Turrialba is located in a picturesque green valley that used to be a lake. Coming from San Jose one has a fantastic vista of the whole town and the green slopes of the basin.
Turrialba use to be a transit town on the way to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica when the route through Braulio Carillo National Park did not exist. The former route still exists and is an attractive alternative for travelers with a bit more time.
The peaceful volcano Turrialba is located only 12 kilometers north of town. It is very likely connected with the same lava flow as the Irazu volcano.
It is possible to walk to the top of the volcano, but the access road is only passable with a 4x4 vehicle. Often it is cold and rainy on the top, but when the sky is clear one has an impressive view.
Turrialba is a popular location among kayakers and whitewater rafters since the rivers Reventazon and Pacuare are close by.
Several tour operators offer one-day or multi-day tours on the rivers. The degree of difficulty in the individual sections depends a lot on rainy and dry seasons.
The old railroad tracks that lead to Limon run through Turrialaba have been out of service since 1991 although the rails are still visible at many locations.