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INFORMATION SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA

City Maps And Getting Around

Hotels, Lodging In And Around San Jose

Things To Do In San Jose City

San Jose Walking Tour

Museums In San Jose

Theater / Movies

Embassies /consulates In San Jose:

Clinics And Private Hospitals

Come For The Beaches - Stay For The Climate

Spanish Language Schools & Translation Services

Vacationing In San Jose

Costa Rica Business Services In San Jose:

Restaurants

San Jose & Central Valley Real Estate:

General Information:

About San Jose Costa Rica

San Jose – Where most people enter Costa Rica!

Even though the International airport in Liberia, Costa Rica has greatly expanded its capacity in the last year, Juan Santamaria International Airport in San José, is still where most people arrive in Costa Rica. So, before departing on your Costa Rican beach vacation trip, you might want to sample some of the color that San Jose, Costa Rica has to offer. If you are a business traveler, take time to enjoy the entertainment, culture and great restaurants that are springing up in San Jose, Costa Rica. So, here are a few facts, ideas on what to do and what to see, in both downtown and greater San Jose.

Most Requested Tours Leaving From San Jose Costa Rica :

Our service provider, Costa Rica Hotels, Tours, Travel & Vacation Information is Ranked #1 on #1 in Trip Advisor for “Things to do in San Jose Costa Rica”.



Please check out here our most requested tours from San Jose Costa Rica:
Click - Arenal Volcano by Night    San Jose Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano by Night $126 p/p

A unique opportunity to experience nature at its fullest splendor, seeing the most active volcano in our country. The tour starts picking up at leading hotels in San Jose and then ...

Click - Rain Forest Aerial Tram & Chirripo Rafting  San Jose Costa Rica

Rain Forest Aerial Tram & Chirripo Rafting $99 p/p

You can begin this tour with a stimulating, 2 hour canopy tour atop tropical rain forest tree tops above the magnificent Molitene River. Ten cables connect magnificent platforms located atop beautiful ...

Click - Tortuga Island Cruise   San Jose Costa Rica

Tortuga Island Cruise $139 p/p

Enjoy a day in the sun on board Calypso’s 71 foot state - of - the - art catamaran, Manta Raya. Sit in one of the fresh water deck pools or ...

Click - San José City Tour   San Jose Costa Rica

San José City Tour $44 p/p

Starting on the East side of San Jose you will visit the Democracy Place and the National Museum, the Courts, Los Yoses, San Pedro Mall, Hispanidad Fountain and the Rodrigo ...


*Please click here to see entire list of tours leaving from San Jose Costa Rica

Most requested Hotels in San Jose Costa Rica:

Check out the most requested hotels in the San Jose area of Costa Rica:

Hotel Grano de Oro   Costa Rica Cultural Site / Luxury Boutique Downtown

Hotel Grano de Oro From : $0 p/p

Settled on a quiet street just off Paseo Colón, Hotel Grano de Oro is a true oasis, a sanctuary in the heart of a bustling city. Converted from a tropical Victorian ...

Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose  Business  / Weddings  / Luxury Resort Near Airport

Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose From : $0 p/p

Costa Rica Marriott is located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica in, San Antonio de Belen, few minutes from downtown San José, an ideal place to access many of the ...

Hampton Inn and Suites  Costa Rica Business Hotel Near Airport

Hampton Inn and Suites From : $0 p/p

The Hampton Inn & Suites Airport San Jose Costa Rica is surrounded by the Central Valley Mountains. It is designed with a tropical atmosphere to make you feel like you are ...



*Please click here to see entire list of available hotels in all of Costa Rica

Costa Rica Car Rental Special!

Sixt Rent a car - best discount car rentals in Costa Rica

Also take advantage of GREAT RATES and SPECIALS at SIXT COSTA RICA CAR RENTAL – offering $210.00 per week for small 4x4 (insurance not included) and also 7X5 DAYS: PAY 5 AND GET 2 FREE DAYS!







In San José, people don’t use street addresses for directions, this does create problems. People here give directions by referring to landmarks. You can get a San Jose city street map to guide yourself and you can also ask Ticos for direction they are very friendly. To get from the Juan Santamaria International Airport to San Jose city, basically, take the General Cañas Highway and head towards downtown. Of course, if you have no car at that time, just use an official orange airport taxi to take you to your hotel. You will see them when you exit customs. The rates are fixed, depending upon where you want to go.

