TRAVELLING TO SAN JOSE
We have one day in San Jose, one of the most vibrant and busiest cities in Central America. Pack your day from morning until night catching all of the sites, sounds, smells and succulent tastes that this place has to offer.
If you would prefer a slower pace through this bustling city, consider making San Jose your base location for your trip to Costa Rica. Centrally located with easy access to all of the major tourist centres, San Jose is an excellent place to lie your head down as you are travelling through this diverse country. Whether you want to meet some people at a youth hostel, lounge at the pool of a luxury hotel, or experience the Costa Rica hospitality at a small bed and breakfast, San Jose has a diverse number of accommodations suited for every budget.
Whether you are staying for just a day trip or your entire stay, be prepared for the slightly different climate in San Jose. Like most places in Central America, the temperatures are going to be warmer than at home, so pack some light clothing, sunscreen and a hat. However, since the city is located inland from both the Sea and Ocean, San Jose experiences a bit more cooler day time and especially evening temperatures. Come prepared with a sweater and be ready for the intense rainy season stretching from May to November.
Now that you are ready for the day, it is time to head out on our adventure. Our morning is going to be packed with museums and learning about the history and culture of this fascinating country. Depending on who you are travelling with, there are a diversity of places to choose from.
If there is an art lover in the crowd, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design or the Museo de Arte Costarricense are both a must see. For families with children of all ages, San Jose offers an excellent Children’s Museum. And for everyone, the National Museum, the Jade Museum and especially the Precolumbian Gold Museums are top spots. All of these museums are highly rated world institutions and loved by a variety of visitors.
After working your brain for the morning, it is time to work your mouth a little bit with a stop for some real Costa Rican cuisine. Mercado Central is a great place to begin your food adventure. A local food market with a variety of fresh food options, small restaurants, and take out options loved by locals and visitors alike, this diverse food experience is sure to please everyone travelling through San Jose. Be ready to test your food limits, or just stick with some fresh fruit or ice cream. This market is the gateway to your lunchtime adventure!
As your stomach is working through your lunch, consider buying some memories of your journey to Costa Rica. Coffee and local crafts are the most popular purchases, available throughout the city in small shops or outdoor vendors.
It is time to begin our afternoon, a few hours of wandering around outside in this beautiful city of San Jose. If you want to stay right in the city, taking a walking tour of the historic downtown is the best way to get some air and take in the sites. The downtown area is filled with historic architecture and friendly locals anxious to share their beautiful culture. If you prefer to head a little further into nature, go to the Park Espana, a lovely urban park that offers a calm and shady retreat from the bustling city. If you want to head even further out, just on the outskirts of the city is the Brauilo Carrillo National Park.
Hopefully you aren’t too tired yet, as it is time to explore what the nightlife of San Jose has to offer. As an urban centre, when travelling to San Jose most visitors should expect to see a variety of nightly entertainments. The city is well known for its casinos and nightclubs, but is also a little more relaxed than other Costa Rican party spots. Also consider attending a show at one of the many theatres in the city – a real treat of actual Cost Rica culture.
Don’t stay out too late, however, as we have a busy day planned for tomorrow. San Jose is very closely situated to one of the many national parks in the country, Chirripo. You have the option of taking a day trip to this lovely park to enjoy some hiking, horseback riding or even ATV riding. If you prefer to get a little wet, a day trip to the Pacific Ocean or Caribbean Sea is also within reach. Or, if you haven’t had enough of the fascinating culture of this vibrant country, you can sign up for a local excursion to a small village or coffee plantation to see how real locals live in Costa Rica.
With so much to offer and an endless amount of day trips possible from this centrally located city, San Jose is the perfect epicentre for your Costa Rican vacation. An urban location with closely accessible natural wonders, this city has everything to offer to every traveller. So whether you are just passing through or centering your entire trip on San Jose, do not miss out on a visit to this colourful city.