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Pocket Guide: San Jose

Hotels in San Jose

Perched on a plateau in the Central Valley, San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica, and home to about half of the country’s population as well as a great selection of hotels from budget-friendly to upmarket luxury. Crammed with interesting museums, parks and cultural attractions, San Jose makes an excellent base from which to take guided excursions to explore the country’s natural wonders.

San Jose

San Jose is a bustling capital city where the ancient and modern, and the natural and man-made, collide in exciting fashion. There are plenty of excellent eateries that showcase the best of Costa Rica’s natural produce, with a colourful range of zesty fruits and fresh vegetables, washed down with a cup of real Costa Rican coffee. There is much to see and do in San Jose – seek out the Pueblo Antiguo, a fascinating recreation of a turn of the twentieth century Costa Rican town, and the Teatro Nacional Costa Rica, a handsome architectural relic of a bygone age.

San Jose’s Museums

San Jose is home to a number of museums that highlight the best of Costa Rica’s pre- and post-colonial cultures. The Pre-Colombian Gold Museum is a fascinating repository of gold artefacts fashioned by the native inhabitants before the arrival of the Europeans. The craftsmanship involved in the working of these ceremonial objects, plates and utensils, and animal and human figures, is breath-taking. The Museo de los Ninos is a children’s museum with displays ranging from dinosaurs to Costa Rican history, art and culture – there are lots of hands-on activities to keep younger visitors occupied.

Costa Rica’s Natural Wonders

Even in your hotel in the bustling heart of the capital, you’re never far away from Costa Rica’s natural wonders. The Braulio Carrillo National Park is a wonderful region of unspoiled rainforest, which visitors can enjoy in exhilarating fashion by taking a treetop zip-line ride, or cruising through the forest canopy in a sky gondola. The Orosi Valley makes for a beautiful day excursion from your accommodation in San Jose - enjoy the striking river and lake scenery, the rainbow colours of the natural flora, and the pretty local churches, and can also take a guided tour of a coffee plantation.