San Jose, the capital and largest city of Costa Rica, lies in the heart of Central Valley and is the focal point for the major economic and political activity within the country. A bustling city nestled inside a tropical paradise, San Jose is known as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Central America. Bordered by verdant green mountains and volcanoes, including the active Mt. Poas, San Jose has many wonderful museums, bars and nightclubs, markets, world-class restaurants and shopping.
San Jose travel offers visitors many popular attractions that are found within a city landscape, yet is also a very short distance from Costa Rica’s beautiful natural wonders including lush rainforests, majestic volcanoes and pristine beaches. Just outside of San Jose, in Alajuela, Costa Rica, is the famous Butterfly Farm. This popular tourist attraction includes a guided tour through an enclosed tropical garden where hundred of colorful butterflies flutter about. Located right in downtown San Jose is a section of the city called El Pueblo, an eclectic mix of more than 100 restaurants, bars, clubs, art galleries and shops. The premier place to go for live music and a raucous nightlife, El Pueblo is a hotspot for tourists and locals alike.
Known for its rich, aromatic coffee, San Jose and the surrounding areas have numerous coffee plantations available for tours and tastings. Café Britt Coffee is a world-renown plantation that has specialized tours where visitors can see how the coffee is grown, processed and roasted, as well as taste the different blends and pick up a unique coffee-related souvenir at the gift shop. The Children’s Museum, located on Calle 4 and Avenida 9 in downtown San Jose, is the perfect place to bring children of all ages to play and interact with the hands-on exhibits that focus on science and technology, as well as traditional art, culture and literature of Costa Rica.
With a high reliance on fresh fruit and vegetables, traditional and fusion Costa Rican cuisine can be found all over San Jose. The Mercado Central is a bustling food market containing fresh fish, produce and meats, as well as a number of small restaurants and quick-serve lunch counters. For well-prepared Costa Rican cuisine, including great steaks (carne asada) and mixed grills, Barbecue Los Anonos is a moderately priced option located near the Sarretto Market in Escazu. Park Café is an impressive international fusion restaurant with a regularly changing menu featuring dishes like roasted scallops in a pumpkin jus or grilled quail.
San Jose International Airport (SJO), also called Juan Santamaria Airport, is the main international hub, located 20 minutes outside of the city center. There is a public bus system, which is reliable and inexpensive, that runs extensive routes throughout and around San Jose. Taxis are the more convenient way to navigate around the city and are generally cheap—a couple of dollars will get your practically anywhere in the city.
The tropical climate provides San Jose with hot, humid weather, as well as a prolonged rainy season from May to November. The average high temperature for the summer months is between 82° F (28° C) and 86° F (30° C). In the winter, temperatures have an average low of 59° F (15° C). The best time to visit the city is from December to May. Though hotel prices may spike a bit, the humidity and precipitation is low and the weather is sunny and pleasant.