What to See and Do in San Jose

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

San José has been founded in 1739 by the Cabildo p León Spanish Council, making it the capital city in Latin America. A third of Costa Rica’s people could be seen living here and in the suburbs.

Day Trips

Avenida Central

San José’s Avenida Central, or Central Avenue is the hub of all city activity. It runs from city blocks in the center of San José.

What to See and Do in San Jose

Barrio Amón

Downtown San José

Avenida Central is just as commercial with supermarkets, shopping centers, restaurants, fountains and businesses, as any European city road along its pedestrian walkways. For Avenida Central is the perfect place to meander about.

Insect Museum in the University

What to See and Do in San Jose

Barrio Amón is a neighborhood in San José that includes art galleries, boutiques, various restaurants, antique shops, cafés and hotels. Most of the region is also a terrific way to see one of the remaining colonial districts of San José in the world and pedestrian-only.

What to See and Do in San Jose

Jade Museum

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What to See and Do in San Jose

Mercado Central

French immigrant Amón Fasileau Duplantier founded the neighborhood in the conclusion of their 19th century after creating a name for himself as a prosperous coffee baron. Since its construction, Barrio Amón has served as an upscale residential area such as the elite, including ex-presidents, actors and wealthy coffee moguls of San José.

Museo de Arte Costarricense

Now tourists can marvel at the architecture in this historical section of town, which will be located near the flurry of downtown San José. It is considered to be one of the parts of the city and will direct you straight to a different locality named Barrio Otoya.

Museum of Pre-Columbian Gold

What to See and Do in San Jose

Parque Central

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

Spirogyra Butterfly Garden

Begin your experience at Plaza de la Cultura. Here you will see street artists and entertainers, however you shouldn’t stick around. The Tourism Information Office is close by and there you will locate Pre-Columbian Gold Museum. Downtown San José is crowded and packed nearly every day of this week and could be dangerous for tourists following dark, therefore I recommend your visit to the area before 4 p.m. in order for your experience is as pleasurable as mine had been.

What to See and Do in San Jose

Tropical Bungee

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


The University of Costa Rica is renown and is one of the most prestigious in the country. In 1962, the above sector of the university founded a center to educate the general public concerning the importance and impact of those little critters. It started with just 59 specimens. Since then, the displays have expanded with over a million species of bugs sorted by order.


With the noble goal of notifying the public of insects in Costa Rica, the Insect Museum in the University of the cellar of Costa Rica is a wonderful way to find out about the functions that are crucial that these creatures perform in Rican ecosystems. Include dragonflies, beetles, butterflies and 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 of their National Insurance Building, which is the tallest construction in Central America. The museum comprises 1,500 distinct parts of Pre-Columbian Jade from the Americas, ranging from 500 B.C. into 800 A.D., making it the greatest group of its kind. Jade was a precious commodity in pre-Columbian Central America

What to See and Do in San Jose

Additional Travel Info

What to See and Do in San Jose

In the last several years the Jade Museum has undergone much-needed lighting renovations, which have enhanced the experience and enabled guests to better enjoy the luster of every piece. For the entry fee, people are given the opportunity to view extraordinary pieces of jewelry and other handmade jade items as well as a display demonstrating how jade is carved.

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

The Mercado Central, or Central Market was founded in 1880 and it was providing locals and tourists with flowers, medication, clothes and all things in between. It is located on Avenida Central and comprises some 200 stalls. Over 20,000 socialize, people come here to shop and grab a bite to eat at any a few of those sodas. The northern part of the complicated specializes in foods like fruits, meats and fresh fish.

Even though Central Market may well not be for the faint of heart- other such items and carcasses are left out in the open, those who brave it will find themselves in the center of this lively San José encounter. Central Market is a excellent way to practice your skills while vacationing with the vendors. Something is a pack of roasted coffee beans. Just take a home for you and your nearest and dearest and put in yourself to bliss. The market is open 8% to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The Museo de Arte Costarricense, also known as the MAC, homes over 6,000 works of art. With photography, sculptures, prints and paintings, it’s but one of Costa Rica’s finest museums. The sets are housed in an elegant colonial-style building that once served in Costa Rica’s first international airport. Priceless art pieces from the 15th century into the modern day adorn the museum’s seven large galleries.

