Things to See and Do in San Jose

Spanish for Saint Joseph, San José is the capital of Costa Rica and also happens to be the largest city in the country.

Things to See and Do in San Jose

The Cabildo de León Spanish Council founded san José, which makes it the capital city in Latin America. A third of the population of Costa Rica can be found in the neighboring suburbs and living here.

Day Trips

Avenida Central

San José’s Avenida Central, or Central Avenue is the hub of town action. It runs from east to west across 20 city blocks from the center of San José.

Barrio Amón

Things to See and Do in San Jose

Downtown San José

Avenida Central is commercial as some other city road, along its walkways with supermarkets, shopping facilities, restaurants, businesses and fountains. For those who want to undergo San José on foot, Avenida Central is your perfect place to talk about.

Insect Museum in the University of Costa Rica

Things to See and Do in San Jose

Barrio Amón is a lovely neighborhood in San José that includes antique stores, boutiques, art galleries, various restaurants, cafés and resorts. Most of the area is also a great way to view among the remaining habitable districts of San José in the world and pedestrian-only.

Jade Museum

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Mercado Central

French immigrant Amón Fasileau Duplantier set the area in the conclusion of this 19th century after building a name for himself as a prosperous coffee baron. Since its structure, Barrio Amón has served as a very upscale residential place such as the elite, including ex-presidents, actors and coffee moguls of San José.

Things to See and Do in San Jose

Museo de Arte Costarricense

Things to See and Do in San Jose

Tourists can marvel at the structure within this pleasant section of the city, which is located near downtown San José’s flurry. It’s thought of as among the parts of the town and will lead you to another locality named Barrio Otoya.

Museum of Pre-Columbian Gold

Parque Central

Some splendid neo-Victorian illustrations in Barrio Amón need to be that the Moorish-style Bishop’s Castle located on Avenue 11 and 3rd Street (Av 11, C 3) along with the Alianza Francesa building located at C 5, Av 7.

Spirogyra Butterfly Garden

Begin your experience at Plaza de la Cultura. Here you’ll find entertainers and street dancers, however you shouldn’t stick around as long because there is not much more to find here. The Tourism Information Office is near by and you’ll discover Pre-Columbian Gold Museum. Downtown San José is packed and crowded almost every day of the week and can be unsafe for tourists following dark, therefore I recommend your trip to the place before 4 pm in order for your experience is as pleasurable as mine was.

Tropical Bungee

Wrapping up in the time will make you vulnerable keep you away from the madness that is downtown rush hour and to choose up. Lots of San José’s attractions are located on or walking distance from downtown’s Avenida Central (National Theatre, National Cathedral, Congress building and National Museum).


The University of Costa Rica is among the most prestigious in the country and is renown for the section that is entomology. In 1962, the above sector of the university based a centre to educate the public concerning the significance and effect of these little critters we call insects. It began with only 59 specimens. Since that time, the exhibits have expanded into a complex, with more than a million species of pests sorted by order.

Things to See and Do in San Jose


The Insect Museum in the University of Costa Rica’s basement is a terrific way to learn about the functions that are important these creatures play in Rican ecosystems. Bugs you will notice include butterflies, beetles, dragonflies and a lot more. The museum is open Monday through Friday 1 to 4:45 p.m.

Note from David

The Jade Museum is located on the bottom floor. The museum comprises 1,500 different parts of Pre-Columbian Jade from the Americas, which range from 500 B.C. to 800 A.D., which makes it the greatest collection of its type. Jade was a product in Immunology Central America

Things to See and Do in San Jose

Additional Travel Information

In the past few years lighting options, that have improved the experience and enabled guests to better enjoy the charm of every piece have been experienced by that the Jade Museum. For your entrance fee, people are given the opportunity to see a display demonstrating how jade is carved in addition to extraordinary pieces of jewelry and other handmade jade items.

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Ranges include terra cotta pots and vases. The Jade Museum is available Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.. It’s closed on Sundays.

Central Market, or the Mercado Central was founded in 1880 and it was providing locals and tourists with blossoms, medicine, clothing and all things in between. It’s found on Avenida Central and comprises several 200 stalls. More than 20,000 socialize, people come here to shop and catch a fast bite to eat at one of those sodas. The northern portion of the complicated specializes in foods such as meats fish and fruits.