For more information please visit www.costaricamap-online.com, offering the most comprehensive and detailed road and city maps of Costa Rica!
Sixt Rent a car - best discount car rentals in Costa Rica


Also take advantage of GREAT RATES and SPECIALS at SIXT COSTA RICA CAR RENTAL – offering $210.00 per week for small 4x4 (insurance not included) and also 7X5 DAYS: PAY 5 AND GET 2 FREE DAYS!



San Jose offers everything from hostel / hotels for budget travelers and back-packers, to the finest, 5 star
hotel accommodations for the upscale tourist and / or business traveler. 
You can read about some 3rd party recommendations for budget lodging here, and more here. Then read about
middle range accommodations, or go to  luxurious / boutique lodging and international 5 star hotel chains. All San Jose hotels, resort / spas, bed and breakfasts, hostels and apartotels are located on our San Jose / Central Valley hotels page. The red star ratings are
indicative of the quality and price, and they are listed by location, from downtown San
Jose to the international airport, about 30 minutes away.

Most requested Hotels in San Jose Costa Rica:

Check out the most requested hotels in the San Jose area of Costa Rica:
Hotel Grano de Oro   Costa Rica Cultural Site / Luxury Boutique Downtown

Hotel Grano de Oro From : $0 p/p

Settled on a quiet street just off Paseo Colón, Hotel Grano de Oro is a true oasis, a sanctuary in the heart of a bustling city. ...

Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose  Business  / Weddings  / Luxury Resort Near Airport

Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose From : $0 p/p

Costa Rica Marriott is located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica in, San Antonio de Belen, few minutes from downtown San José, an ideal place ...

Hampton Inn and Suites  Costa Rica Business Hotel Near Airport

Hampton Inn and Suites From : $0 p/p

The Hampton Inn & Suites Airport San Jose Costa Rica is surrounded by the Central Valley Mountains. It is designed with a tropical atmosphere to make ...



*Please click here to see entire list of available hotels in all of Costa Rica

Most Requested Tours Leaving From San Jose Costa Rica :

Our service provider, Costa Rica Hotels, Tours, Travel & Vacation Information is Ranked #1 on #1 in Trip Advisor for “Things to do in San Jose Costa Rica”.



Please check out here our most requested tours from San Jose Costa Rica:
Click - Arenal Volcano by Night    San Jose Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano by Night $126 p/p

A unique opportunity to experience nature at its fullest splendor, seeing the most active volcano in our country. The tour starts picking up at leading hotels in San Jose and then ...

Click - Rain Forest Aerial Tram & Chirripo Rafting  San Jose Costa Rica

Rain Forest Aerial Tram & Chirripo Rafting $99 p/p

You can begin this tour with a stimulating, 2 hour canopy tour atop tropical rain forest tree tops above the magnificent Molitene River. Ten cables connect magnificent platforms located atop beautiful ...

Click - Tortuga Island Cruise   San Jose Costa Rica

Tortuga Island Cruise $139 p/p

Enjoy a day in the sun on board Calypso’s 71 foot state - of - the - art catamaran, Manta Raya. Sit in one of the fresh water deck pools or ...

Click - San José City Tour   San Jose Costa Rica

San José City Tour $44 p/p

Starting on the East side of San Jose you will visit the Democracy Place and the National Museum, the Courts, Los Yoses, San Pedro Mall, Hispanidad Fountain and the Rodrigo ...


*Please click here to see entire list of tours leaving from San Jose Costa Rica


You really get to see the city, the people, and the sites when you walk instead
of taking a taxi.  Go at a leisurely pace and enjoy the culture with this suggested downtown San Jose walking tour.


Costa Rica has a wide variety of museums. Whether you are into art, science or history, San Jose's museums offer something for everyone. Native American artifacts, pre-Columbian gold and modern paintings are just a few examples of what you'll discover in the capital city. Here’s a list of the most important museums in the capital city, San Jose:


Costa Rican Art Museum

42nd Street, Sabana Este, San Jose, Costa Rica (Behind the Leon Cortes-Castro Sculpture)
Tel: 2222-7155
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Monday

Costa Rica National Museum

Antiguo Cuartel Bella Vista, 17th Street between Central and 2nd Avenue, San Jose, Costa Rica
Tel: 2257-1433
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Costa Rican Gold Museum

Plaza de la Cultura
5th Street, between Central and 2nd Avenue, San Jose, Costa Rica
Tel: 2223-0528
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Mondays

Costa Rica Jade Museum

7th Avenue between 9th and 13th street
INS Building, Second Floor San Jose, Costa Rica
Tel: 2223-5800, Extension 2584
Hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m.

