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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

Boasting marvelous tropical wildlife and outdoor adventures, Costa Rica is truly 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 many major destinations spread throughout the country, just perfect for a day-tour to the local forest regions or a hike to the nearby mountains. The city's energetic and vibrant life and unique nature will make for unforgettable experiences.

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National Theatre of Costa Rica

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Jade Museum

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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

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Orosi River Valley

Richie Diesterheft

Morazán Park

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Corso Lechería Tour

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Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

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La Paz Waterfall Gardens

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Poás Volcano National Park

Typical Costa Rican vegetable plate sahana/Shutterstock.com

Dining

Rice, vegetables, black beans, and fruit are the main ingredients of Costa Rica's gastronomy. As it is common in Central America, you will find a healthy and delicious variety of dishes. The city center is filled with a good amount of small cafés, cozy restaurants, and lovely eateries where you can have a taste of the country's mouth-watering cuisine.

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Tin Jo

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Park Café

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Sapore Trattoria

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Alma de Amón

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Kalú

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La Tortillería de Luján

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La Ventanita Meraki

La Muny

La Muny

Coffee JIL Photo/Shutterstock.com

Cafes

San José's cafes are usually cozy and intimate, and welcome everyone t a quick refreshment or an extended break on a busy day of sightseeing. You will come across plenty of places where you can grab an ice cream to eat as you stroll through the city, or just a small venue to sit down and enjoy an afternoon snack. Coffee is certainly something you will not want to miss when in one of the world's coffee capitals.

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Café Miel

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Mantras Veggie Cafe and Tea House

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POPS

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Café Rojo

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Cafeoteca

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Viva Café

Bars & Nightlife

From jazz cafés to dance clubs and beer pubs, San José offers its visitors a diverse selection of nightlife entertainment. You will experience a vibrant street life and an exciting music scene with events for every taste. Hangout with some friends in the pub around the corner and head out to the hottest disco in town afterwards—you won't be disappointed with the Latin nightlife of San José.

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Vértigo

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Jazz Café

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Costa Rica Beer Factory Inc

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Bar Bahamas

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La Avispa

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El Sótano

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Antik

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Castro's

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Stiefel Pub

Shopping

Carvings from polished coconut wood, colorful bead bracelets, and handmade 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

San José Central Market

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Feria Verde de Aranjuez

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Lincoln Plaza

aceshot1/Shutterstock.com

Galería Namu

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Holalola Travel Gifts

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

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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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