San Jose Area

Welcome to San Jose, Costa Rica! This exhilarating city is the multicultural and economic center of Costa Rica because of its central location and amazingly agreeable weather. San Jose can be used as base for day trips to other regions but is a tourist destination in it's own right. Museums, historic parks, rousing theater, distinct shopping, world class dining, lively casinos, liberated nightlife and the time of your life can all be enjoyed in the San Jose area.  The airport hotels in San Jose are often chosen as a layover for early morning or late departures flights in and out of Juan Santamaria International Airport.  Chances are you will spend some amount of time in San Jose during your vacation so knowing what activities, accommodations and restaurants are found, will save you time.

Things to Do 

Visit the National Museum and National Theatre for a rich cultural experience or people watch at Plaza de la Cultura or shop along Central Avenue. The Jade Museum and the Children's Museum are also tops destination that we highly recommend if you have a few hours to spare.

Visit Escazu,  one of the most affluent cantons in Costa Rica and home to the medical tourism industry. The upscale amenities found in the area include The Multi Plaza, Costa Rica Country Club, and a long list of  fine restaurants and luxury hotels. 

Santa Ana is one of our favorite cantons, as it still maintains its ethnic identity while commingling with progress and a large expatriate population. While there are no tourist attractions in Santa Ana, the towns restaurants, shops and hotels are some of the best in Costa Rica. Have lunch at one of the chic cafes and sit overlooking the city of San Jose.

Activities Around San Jose

The Pacuare River is known as on of the world's top rivers for kayaking and rafting. Take a one or two day trip out of San Jose and celebrate life with one of the best adventure tours in Costa Rica. If  you are looking for a mellow day, try the class II and III rapids of the Pejivaye Rive instead of the III and IV. 

Enjoy the view over Braulio Carrillo National Park while you peer into Irazu Volcano, Costa Rica's tallest at 11,260 ft. or visit one of the largest geysers in the world and hike in the 9,885 acre nature reserve that surrounds Poas Volcano National Park.

Fly through the tree tops hanging from a wire at one of the canopy tours, or relax and meander through he jungle in an aerial tram. 

Where to Stay

San Jose has every accommodation imaginable from hostels to luxurious golf resorts. Check out San Jose, Escazu, Santa Ana and Alajuela for the best options. 

Main Attractions / Town

Casinos Escazu
Golf Jade Museum
National Theater National Museum
NIghtlife Multi-Plaza Mall
Pedestrian Mall  Santa Ana



Where to go from here

Although some places on the Osa peninsula such as Drakes Bay and Corcovado National Park may be a little too much for some travelers to tackle in one day, San Jose is centrally located so you can go just about anywhere in Costa Rica from here.  If you are looking for a bustling beach town, Jaco or Tamarindo may be the place for you. If cloud covered mountains are calling your name, try Monte Verde.

Getting Around

Taxis and buses are readily available and very affordable in and around San Jose. Link to our Bus Schedules and find the one that suits your needs.

© Tzooka | Walter Arce | Jan Csernoch |