Things to See and Do in San Jose

Though Central Market might not be for the faint of heart- carcasses and other such things are left out in the open will find themselves in the center of the lively San José experience. Central Market is a terrific way to practice your Spanish skills while vacationing with the vendors. Something special to search for is a bunch of freshly roasted coffee beans. Just take some home for you and your nearest and dearest and immerse yourself. The sector is open 8 a.m. to five p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The Museo de Arte Costarricense homes over 6,000 works of art. With sculptures invaluable paintings, prints and photography, it’s but one of Costa Rica’s greatest museums. The collections are housed within an elegant building that once served in Costa Rica’s first international airport. Priceless art pieces from the 15th century to the modern day adorn the museum’s seven big galleries.

Things to See and Do in San Jose

Exhibits showcase local and global artists, plus there are some exhibits all over the world. There’s also an outdoor sculpture garden. The MAC is known as one of the country’s best centres. The MAC is available Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 pm Admission is free.

Things to See and Do in San Jose

For the past couple of centuries, gold has been among the identifying attributes of Costa Rica. It has attracted explorers, built cities, compensated debts and shaped the nation. The Museum of Pre-Columbian Gold showcases gold’s importance in Pre-Columbian society.

Exhibits include gold figurines in the kind of eagles or cows, as these animals were revered by ancient peoples. Indigenous artifacts made of stone and porcelain 12,000 years dating back are on display. Nowadays the gold treasures are put in well-lit, bi-lingual exhibition cases. Admission to the museum is $1, with pupils getting a 50% discount. Also included with your ticket is entrance to Museo along with a art gallery. The latter is home to rare coins and statements from across the world, some of them worth more than a million dollars! A few of the artifacts found in the Museum of Pre-Columbian Gold date back to 500 A.D. Guided tours are available. The museum is closed on Mondays.

The aptly named Parque Central, or Central Park is the ideal place. It’s about the size of a single city block and in its centre is a fountain that is gigantic from 1868, casting shadows. There’s a continuous buzz made. Games, which range from label are available taking place here daily.

Northeast of Central Park is Parque Morazán; a block sized area which has a garden a dome-shaped music pavilion during fountains and its center. Although Central Park is much more famous of both, Parque Morazán provides intriguing monuments to visit.

Within walking distance of the jungle that is downtown San José, is located the Spirogyra Butterfly Garden — an environmental and Profession project directed toward protecting those small creatures. Committed to maintaining a habitat Spirogyra is among the last little patches. Directly across from the El Pueblo shopping centre, it’s among the best places to simply put in the shade, enjoy a cool beverage and watch around flit.

A significant goal of the owners would be to promote awareness of the risks many species of the butterfly face due to human growth. Short of venturing out into the jungle, a visit is by and far the best way to see these magnificent animals in their natural habitat. Licensed U.S. blossom conservationists and zoos dictate their cocooned caterpillars from Spirogyra Butterfly Garden so that when metamorphosis is complete, more baby butterflies are born into North America. This butterfly haven is available daily from 8 a.m. to 4 pm Admission is $7.  

The maximum bungee jump in the Americas since 1991, this is not for cows. Others can rest assured though there has never been a single accident. Jumpers are secured in 3 areas: once and around the waist.

Things to See and Do in San Jose

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Things to See and Do in San Jose

The rig is anchored under the bridge in two places to make sure a second is always up to now. The anchors can each hold 30,000 lbs. I moved on three jumps myself and it was an adrenaline rush. I hadn’t ever gone bungee jumping ahead and this was the ideal initiation.

A one-of-a-kind experience, although it is exciting, but slightly expensive at $30 for the second and $75 for your very first jump. Giant pendulum rides, rapelling on fixed ropes along waterfalls, canyon walls, or ravines, zip liner along with a trampoline, if you can’t bring yourself to dip the platform Tropical Bungee also guides rock climbing trips. The very best portion of going bungee? The Bungee Bus ride is free to and from. Reservations are recommended.

Nestled against the bottom of the Irazú Volcano and just 15 miles north of San José, the town of Cartago is the oldest settlement in Costa Rica and was once the capital of the country. King Philip II of Spain granted a coat to this town of arms and in 1914, the Spanish Parliament depended upon the town the title of muy noble y muy leal, that translates to very commendable and very loyal. When the capital transferred to San José, whose taxpayers encouraged the leader of ideology cartago stayed Costa Rica’s capital until 1823. Cartago was damaged several times by earthquakes and once by.