La Salle Natural Science Museum of Costa Rica


Southwest corner of La Sabana
Colegio La Salle San Jose, Costa Rica
Tel: 2232-1306
Hours: Monday through Sunday from 7:30 to 4:00 p.m.

Museum of Contemporary Art and Design

3rd Avenue between 15th and 17th Street San Jose, Costa Rica
Tel: 2257-7202
Hours: Monday through Friday 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Closed Sundays

National Children's Museum of Costa Rica

4th street and 9th Avenue San Jose, Costa Rica
Tel: 2223-7003
Hours: Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. 4:30 p.m.; Weekends 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Teatro Nacional (National Theater of Costa Rica)


The National Theater, located in San Jose on Avenida 2 between Calle 3 and Calle 5, was modeled after the art deco style of Paris’ Opera House. It is decorated with Belgian ironwork, Baroque and Italian renaissance flourishes and 22.5 karat gold leaf. Its construction was completed in 1897, and has only undergone one major renovation since, in 1991. In 1965, the National Theater was declared a Costa Rican national monument.

The 1,040-seat theater can be converted into a ballroom, using a 12-man manual winch that raises the entire floor to stage level. Its vaulted ceilings are decorated with detailed paintings of mythological deities and a large 85-light chandelier. The foyer and main lobby are decorated with paintings by classic Italian artists and gilded with real gold-leafed mahogany furniture. The floor was completely refurbished in 1940 using ten varieties of native Costa Rican hardwood. The theater was finished in 1897 and inaugurated that same year by the French Opera Company, which was invited to help celebrate its opening.

National Theater Phone Number: 2221-1329
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday
Entrance fee $7.00

Teatro Melico Salazar (Melico Salazar Theater in San Jose)


The Melico Salazar Theater is located in front of the Central Park, at the intersection of 2nd Avenue and Calle Central in San Jose Costa Rica. The original theater was built in 1799, and once served as the municipal tenement house. An 1828 earthquake near San Jose, completely destroyed the graceful building, but it was soon rebuilt from its own rubble.

In 1849, Juan Rafael Mora converted the building into his main offices, and moved his army in. Traces of army presence are still evident today, and cannons have even been found hidden beneath the theater's floorboards. In 1918, the building changed hands and purposes once again, becoming a school for boys. Unfortunately, a 1924 earthquake severely damaged its structural integrity, and it was soon vacated.
Jose Raventos purchased the property promptly. After removing the building's remains, Raventos began plans to build a theater elegant enough to rival Costa Rica's National Theater. A local architect drew up the plans, and the new structure was dubbed the Raventos Theater. The theater enjoyed years of success, hosting many operas, operettas and other entertainment. In 1967, a Dracula adaptation went wrong, and a raging fire destroyed the theater's interior. Soon after, San Jose's elite purchased and refurbished the theater, renaming it the Popular Theater.

In 1976, the theater's interior was completely renovated. Interested parties began to quarrel over the theater's new name, and many lobbied to rename it the Municipal Theater. Others suggested the name Melico Salazar Theater, after a famous Costa Rican tenor. The latter suggestion won out in 1980, and the theater has retained its prestigious name ever since.

Melico Salazar Theater San Jose Costa Rica Phone Number: 2233-5424
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. From Tuesday to Sundays

Eugene O'Neill Theater


This is the third largest theater in San Jose, and often hosts performing arts shows from around the world. The small but elegant theater seats 314 guests.

Eugene O'Neill Theater Phone Number: 2207-7554

There are over 30 consulates and embassies in San Jose, most located in the downtown area.