Exhibits showcase local and worldwide artists, and there are some rotating displays throughout the year. There’s also an outdoor sculpture garden. The MAC is known as one of the greatest centers of the country. The MAC is available Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is absolutely free.

Gold has been one of Costa Rica’s identifying features. It compensated debts, built towns, has drawn explorers and formed the country. Pre-Columbian Gold’s Museum stipulates the significance in Pre-Columbian society of gold.

As these animals were revered by ancient peoples exhibits contain figurines in the kind of eagles or frogs. Artifacts made from porcelain and stone 12,000 years, dating back are on display. Now the treasures are housed in bi-lingual exhibition instances. Entry into the museum is $1, with students obtaining a discount. Also as well as your ticket is entry into Museo and a art gallery. The latter is home to rare coins and bills from across the world, a number over a million bucks worth of them! Some of the artifacts discovered 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 will be the perfect location. It is around the size of a single city block and in its center is a massive fountain from 1868, casting shadows across the property. There’s a buzz produced. Games, ranging from label can be found taking place here daily.

Northeast of Central Park is Parque Morazán; a three-city block sized area which comes with a dome-shaped music pavilion at its center and fountains, a Japanese garden, figurines. Although Central Park is the more famous of both, Parque Morazán offers monuments to see.

What to See and Do in San Jose

San José within walking distance of this concrete jungle that is downtown, lies the Spirogyra Butterfly Garden — an environmental and Profession project aimed at protecting these creatures that are fragile that are tiny. Committed to preserving a habitat Spirogyra is one of the last patches. Right across from the El Pueblo shopping center, it’s one of the greatest places to just lounge in the shade, enjoy a cool beverage and watch butterflies flit around.

A major goal of the owners would be to promote awareness of these risks several species of this butterfly face due to human expansion. Short of venturing out to the jungle, a trip to Spirogyra Butterfly Garden is by and far the best way to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Licensed U.S. blossom conservationists and zoos dictate their cocooned caterpillars from Spirogyra Butterfly Garden in order that if metamorphosis is finished, more baby butterflies are born to North America. This butterfly sanctuary is available daily from 8% to 4 p.m. Admission is $7.  

The maximum bungee jump from the Americas since 1991, this is not for chickens. Others can rest assured however, in over 30,000 jumps, but there’s never been one accident. Jumpers are secured on every ankle: once into three different regions and about the waist.

What to See and Do in San Jose

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What to See and Do in San Jose

The rig is mounted beneath the bridge in two areas to make sure there is a second as back up. The anchors will each maintain 30,000 pounds. I proceeded on three jumps it and myself had been an remarkable adrenaline rush. I hadn’t ever gone bungee jumping and this was the perfect initiation.

A one-of-a-kind encounter, although It’s exciting, but slightly expensive at $75 for the first jump and $30 for the second. Giant stair rides, rapelling on ropes along waterfalls, canyon walls, or ravines, zip lining and a trampoline if you can not bring yourself to dive off the stage Tropical Bungee additionally guides rock climbing trips. The very best part of going bungee? The Bungee Bus ride is free to and from your resort. Reservations are highly recommended.

15 miles southeast of San José and nestled against the base of this Irazú Volcano, Cartago’s town will be the oldest settlement in Costa Rica and was once the capital of the country. In 1565, King Philip II of Spain granted this agricultural city a coat of arms and in 1914, the Spanish Parliament depended the name of muy noble y muy leal, which translates into faithful and very noble. Cartago remained the capital of Costa Rica before 1823, when Gregorio Jose Ramirez moved the funds to San José, whose taxpayers better encouraged the leader’s ideology. Cartago was damaged several times by earthquakes and once with a volcanic eruption that eradicated town.

