Founded in 1737, San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, is on a plateau in the Central Valley at 1200 m (3,700 ft) elevation. Today this place is a sprawling metropolis and contains the primary airport, the US’ and other embassies, the University of Costa Rica, cultural venues, markets, hotels and many museums etc. Ringed by lush green mountains and valleys, this San Jose town is the hub of the country. The population of this town is probably half of the whole country. This country is not only has good accommodations and hotels but also many wonderful museums, restaurants, bars, shopping centers, colorful markets and many more. This town is also a great place for enjoying night life.
You can go to San Jose by air. From the airport it takes 20 minutes car drive to reach the center of the San Jose town. Outside the airport, on the other side of the multi-story car park, there is a local bus stop with which you can reach right downtown and it costs less than 1 US$. The cheapest option is to take a taxi from the downtown. Taxis will charge around 25-30 US Dollars. Take one of the licensed reddish-orange taxis that say “Taxi Aeropuerto” otherwise if you take an unlicensed taxi, it might costs almost twice. The local buses only take Colones pleased to get a 10 000 Colones bill but the taxis gladly take Dollars.
If you want to go to San Jose by buses, you can take it from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama both arrive to and leave from the town. San Jose town doesn’t have any central bus station but have literally dozens of bus terminals in downtown San Jose.
After being shut down for many years, several train routes have been put back into service. Traveling by train is the best way of getting to Heredia (a lot faster and more comfortable than the bus). Between San Jose and Heredia, on weekdays, every half an hour in the mornings (6am-9am) train runs.
Depending of the route of the winds and yearly seasons, the weather in San Jose town can be different at all times. Sometimes in the later months you will find colder atmosphere than the months at the middle. If you are from Northern America or from a country with a snow season, you will feel the coolest temperatures in San Jose equal to high (warm) temperatures. San Jose is usually 70 to 80°F (21 to 27°C) though it can get chilly at night. The rainy season is from mid April through December.
Located close to the Plaza de la Cultura and minutes from Morazan Park, this family-friendly hotel is featured with 112 air-conditioned rooms with LCD televisions, fireplaces, complimentary wireless internet access, phones, safes, desks and also cable connection.
Barceló San José Palacio:
This resort is an oasis in the heart of the San Jose. It is located within 7.5 miles from the airport. This resort is featured with 254 rooms overlooking panoramic views of the city and mountains. It also features a casino, bar, also a spa that offers invigorating massages.
This hotel is situated close to the airport, steps from Morazan Park, National Theater and Gold Museum. It is a family-friendly hotel in San Jose. This smoke free hotel features simple, clean, well-priced accommodations, a restaurant, a casino and a fitness center. It also offers buffet breakfast, free self parking, free WiFi in public areas and many more.
The Best Western Irazu:
Ideally situated between downtown San Jose and airport, the Best Western Irazu is a great choice for those who want to stay close to the SJO airport. It is featured with comfortable accommodations, restaurant, bar, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, kids pool and provides all the necessary services to ensure its guests comfort.
Call: +506 22 90 93 00 | +506 40 52 08 60
Hotel Santo Tomas:
Located in the central valley of Costa Rica, Hotel Santo Tomas is close to several shopping centers, parks and museums. It features elegantly furnished rooms including safe deposit box, wireless internet, telephone, hair dryer, cable TV, fan and hot water. Its El Oasis Restaurant serves savory International cuisine and it also has a bar that offers International liquors and cocktails.
Call: (506) 2255-0448
Wyndham San Jose Herradura Hotel and Convention Center:
This hotel is located only 15 minutes from downtown San Jose. This stylish, tranquil and sumptuously relaxing hotel is a great place for both business and leisure travelers. It offers an impeccable blend of sustainability and five-star comfort. It is featured with 230 contemporary rooms and suites, private terrace, pool, dining room and kitchen. Its rates also include complimentary breakfast buffet, free WiFi, shuttle service and local and international call to specific destinations.
Call: +506 2209 9800
Restaurante Grano de Oro:
This restaurant is located in the boutique hotel of the same name. It serves both European and Costa Rican dishes and menu include gourmet cuisine breakfast, lunch and dinner. It offers a variety of flavors as well as an extensive wine list.
Call: (506) 2255-3322
Situated in a converted old mansion in the cultural heart of San Jose, surrounded by museums, theaters and galleries, Tin Jo is an incredible Asian restaurant serves Japanese, Chinese and Indian food.