British Embassy: San Jose

2258-2025
2225-4049 (Emergency beeper, ask for the British Embassy Duty Officer)

Dutch Embassy: San Jose

2296-1490
8381-3090 (Emergency cellular phone)

German Embassy: San Jose

2232-5533

Swiss Embassy: San Jose

2221-4828
2233-0052

Spanish Embassy : San Jose

2222-1933

U.S. Embassy: San Jose

2220-3939
2220-3127 (Emergencies)

Health service in Costa Rica is quite good. Medical services are available throughout the country and many doctors speak English and have studied in the United States or are members of American Medical Societies.. All the main cities & towns have a public hospital: San José, Cartago, Limón, Puntarenas, Ciudad Quesada (near Arenal), Nicoya, Liberia, and Golfito. Rural communities usually have small medical offices called EBAIS, where you can head to for basic attention. In case you need to have a major procedure some recommended Private hospitals in San José are:

Hospital Cima San José, 2208-1000


Hospital Clínica Bíblica, San Jose 2522-1000


Hospital Clínica Católica, San Jose 2246-3000


Hospital Cristiano Jerusalén, San Jose 2216-9191



Many people who come back to Costa Rica to live or retire, want to do so on the
beach.  However, many change their minds for the more comfortable,
"eternal spring" like weather and climate of the greater San Jose /
Central Valley region.  So, what can you expect? Basically, you will always be comfortable, although it can be wet a times.

Yes, there are language schools on the beach and in Monteverde, etc., but most are located in and around the San Jose area. Some of these schools are private, offering group classes or private instruction, and of course there is the University. For really intensive learning some people go into a "home stay," live with a family program. Here are some Spanish language schools located in San Jose. Go here to see more San Jose schools and beach town, intensive learning schools.   Also, now offered are TEFL Courses (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)   For More information on translation & interpretation services in San Jose.

That's right, some people do! Residents of Florida and citizens of Puerto Rico are frankly not interested in any more beaches. Florida residents often come here in the summer to escape the oppressive Florida summer heat, instead of going north to Canada, which could also be hot. It's only a short plane ride from Florida to San Jose, and the temperature here is always mild. Puerto Ricans like to take day tours from San Jose to Arenal Volcano / Tabacon Hot Springs, and other parks and attractions, and enjoy the diversity of restaurants, night life and shopping.

Most businesses in Costa Rica and professional services for the businessman are within the metropolitan area of San Jose. Here you will have at your disposal the largest conference centers, business center parks and professional services and hotels that cater to the business traveler.

San José has experienced a flowering of International restaurants and the city now has a large range of exiting dining places: from Italian to Peruvian, French, Japanese, Mediterranean and much more. U.S. chains Mc Donald’s, Quiznos, Subway, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, among others are well represented in the Central Valley.

Some recommended bars and restaurants are:

Fusion Cuisine in and Around San Jose

Le Monastére, Located in a hill top it offers a great view of San José and great International fine cuisine. Tel: 289-4404

Bakea, A trendy restaurant located in a restored Barrio Amón mansión in San jose, offering fine fusion French-Costa Rican cuisine. Tel: 248-0303

La Luz, Alta Hotel. Using the freshest produce, meats, fish and spices of the region it offers a fusion of Costa Rican and continental cuisine. Tel:

Chillout Cafés and Pubs in and Around San Jose

Café Mundo, It offers a great International cuisine in a casual setting. It is located in an old mansión with a chic decor, Tel: 233-6272

Jazz Café, A nice place for hearing live music from alternative Costa Rican bands.Tel: 253-8933
Restaurante Café Lounge Morazan. Set in a historic building in front of Morazán Park San Jose, it offers Mediterranean, Mexican and Typical dishes.Tel: 221-9527

Il Panino. A trendy chillout bar, great for having a Martíni or a glass of wine with a Panino. Curridabat near San Jose, Tel: 524-0335, Escazú, Tel: 228-8606

Café Teatro Nacional. Situated inside the National Theatre in San Jose it is a nice place for having a casual lunch or a cup of premium coffee. Tel: 221-3262

Asian Restaurants in and Around San Jose

Sensu. A Japanese restaurant with a large variety of Sushi and sashimi rolls. Curridabat, Tel: 524-0350, Escazú, Tel: 228-2443

Samurai, A fine Japanese restaurant located in Plaza Itscatzu outside of San Jose. Tel: 288-0202

Tin Jo. In a Japan, India, China or Thailand room you can enjoy a wide range of exceptional Asian food. It offers and extensive vegetarian menu. In San Jose Tel: 257-3622

Costa Rican Food in and Around San Jose

La Casa de Doña Lela. It offers a wide range of Costa Rican typical dishes in a rainforest theme decoration. In San Jose Tel: 241-0625

La Casita Azul. Located in a small typical casita in San Pedro Mtes. Oca, near San Jose. it offers great Costa Rican food. Tel: 283-2740

