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 Costa Rica is a unique Central American country nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. San José, the capital, holds diverse activities for visitors and has an exciting urban life with art galleries, parks, and a vibrant nightlife scene. The country is a worldwide-renowned travel destination due to its abundance of wildlife areas, rainforests, and national parks.

currency

1 ₡ Colón (CRC) = 100 céntimo

phone

911
Ambulance: 128
Fire: 118

newspaper

Diario Extra
Al Día
La Nación

hours

General opening hours are from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Note that many shops and museums might be closed on Mondays.

population

339.588

info

San José Tourist Information Office
Located in the east side of Juan Pablo II bridge,
over the motorway General Canes, San Jose
Open Monday–Friday 8am–4pm.
+506 2299 5800

Colourful houses in downtown of San Jose QArts/Shutterstock.com

The City

With its tropical wildlife and outdoor adventures, Costa Rica is a traveler’s paradise. Whether you want to explore a diverse fauna—with big wild cats, curious birds, and colorful fish—or to dive into the rainforest flora, this Central American paradise offers its visitors an outstanding glimpse of nature.

While the city of San José might contrast with its green surroundings, the cultural and political capital is well worth exploring. Among the gray buildings and the hectic urban life, you will find a number of art galleries, historic monuments, and market areas that will make your visit unforgettable.

San José is also a central travel hub with easy access to nationwide beaches, mountain hikes, and natural parks.

Behind the iron gate is the garden pathway into the National Theater in San Jose aceshot1/Shutterstock.com

Do & See

Besides having a vibrant urban life, San José is also the perfect starting point for day travelling to all major destinations spread throughout the country. Take a day-tour to the local forest regions or hike the nearby mountains. The country's energetic city life and unique nature will make for unforgettable experiences.

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Jaguar Rescue Center

Joe Ferrer/Shutterstock.com

National Theatre of Costa Rica

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Jade Museum

Marek Poplawski / Shutterstock.com

National Park

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Parque Zoológico & Jardín Botánico Nacional Simón Bolívar Park

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Monte Sky

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Spirogyra Butterfly Garden

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Children's Museum

Andy Rusch

Metropolitan Cathedral of San José

Dudarev Mikhail / Shutterstock.com

Orosi River Valley

Richie Diesterheft

Morazán Park

alessen/Shutterstock.com

Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

robert cicchetti/Shutterstock.com

Arenal Volcano

Typical Costa Rican vegetable plate sahana/Shutterstock.com

Dining

Rice, vegetables, most of all black beans, and fruit are on the daily menu in San Jose. In fact, the Central American cuisine offers you a healthy and delicious choice of dishes. The city center is full of small cafes, cozy restaurants and lovely eateries and lets you experience the taste of Costa Rica.

Tin Jo

Park Café

La Terrasse

Saúl Bistró

El Patio

Sapore Trattoria

Ram Luna

Jurgen's Restaurant

Alma de Amón

Kalú

Coffee JIL Photo/Shutterstock.com

Cafes

Many street cafes invite for a quick refreshment or extended break on a full day of sightseeing. Grab an ice cream cone as you stroll by or sit down for a snack in the afternoon. You will find yourself among happy locals and friendly travellers in the city center and downtown San Jose.

Park Café

Café Miel

Mantras Veggie Cafe and Tea House

POPS

Vishnu

Bars & Nightlife

From Jazz Cafes to dance clubs and beer pubs, San Jose offers visitors a diverse selection of nightlife entertainment. You will experience vibrant street life and exciting music culture with events for every taste. Hangout with some friends in the pub around the corner or check out the hottest disco in town - you won't be disappointed!

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Vértigo

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Jazz Cafe Club

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Costa Rica Beer Factory

Bochkarev Photography/Shutterstock.com

Bahamas

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La Avispa

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El Sótano

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Antik Restaurant + Bar

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Castro's

Shopping

Carvings from polished coconut wood, colorful bead bracelets, and hand-made ceramics are popular souvenirs that you can bring home from Costa Rica. Jewelry and skillfully crafted woven fabrics that will delight your friends and family.can be bought at the various markets in the city center.

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Mall San Pedro

Marissa Strniste

Mercado Central de San Jose

N K/Shutterstock.com

Typical Souvenirs

Peter Bernik/Shutterstock.com

Feria Verde de Aranjuez

MaraZe/Shutterstock.com

La Lechería

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Plaza América

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Cemaco

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Lincoln Plaza

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Galería Namu

Jean-Philippe WALLET/Shutterstock.com

Holalola Souvenir

Deckchairs along Mal Pais coastline in San Jose Costa Rica RHIMAGE/Shutterstock.com

Tourist Information

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Costa Rica is during the dry season, from mid-December to April (the dry season). This is the peak tourist season, with plenty of sunshine ideal for exploring rainforests and beaches. However, the dry season is the most crowded and expensive time to visit. The rainy season lasts from May to November, with incessant rain showers—it is the cheapest season to visit. During June and July, rain showers stop briefly and the forests burst with green foliage.

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Passport / Visa

Costa Rica allows for visa-free travel periods up to 90 days to citizens from most EU, America, and Oceania countries. Before traveling, check your country's visa policies at https://costarica.org/travel/visas/

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Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaría (SJO)

The Juan Santamaría International (SJO) airport is located about 17 km northwest of the city center. Right outside the entrance, you will find local shuttle buses that take you downtown. The journey is usually inexpensive. If you prefer taxis. make sure to get a licensed "Taxi Aeropuerto". One journey is about 25 minutes and costs about 25 US$.

Address: Autopista Bernardo Soto, Río Segundo, Costa Rica

Email:

Phone: +506 2437 2400

Website: www.fly2sanjose.com

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Public Transport

There is a good and inexpensive bus system in San José, as well as outbound buses to the rest of the country. Interbus and Gray Line Fantasy Bus will also take you to touristic places outside the city center, but the fares are slightly more expensive.

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Taxi

Taxis in San José usually have a meter and are inexpensive. Official taxis are colored in red or orange, and one kilometer costs about 640 colones. Note that exact street names are hardly used in Costa Rica so you better refer to some well-known places nearby.

Taxi San Jorge
+50 2221 3434

La Guaria
+50 2226 7125

Coopetaxi
+50 2235 9966

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Post

There are several post offices spread throughout San José. One of the main branches is located on Via 204.

Address: Via 204 10105, Av 34C, San José

Email:

Phone: +506 2202 2900

Website: www.correos.go.cr

More Information:

Pharmacy

Fischel
Frente a Correos de Costa Rica, San José
+506 2248 1682

Farmacia Sucre
Multiplaza Escazú, San Rafael de Escazu
+506 2289 0283

Premafarma
From Casa Italia, 50 meters South, Calle 29, San José
+506 2225 3774

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Telephone

Country Code: +506

Area Code: 22

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Electricity

110 volt, 60 cycle

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