turrialba, adding a playful and unique twist to your dinner experience. Immerse yourself in the perfect blend of delectable cuisine and breathtaking scenery at Restaurante MoonB, where each dish tells a story, and every view is a visual delight.

5. Blanco y Negro Sostenible

Location: Santa Cruz, Costa Rica (13km from Turrialba)
Specialty: Community Development and Sustainable Agriculture
Website: https://www.comunidadblancoynegro.com/
Instagram: @blancoynegro.cr
Facebook: Blanco y Negro
Discover the heart of sustainable agriculture at Comunidad Blanco y Negro, a sprawling 2.5-acre farm nestled just 15 km outside Turrialba. Led by two sisters, this farm boasts a vibrant tapestry of 80 different crops, championing the cause of food security and sovereignty in the Turrialba region. Beyond cultivating crops, Comunidad Blanco y Negro stands as a beacon of social responsibility, dedicating tireless efforts to enhance the lives of the local community through impactful projects, education, and unwavering support.
As a testament to their commitment to local prosperity, the Blanco y Negro also operates an artisan store, offering a curated selection of regional produce and goods in the town of Turrialba. Dive into the community spirit, explore the bountiful offerings, and enjoy a delicious cup of local coffee at this remarkable destination.

6. Ladera Restaurante

Location: Turrialba, Costa Rica
Speciality: Hotel and Restaurant
Instagram: @ladera_costa_rica_celler_resta
Facebook: Ladera Hotel 
Ladera is both a restaurant and boutique hotel, it welcomes guests into a serene atmosphere complemented by delectable cuisine and a breathtaking city view. The establishment is renowned for its exquisite menu that includes delightful dishes such as mushroom risotto and a mouthwatering 3-cheese chicken breast. The overall experience at Ladera is marked by culinary excellence, making it a standout destination in Turrialba. 

7. Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE)

Catie Botanical Garden
(Image Source: CATIE}

Location: 4km outside of Turrialba
Specialty: Agricultural research and eco-tourism
Website: CATIE
Instagram: @catieofficial
Facebook: CATIE (Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza)
The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) is an international institute for agricultural development and biological conservation in Central America and the Caribbean, combining science, education and innovation. Today, it is an international, non-profit institution dedicated to research, higher education and outreach in agricultural sciences, natural resources and related topics in the American tropics. CATIE's Mission is to achieve “Green Inclusive Development” or in other words to “Increase sustainable and inclusive human well-being in Latin America and the Caribbean by promoting education, research and innovation for development, sustainable management of agriculture and conservation of natural resources”. The Botanical Garden is open to tourists features around 4400 genetic samples representing about 400 plants species from many parts of the world. After your tour, you can take a bike ride around the gorgeous and tranquil campus that spans over 1000 hectares. 

8. Wearsos

Location: Central Turrialba
Specialty: Upcycling, women empowerment, tours
Website: Wearsos.co
Instagram: @wearsos.co
Facebook: Wearsos
TikTok: Wearsos
YouTube: Wearsos
Located directly in center of Turrialba, Wearsos is a socially conscious brand on a mission to reduce waste, create income and empowerment opportunities in rural areas, and support educational spaces through the production of high-quality upcycled goods. In partnership with Southwest Airlines® 'Repurpose with Purpose' global sustainability initiative, Wearsos upcycles materials like airline seats. By doing so, we align ourselves to three guiding principles: reducing waste, creating rural economic activation, and supporting educational and empowerment spaces. Reach out to us at contact@wearsos.co to book a tour of workshop, where you will have the opportunity to learn more about upcycling, meet our talented team of artisans, and even upcycle your own coin purse. 

Businesses Like These Define Turrialba's Uniqueness

Organizations like Nortico Cacao Farm, Angares Turrialba, Explornatura Office, Restaurante Moonb, Comunidad Blanco y Negro, and CATIE make Turrialba the exceptional community that it is. Their dedication to sustainability, art, nature, cuisine, and community development not only enriches the lives of locals but also invites visitors to experience the true essence of Turrialba. Our journey at Wearsos has only been possible because of the incredible support from both the local Turrialba community and our wider network. In this blog post, we aim to highlight six outstanding businesses that are true pillars within the Turrialba community. 

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