San José

San José is home to an appealing variety of historic buildings, museums, and interesting touring opportunities. Stroll through San José's sights on your own, or take a more organized approach to your San José sightseeing by checking out local tours. Take advantage of San José attractions and those in the surrounding area; there are plenty of activities to keep you busy.

 

General Info

 

San José is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica. Located in the Central Valley, San José is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of this Central American nation. San José is a modern city with bustling commerce, brisk expressions of art and architecture, and spurred by the country's improved tourist industry; it is a significant destination and stopover for foreign visitors.

The city lies at a mean elevation of 1,161m above sea level, and enjoys a stable climate throughout th year, with an average temperature of 25o C (77o F) and annual precipitation of 1800 mm.

Costa Rica National Theater

The population of San José is 365,799, though the Metropolitan area stretches beyond the canton limits and comprises a third of the country's population. San José exerts a strong influence on a wider range because of its proximity to minor cities (Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago) and the country's demographic assemblage in the Central Valley.

Part of the fun of traveling is sampling the local cuisine. With that in mind, branch out and give a few locally-owned San José restaurants a shot. San José dining offers choices for those who crave comfort food and those who savor more international flavors, fans of out-of-the-way spots as well as exponents of stylish, upscale dining rooms. Bars and pubs are popular, so check out San José nightlife options. For a cold glass of Costa Rica's favorite beers – Imperial and Pilsen – and a rousing game of soccer on television, head to one of the city's many sports bars. For dancing, swing to the beats of traditional merengue, salsa and cumbia music, jam out at one of the city's hip rock clubs or lose yourself in modern techno and a hip-hop club.

 

Eco Adventure

 

In the Central Valley you can find National Parks and amazing eco-tourist destinations.

  • Poas Volcano Costa Rica

Poas National Park is a volcano that soars 2,708 meters above sea level. Located in Alajuela, near San José, it is one of the most spectacular volcanoes in Costa Rica, with breathtaking scenery. Examples of the flora includes small cypress and cedar trees. The dwarf forest predominates in this area. There are some mammals that live in the park; marmots (which are marsupials), shrews that are amongst the smallest mammals in the world, bats and over 79 avian species like the quetzal and the emerald toucanet.

The Volcán Irazú or "the Powder Keg of Nature" as it has been called, is an active volcano with an irregular sub-conical shape.  It towers 3,432 meters above sea level and spreads over 500 square kilometers. There are four craters at the summit of the Irazu and the vegetation has undergone considerable alteration due to the eruptions.  Today it's possible to see areas with sparse plant growth within the rim of the craters.  Elsewhere it’s possible to find secondary forest and patches of primary forest.  Wildlife in Irazu is very scarce.  Some of the mammals that have been seen near the summit are coyotes, armadillos, porcupines and tiger cats. Birds like hummingbirds, woodpeckers and mountain robins are a common sight.

The Braulio Carrillo National Park, located 20 Km northeast of San José, lies in one of the most rugged regions in the country. Almost the entire terrain is a jumble of towering volcanic mountains. The vegetation in the park consists of a very thick evergreen forest with a highly complex structure. The composition of the forest changes depending on the environmental conditions, such as terrain, drainage, temperature, cloud cover and rainfall. Most of the park is covered with primary forest, trees ferns, heliconias and a large number of palm trees.  There is a wealth of wildlife, especially birds.  Some of the resident mammals are howler, spider and white-faced monkeys, tapirs, jaguars, pumas, white-tailed deer, porcupines and sloths.

The Volcan Turrialba National Park located in the Cartago province offers some wonderful exploration opportunities for the adventurous traveler. With all three of its craters easily accessible and safe to roam, the Turrialba Volcano presents some wonderful summit scenic vistas, weather permitting, of the lush surrounding landscape. There’s a verdant cloud and rain forest, which plays host to a number of birds, wildlife and rich foliage including ferns, bamboo, and bromeliads.

 

Things to do

 

San Jose is the center of Costa Rica's art, cultural and entertainment scene. Travelers can visit San Jose's museums, statues, landmarks and churches, learning more about Costa Rica's history and culture at every stop.

Quality museums are definitely in abundance, with the best being the Jade Museum and the Costa Rican Art Museum. However, the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum is a must-see, displaying intricate gold replicas of animals that once served the ancient Diquis inhabitants as religious symbols.

Teatro Nacional (National Theater) is an architectural work of art. It was constructed in 1897 and showcases a lovely neo-classical facade. The theater's interior boasts marble staircases, gold ceilings, hardwood parquet floors, statues, murals and exquisite paintings. It is worth the trip just to view this unique structure, but it also offers well-done dramatic and musical performances on a regular basis.

The National Parks located in Central Valley; Poás, Braulio Carrillo, Irazú and Turrialba have road infrastructure so the visitors can enjoy the flora and fauna.

Besides the National Parks, the two extraordinary beautiful areas, Turrialba and Valle de Los Santos are a true tourist destination.

 

Let us be your guide to this amazing destination.

Contact us now and enjoy a memorable vacation in an eco-friendly way!

 

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