La Cocina de Leña. Set in El Pueblo night center in San Jose, it offers Costa Rican typical dishes. Tel: 223-3704

La Cascada. Situated in Escazú near San Jose, it offers great Costa Rican food and very good steaks. Tel:

Italian and Mediterranean Cuisine in and Around San Jose

Pan e Vino, In a casual setting it offers a complete selection of pastas and a large variety of the best thin-crust pizza in town, near San Jose. San Pedro,280-2869 Escazú, 228-8606

Andiamo Lá. It offers great Italian cuisine in a nice setting ocassionally with live Italian music. Tel:

Olio Pub. A casual restaurant with delicious Mediterranean cuisine. Tel: 281-0541

Bacchus, One of the best Mediterranean restaurants set in a historic big mansion in the center of Santa Ana. Tel: 282-5441

Argentinian and Peruvian Restaurants in and Around San Jose

Chancay, One of the best Peruvian restaurants in town, located in Plaza Itskatzu near San Jose. Tel: 289-6964

Donde Carlos, Set in a contemporary style ambience, it offers the best grilled beef dishes and Argentinian cuisine. Tel: 225-0819

French Cuisine in and Around San Jose


Le Chandelier, A classy restaurant with a formal setting, offering traditional French cuisine. Tel: 225-3980

L´Ile de France, Located in Le Bergerac hotel were you can dine in a tropical garden courtyard it offers a traditional French menu with interesting innovations. Tel: 283-5812


If you want to live in the best climate in the world, or do business in San Jose
and the Central Valley, then sooner or later you will need to look at real
estate - to rent, lease or buy.  Go here to look at San
Jose / Central Valley real estate - houses, condos & business properties.
 
You can still find excellant values and good investments in land and homes here.

If you are thinking about retireing to some of the best climate in the world in the San Jose, Central Valley region, and want to take a closer, Christipher Howards's retirement tours offer a great opportunity to see this area and make an informed decision. If you have vacationed here before and have already decided to move here, or are being relocated by your company, find out more about relocating to Costa Rica.

Here's what the Travel and Adventure Guide to Costa Rica by Hunter Publishing has to say about our San José city:
“San José has been the capital of Costa Rica and the seat of its democratic government since 1823. Nestled high in the Central Valley (1,253 meters/3,770 feet), between green volcanic mountain ranges, the metropolitan city of about one million people is oriented east and west, surrounded by suburbs that cling to the gentle foothills. The nearby town of Escazú, southwest of the city off the autopista, is home to the largest population of North Americans living in Costa Rica, either full-time or part-time, and is consequently more upscale than San José’s downtown or other suburbs.

Unlike other Central American capitals, San José is not a very colonial city, although the heart of the historic center features several beautiful old buildings. It didn’t become a decent-sized city until relatively late in the 1800s, long past the colonial era, and had a modern building boom in the 1950s and 60s. Because of its economic success from coffee exports, San José became the second city in the Americas to install electricity (1884). At its heart are the National Theater, Plaza de la Cultura, Parque Central, the Cathedral and Gold Museum, which are centered in a fourblock area with a long pedestrian-only shopping walkway bisecting the middle of downtown.


Despite the lack of stone and plaster colonial ambiance, many of San José’s buildings boast a unique and charming architectural style known as “Caribbean Victorian.” Just beyond the modern office high-rises are wood-framed clapboard houses built at the turn of the century. Graceful porticos and wrap-around verandas distinguish these appealing homes (some converted to offices or small hotels) painted in soft pastels. Many have the original metal roofs that sound rat-tat-tat in the rain.


San José is a very cosmopolitan capital with many welcoming qualities. Near-perfect weather is a big attraction to visitors as well as expatriates who call the Central Valley home.
Some 250,000 foreigners, mostly North Americans, live in Costa Rica full time. The temperature is fairly consistent between 70 and 75°F. Occasional Northerlies, cold fronts, call for a jacket or sweater at night. The rainy season, when late afternoons and evenings bring showers, lasts from May to October, mas o menos. As the cultural heart of the nation, San José is home to several theater groups, excellent museums, parks, a national symphony, cinemas and universities. It is also host to nightclubs, casinos, discos and fine restaurants. Residents of San José are known as Josefinos.


On the down side, the city is often crowded, dirty, noisy, ugly and disagreeable. It may take some getting used to – some people hate it, but the longer you stay, the more San José grows on you. We love it! “