Things to See and Do in San Jose

Cartago is home Spanish for Our Lady of the Angels Basilica, to the white Basílica P Nuestra Señora P los Ángeles.

Following the 1963 earthquake destroyed sections of the church, the Basilica was built in 1639 and then rebuilt. Because of the reconstruction, the Basilica has a unique mixture of Byzantine and colonial styles. The Basilica was originally built to commemorate the finding of a statue of the Virgin Mary that includes the virgin. La Negrita, since she predicted, can be seen in a gold shell within the church on the very rock where the statue was originally found. Pilgrims and the Basilica frequently go to through the month of August, and render representations of human body parts that they wish to get healed before La Negrita.

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Some other Areas of interest around Cartago Will Be the 27-acre Lankester Botanical Garden with an Amazing orchid Set, Also the beautiful Orosi Valley with views of the Irazú Volcano and Ujarras Ruins, the picnic perfect Tapanti National Park along with Also the Raventazon River- a white water rafting haven.

Things to See and Do in San Jose

You can Access Cartago from San José by taking a 45-minute bus ride from San José from Calle 3 and Avenida 2 or by Calle 5, Avenidas 18/20.

The buses are by every five minutes and then operate till 10 p.m.. The round trip will give you a whopping $ two, which makes this day trip budget-friendly.  

About one hour northwest of San José via Route 1 is the city of Sarchí, famous because of its hand throughout Costa Rica’s crafted items. Sarchí is home to over 200 workshops and family-owned shops that create jewelry, wooden masks, a vast array of tableware and kitchen items and leather goods. Ambrosio Alfaro Godinez first settled the town in the mid 19th century along with also the name originates from the Mexican term for”the relaxed area .”

The very traditional handcrafted item in Sarchí is that the carreta, an intricately painted ox cart which symbolizes what was utilized from the area to haul java from mountain farms to Costa Rica’s seaside ports. The carts were first painted from the early 1900. But over time, the decorations have developed into designs. The carts are used for festival displays. The world’s biggest ox cart are seen in the Parque Central, that is near the church of Sarchí. The ox cart, about 45 feet long and weighing in at around two tons, was built to make the town a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Examples of the heritage of Sarchí are observable throughout its roads. The most important church, which has been built from the 1950’s, includes a tower which resembles a fancy carving, a vaulted ceiling and a wedding cake. Must cease from the Mercado de Artesanías.

Though not full of modern buildings and restaurants, there’s a lot of history and charm. Tradition is the name of the match along with also the Ticos, since the locals are known to, are friendly and in love with all the traditions of their own culture. Remember to know about your surroundings while in downtown. Do not hang about there in the late afternoon, but definitely make it out to the area to find the full experience.

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Things to See and Do in San Jose

My Tropical Bungee experience was unforgettable! Who’d have believed that death experiences may be so addictive? In Sarchí I bought a bunch of miniature ox carts, making my family and friends found to be a thoughtful present. I advise that you have become of the Costa Rican national emblem and pick a few up as they are rather cheap. I hope you decide to remain in the Alta because my adventure there has been nothing short of astonishing. The staff is super friendly and the view is exactly what the doctor ordered. In general, San José is a photographer’s dream come true with its mixture of old and new world.

Time zone: Because of its proximity to the equator, Costa Rica doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time. Throughout U.S. Daylight Saving Time, Costa Rica’s time zone is equivalent to Mountain Standard Time. From November to March, the time zone of Costa Rica is equivalent to Central Standard Time.

Getting around: From the airport, take among those red crane right into San José. They are available just past the airport’s most important exit. A taxi ride into the city will cost you around $15. San José has transportation that includes flights and buses. The buses run daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., but you should be aware there isn’t any official bus schedule. Just ask someone where there is a bus stop if you are in doubt. Taking a taxi is another option. Red taxis are all official and come with functioning meters equipped. If you are scheduled to get a tour or day trip outing, be certain to arrange transfers with whichever business or excursion group you book.

The San José train process is really a work in progress, however can be a good option to cut traveling time to places like Belen, Pavas, San Curridabat and Pedro and Heredia.

Currency: The national currency is the colon (CRC) and both dollars and Euros could be exchanged at banks.

Things to See and Do in San Jose

Currency converter: XE

Things to See and Do in San Jose

Best time to go: Dry season (late November through April).

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