This restaurant is known for its customized service and a variety of dishes. This restaurant serves a menu based on French Continental cuisine, with a wide selection of dishes and over 100 wines to choose from.
Call: 506 22 24 24 55
Kalú Café & Food Shop:
You can enjoy a global fusion menu of soups, sandwiches, salads, pastas and unconventional delights including the fish taco trio filled with mango-glazed salmon, red curry prawns and red curry prawns and macadamia-crusted tuna. This café also serves a mind-meltingly delicious passion-fruit pie.
Call: +506 2253 8426
This restaurant serves best Italian cuisine in Costa Rica. This restaurants serves all the dishes prepares according to original recipes of true Italian food. For the dishes all the best ingredients are used such as extra virgin olive oil certified Salerno tomatoes, homemade pastas or high quality durum wheat, meats, Italian cheeses and many more.
After sun set, you will find San Jose quickly converts itself from a bustling business and commercial center to an adult amusement park. From the center of the town just within 10 minute cab ride, you can reach hundreds of bars, restaurants, discos and nightclubs. You can also visit casinos and can gamble.
For enjoying nightlife in San Jose, you might visit El Pueblo. It is a shopping center that becomes a clubbing district at night. This tiny little alleyways clutter several bars and nightclubs.
This night club, bar and lounge features a mix of trance, electronic and house music. With the capacity of holding 850 people, this club is the largest club in San Jose. This club is set at the base floor of an ordinary office tower and its first floor has several bars and a very large dance floor.
If you want to enjoy traditional dancing, you can visit Castros that plays meringue, cumbia, meringue, salsa, cumbi and bolero, with a bit of reggaeton thrown in. There are different rooms adjacent to the main dance floor that let you escape the disco vibe to enjoy a quiet conservation or eating something.
Jazz Cafe (San Pedro and Escazu):
Jazz Café is popular for local Costa Rican beats and soulful jazz and it also gets nostalgic with regular visits from 70s, 80s and 90s cover bands.
Yoga in San Jose:
Situated in the historic Barrio Otoya, in the heart of San Jose, Costa Rica, Downtown Yoga is a health center, art and community. It offers Yoga for men, Yoga for kids, Yoga teacher training and many more.
In San Jose, you can visit various museums which represent the history of Costa Rica and also the scientific discoveries, its culture and art, as well as modern Costa Rican art. This town is also host to the nation’s museum of gold and museum of jade.
The Children’s Museum (Museo de los Niños):
This museum is in Antigua Penitenciaria (the old prison). It is an edutainment museum designed for the kids.
The National Museum of Costa Rica (Museo Nacional de Costa Rica):
The museum building is an old fort called Cuartel Bellavista. A large butterfly garden, a collection of large stone spheres from the Diquis Valley near the Pacific Ocean is included in this museum. It also include a a permanent precolumbian exhibition, the barracks, the rooms of the army general and his family, and a couple of temporal exhibits at the time.
The Museum of Pre-Columbian Gold (Museo de Oro Precolombino):
This museum is set below Plaza de la Cultura. It exhibits 1600 pieces of Pre-Columbian gold work dating from 500 AD to 1500 AD.
Parks and Plazas:
San Jose town is also has many parks and plazas. These places include open green areas, lakes, fountains, recreational areas, sculptures by Costa Rican artists and a variety of plants, bird species and animals.
The Pleasant National Park (Parque Nacional):
It is the largest inner-city park of the town. It is situated in the east San Jose and there is the National Monument at the center of the park that depicts Central American regulars driving out the filibuster William Walker. There is a statue of Juan Santamaría, a national hero, set at the park’s southwest. The National Library (Biblioteca Nacional), the country’s central library, covers the northwest portion of the park. This park also has the National Center of Art and Culture that hosts several art galleries, as well as a theater.
Morazán Park (Parque Morazán):
This park is set at the northeast of Central Park. It encompasses four city blocks. At the park’s center, there is the dome-shaped Temple of Music. The park also includes an authentic Japanese garden and other statues.
Spanish Park (Parque Espana):
This park is located adjacent to the Morazan Park. It is a tranquil bastion of tall trees from which birds perch and sing throughout the day.
Culture Plaza (Plaza de la Cultura):
If you visit this plaza, you will get the opportunity to explore the city’s urban attractions. It is a central meeting point for locals and foreigners alike.