Travel to San Jose, a "surprise" city of Central America
In the center of Costa Rica is San Jose, the beautiful capital and most important commercial, industrial, as well as cultural center of the country. The city, founded in 1736 as an area for tobacco processing and later coffee, experienced rapid growth in the 20th century, a fact that made it a dynamic metropolis in Central America.
Although San Jose retains to this day characteristics of a typical Latin American city, with obvious elements of the Spanish colonial tradition, especially in its architectural profile, it has a cosmopolitan air and a functional town planning, elements capable of making it a very interesting tourist destination, full of beautiful images and surprises.
Impressive squares dominate the urban fabric of the city, constituting a springboard for the journey of acquaintance with the city. Democracy Square (Plaza dela Democracia) is a point of reference and a meeting place for local residents and visitors, who, being in this impressive square, enjoy the view of the masterpiece building of the National Museum of Costa Rica, reminiscent in appearance, of an elaborate fortress construction.
A stone's throw away is the National Park of San Jose, a wonderful lung of greenery and recreation for all residents, with the ornate statue of heroes, (Monumento a los Héroes), impressing with its beauty.
In the central square of the city, (Plaza de Cultura), stands out the imposing building of the National Theatre, a wonderful combination of local colonial architecture, with elaborate elements of the European Belle Epoque, that highlight the monument as the emblem and at the same time a symbol of the city.
Next comes the Museum of Gold, (Museo del oro Precolombino), with the amazing gold exhibits inside it, is the most famous museum in the country and presents all the cultural treasures of Costa Rica.
Walking through Avenida Central, the main pedestrian street of San Jose, the route ends at the Central Market (Mercado Central), the most impressive blend of sounds, aromas and flavors of the city, as here beats the living pulse of the commercial and economic life of San Jose.
Particularly impressive in appearance and decoration is the cathedral, (Iglesia de Nuestra señora de la Merced), a remarkable monument of the historical heritage of Costa Rica, while in the metropolitan park, (Parque Metropolitano La Sabana), an idyllic oasis of recreation in the city center, where every visitor enjoys a walk, in an environment of absolute relaxation and tranquility, completing the tour of acquaintance with San Jose in the best possible way.
Food and local cuisine
The local cuisine in San Jose and Costa Rica in general has several similarities with the cuisines of the other central American countries. legumes and fruits, while particularly popular is the use of all kinds of seafood, are offered in many preparations. Try Casado, the most traditional and well-known dish in the region, with rice, beans, salad, tortillas, cheese and a piece of meat, usually beef or chicken. Equally delicious is the seafood ceviche, the Gallo pinto, (with beans, rice, onions and coriander and a piece of meat, usually chicken), the sopa negra, (soup from black beans, tomatoes, coriander, boiled eggs and many spices), while for dessert choose arroz con leche, (a type of rice pudding with cinnamon and spices), as well as flan, the caramel cream.
Best time to visit San Jose
The ideal period of visiting San Jose is the period from mid-December to the end of April, as you avoid the intense humidity, heavy rainfall and high temperatures prevailing during the rest of the months.
How to use transportation in San Jose
Transfer from/to San Jose
San Jose International Airport, Juan Santamaria, is located in Alajuela, about 20 km west of the city. Transportation from the airport to the center of San Jose is achieved by buses (35') or by taxi, parked outside the airport terminals.
The city of San Jose has an extensive public transport network. Public buses and taxis are at your disposal for travel both within the city and in the wider area. If you choose the taxi, be sure to request the activation of the taximeter. The city is also ideal for walking routes, at selected points in its historic center.