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San Jose

San Jose is an ideal destination for a brief trip or a longer stay.

The population of this area of Central Valley is approximately 340,000.

From San Jose, Tarbaca is 9 miles to the south, and Palmichal is 11 miles to the southwest.

Take the kids to blow off some steam at Spirogyra Butterfly Garden and Amusement Park San Jose. ARA Project and the Children's Museum are also well worth checking out if the little ones aren't too worn out.

The kids can spend a whole day wandering around and looking at the exotic animals at the Zoo Ave and the Simon Bolivar Zoo.

When it's time to take five, grab something for lunch and find a shady corner at one of the picturesque green spaces, such as Parque Nacional or Central Park. You'll also find plenty of space to lie down in the grass at Peace Park and Sabana Park.

Take the family out for an intriguing day at the Gold Museum or the National Museum, two of the most interesting exhibition spaces here. Ask a staff member about guided tours or upcoming events. If you luck out and there's nothing on, simply enjoy a stroll through the contemplative halls.

The exhibition halls at the Jade Museum and the La Salle Natural Science Museum are overflowing with mysterious objects.

You don't need to be an artist to enjoy the beautiful works at the Museum of Costa Rican Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design.

Learn about the region's religious beliefs at San Jose Cathedral and Alajuela Cathedral.

Public squares may have a floor of cement, tiles or grass, but the buildings that surround them are often among the oldest or most avant-garde in the city. Here, Plaza de la Democracia and Plaza de la Cultura are the most popular. A walk around each is a fine way to get the lay of the land.

Do you want to meet the leaders of tomorrow? If so, you should arrange a visit to the Universidad Nacional or the University of Costa Rica. The active student body and up-to-date facilities are just a couple of the reasons that young people flock to this area.

This area is well-known as a good place to shop, so be sure to get your fix of retail therapy while you are here. Hunt for a great deal, indulge a luxury purchase or just enjoy a bit of window-shopping at San Pedro Mall and Plaza Real Cariari. Multiplaza Mall Escazu and Multiplaza del Este Mall are also bursting with excitement.

The National Theater is one of the premier venues to catch live shows. Make a night of it and have a few drinks with friends at one of the neighborhood eateries.

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