The capital city of the country, San Jose, hosts years and years of solid history and culture, which can be seen in its architectural buildings, its museums, some of its hotels, and of course, in its friendly locals and nightlife fun.
In the city remains the aspects of a traditional Central American town but mixed with all the characteristics of a cosmopolitan city. San Jose is the cultural center of Costa Rica and this is the reason why visitors can find a lot of museums, art galleries, designer stores, and a wide artistic agenda plenty of activities to enjoy and discover.
This way, this province provides both, local and tourists, an incredible collection of attractions to enjoy and activities to participate in when enjoying some great Costa Rica vacations. The city is perfect for those who travel with their family, with their friends, for business, or even alone.
Now, talking a little bit about which attractions can you find and take advantage of when in the city, we could mention a lot of them but we are going to give you these ideas:
When visiting the heart of San Jose, it is possible to find different nice parks to spend a sunny morning. Those places are very close from each other so you can visit them by walking. This way we have the Central Park, the Morazán Park, the Spanish Park (Parque España), the Democracy Plaza, and the National Park.
There are also a great variety of interesting museums, if culture and art are what you are more into. We need to mention the Jade Museum, which is one of Costa Rica’s most exceptional museums for hosting the largest American jade collection of the world.
The place is home to an incredible art collection that will teach and introduce its visitors into the different stages of the artworks with this precious material. Besides, the museum is interactive so kids find it very attractive: a perfect idea to visit with your family when vacationing here.
The Gold Museum is a great way to spend a day in San Jose, as this place is full of art pieces made in real gold from the pre-Columbian era. Also, the museum hosts different artworks in different materials and it is common to find other art exhibitions open to the public from time to time.
Now, if you are traveling with your family and little kids, then the Children’s Museum can be a great option to spend a morning. The place was once a jail in the heart of the capital city and now it has been restored in order to convert it into one place of learning, fun, science, and culture for both, kids and grownups. Here it is located also the National Auditory which hosts important theater plays and different artistic presentations.
Other museums that can be included in your vacations' itinerary are the National Museum, our museum of national history and archaeology, the La Salle Museum, the Museum of Art and Contemporary Design, and the Museum of Costa Rican Art; just to mention some of them.
A visit to the Central Market located in the Central Avenue of San Jose is always a must. Here, visitors can see the real day by day of thousands of “ticos”, and here it is also possible to try the typical food of the country, buy local crafts, and get closer to products that are made and cultivated here... that you probably haven’t seen before.
The offer of local tours is great, and San Jose is an ideal place to take incredible one-day tours and to be a meeting point for tours that are located in other regions of the country too. The easy access to different spots is what makes it possible. Visitors will find that this possibility of varied activities is a great way to enjoy and remember forever their vacations.
Some of the most popular tours departing and returning from the main San Jose city hotels are the visit to the volcanoes –which usually takes half of your day, or the complete day if you join this visits to other local attractions-, and different adventure tours like zip lining through the forest or the exciting opportunity of white-water river rafting. It is possible to arrange your transportation back and forth from the main downtown lodges, so transportation will never be a problem.
The province sits in the middle of the country, in the Central Valley, this is the main reason why it serves as the gate for the first and the last night of stay during the Costa Rica holidays. But, it doesn’t have to be just for those two nights.
As we mentioned before, there are a lot of tours and activities that will catch your attention, and your time there. And the endless offer of hotels to stay here, for all budgets and tastes, is a good point to be taken into consideration. Visitors perfectly can spend more than two nights in the city without being bored.
The options of accommodations vary according to what you are looking for. It ranges from familiar chain hotels and business hotels, to small and cozy boutique properties in the heart of the most tranquil and beautiful neighborhoods of San Jose downtown. Clearly, you won’t find all-inclusive resorts here, but the amenities of these hotels will make you feel comfortable like in your own home.
The scenic beauty of some of these hotels lies in the fact that many downtown properties are housed in old mansions that have been beautifully restored and converted into the lodging options they are nowadays. Visitors appreciate so much this, as it is a way of feel like if you are staying in your home with all the luxury and comfort deserved by the travelers during vacation.