From San Jose, take a bus to Cartago. There are several buses every hour between 5 AM and midnight to Cartago from San Jose from Calle 5, Avenida 18. The fair is less than $1. From Cartago, take a bus to Santa Cruz. It will cost about $2.
From Santa Cruz, a 10 km (6-mile) road climbs up the mountain slopes. After another 4 kms (2.5 miles) along a rough 4wd road is the Volcan Turrialba Lodge. To get beyond Santa Cruz and to the lodge area, you will either have to walk, hire a taxi, or if staying at the lodge, you can arrange pick up. Contact the lodge at 273-4335 or 383-6075, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website is here. The lodge cost $40 (February 2004) and includes all meals.
Update: Apparently the lodge isn't very good in recent times and is over priced. This info comes from SP member Forjan. It now apparently cost $90 for two (July 2 2006) and is rather basic (but the food is good).
Volcan Turrialba's central crater
From the Volcan Turrialba Lodge, there is a very rough 4wd road that climbs to very near the summit. The distance is about 4 kms (2.5 miles). If you stay at the lodge, you can hire a nature guide or even a horse to get you to the summit, but of course since this is a mountaineering website, you should walk it. From near the summit, there is a picnic table and a trail around the crater. The route from the lodge is well marked and you can’t get lost.
Turrialba's west crater.
Take a jacket, raingear, and a camera.
If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.
"Wilderness is for everyone, and doesn't lock you out. Heck, even my three year old can hike accross the wilderness areas."