Cartago is home to the gleaming P Nuestra Señora P los Ángeles.

What to See and Do in San Jose

The Basilica was built in 1639 and then rebuilt following the 1963 earthquake destroyed parts of this church. Due to the reconstruction, the Basilica has a mix of colonial and contemporary styles. The Basilica was initially built to commemorate the finding of a small statue of the Virgin Mary that includes the black virgin holding a baby Jesus. La Negrita, since she predicted, could be located at a gold shell in the church on the very rock in which the statue was initially found. Pilgrims often render silver representations of human body parts, and pay a visit to the Basilica during the month of August they want to be cured in front of La Negrita.

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Various Other places of interest about Cartago Would Be the 27-acre Lankester Botanical Garden with an impressive orchid collection, Also the beautiful Orosi Valley with views of the Irazú Volcano and Ujarras Ruins, the picnic perfect Tapanti National Park and Also the Raventazon River- a white water rafting Harbor.

You can get from San José to Cartago by taking a bus ride.

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

About an hour northwest of San José through Route 1 is the town of famous because of its exquisite hand around Costa Rica’s crafted items. Sarchí is home to over 200 workshops and stores that create a wide variety of tableware and kitchen products, jewelry, wooden masks and leather goods. Ambrosio Alfaro Godinez first settled the town in the mid 19th century and also the name originates from the Mexican term for”the relaxed location .”

The very traditional handcrafted item in Sarchí is the carreta, an intricately painted ox cart which represents what was being used in the area to haul coffee from mountain farms into Costa Rica’s seaside ports. The carts were painted in the early 1900. However, through time, the ornaments have developed into intricate and vibrant designs. The carts are now used for festival displays. The world’s biggest ox cart are located at the Parque Central, which will be near the church of Sarchí. Even the ox cart, weighing in at about 2 tons and roughly 45 feet long, was built to earn the town a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Cases of the heritage of Sarchí are observable throughout its streets. The church, which has been built in the 1950’s, includes a tower which resembles a vaulted ceiling, a wedding cake and an elaborate carving. Visitors looking to buy crafts must stop a warehouse store that is run by the regional craftsmen elaborate, by the Mercado.

What to See and Do in San Jose

There’s a lot of charm and history from the capital of Costa Rica Though not filled with refined restaurants and contemporary buildings. Tradition is the name of this sport and also the Ticos, since the natives are known to, are favorable and in love with all the customs of the own culture. Don’t forget to be aware of your surroundings while at downtown. Don’t hang about there in the afternoon, but certainly make it out into the area to receive the complete experience.

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My Tropical Bungee adventure was unforgettable! Who would have thought that near death experiences may be so addictive? In Sarchí that I bought a whole lot of handmade ox carts, making family and my friends discovered to be a thoughtful gift. I advise that you pick up a few as they’re quite cheap and have become somewhat of this Costa Rican national symbol. I hope you decide to stay in the Alta as my adventure there has been nothing short of astonishing. The staff is friendly and the view is just what the doctor ordered. San José is a photographer’s dream come true with its unique mixture of old and new universe.

What to See and Do in San Jose

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 equal to Mountain Standard Time. From November to March, Costa Rica’s time zone is equal to Central Standard Time.

Getting about: In the airport, choose one of those crimson crane right into San José. They can be found just beyond the airport’s most important exit. A taxi ride to the city will cost you around $15. San José has budget-friendly public transport that includes flights and buses. The buses run daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., but you should be aware there is no official bus program. Where there will be a bus stop, if you are in doubt ask somebody. Taking a taxi is another alternative. Just red clocks are now official and also come with working meters equipped. If you are scheduled for day excursion outing or a tour, make certain to arrange transfers with whichever business or excursion group you book.

Even the San José train process is really a work in progress, however can be a good choice to cut traveling time to areas like Belen, Pavas, San Heredia and Curridabat and Pedro.

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

Currency converter: XE

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

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