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San Jose Costa Rica - Travelers' Paradise

Updated on January 31, 2015

The city lies on a plateau in the Central Valley at 1500 m above sea level, surrounded by picturesque mountains and lush greenery. Aside from San Jose’s famous landmark, the Coca-Cola bus stand, there exists a variety of other attractions for tourists. The city also serves as Costa Rica’s political and cultural epicentre.

The climate pattern in San Jose is erratic at times, as the route of the winds keep changing off and on. The city’s elevation makes the nights petty chilly. Although, the average temperature ranges between a comfortable 21 to 27 degrees centigrade. The Juan Santamaria International Airport is easily reachable from San José and there are a gamut of options to take you to the city. Be it buses or cab rides, it takes roughly twenty minutes to reach San Jose’s city centre. Taxis are generally affordable. There’s a new transport alternative, the A-King Quality bus service, which along with the Tica Buses can take you to most parts of the city. Buses can connect you to Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, as well.

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The University of Costa Rica, the embassies of US and the UK, museums, hotels, markets and cultural venues are among the structures which form its cityscape. Among the chief lures are the Teatro Nacional in Parque Central, a venue for diverse cultural activities, featuring acting ,dance groups and orchestral musical presentations round the year.; the bustling commercial area of the Mercado Central; the crafts fairs adjacent to the Museo Nacional; Museo Nacional,

San Jose’s comprehensive museum showcasing exhibits of pre-Hispanic cultures and colonial artefacts, displays on 19th- and 20th-century history , a large butterfly garden and a collection of large stone spheres from the Diquis Valley near the Pacific Ocean. The museum’s housed in an old fort last used during the revolution of 1948. The Museo de Oro Precolumbino on the other hand, displays pre-Columbian gold sculpture, jewellery and other artefacts. You’ll find pre-Columbian jade figurines and jewellery at the Museo de Jade and finally, the Insect Museum at the Universidad de Costa Rica will give you a close range view of exotic bugs of South American rain forests. A special mention needs to be made of yet another museum, Museo de Arte Costarricense ,where you’d find exhibits of contemporary art of South America as well as the rest of the world.

Avenida Central and the greenery of Parque Nacional are two of the city’s popular landmarks.Taking a walk along the Barrios Amon and Otoya will give you glimpses of some of the best mansions of the city. El Pueblo shopping mall offers visitors a quality shopping experience. Families love an outing to the nearby Jaco on the Pacific Coast. The place is famous for surfing and some great food as well. The Manuel Antonio National Park, located a few km down the coast, is ideal for those seeking a serene getaway.

There is a range of options to stay connected in the city. You’ll get Internet Cafes at almost every corner of the city. The shopping centre, Las Arcadas offers a feature rich internet café, among its multitude of retail shops and restaurants. Furthermore, San Jose boasts of some of the country’s best hospitals and restaurants. Most tourists don’t miss thee opportunity to relish exotic meals at diners such as at Restaurant Grano de Oro offering the mouth watering dish, tilapia in macadamia sauce; or Costa Rican specialities at La Cocina de la Lena and delectable seviche and Peruvian seafood at San Jose’s Machu Picchu. Late nights can be heady when you hit the discotheque, El Tabogan replete with live bands and a hip crowd, or listen to lively jazz at the Jazz Cafe.

In addition, San Jose is the definitive place for savouring some of the best Costa Rican coffees. This is a city where you literally wake up and smell the coffee. The coffees here have a repute for superb quality. Often packaged in 12 oz. sealed bags, it’s recommended that you purchase the roasted or whole bean variety rather than ground ones. Although San Jose was synonymous with extensive sugar cane plantations and cattle, it’s getting industrialised at a fast pace. Intel’s large chip fab plant being a case in the point. The grand Banco Central de Costa Rica building and the soaring Banco Nacional building are other examples reflecting the city’s changing economy .

San José is also a great place to hone your fluency at Spanish, since some people here aren’t conversant with English .San Jose is the perfect place for experiencing reggae music too. With so much to offer, its no wonder why San Jose’s tourism industry is on an ascent.


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