Guide to Costa Rica: San Jose
Costa Rica's capital city, San José, lies at its heart of the Central Valley surrounded by some of the most spectacular sights in the country.
Active volcanoes, jungle rivers, rich cloudforest and fields of coffee plantations can all be found within a few hours? drive of the capital.
Costa Rica's capital lies in the fertile Central Valley, a 30 minute drive from the airport.
The San José area is home to a third of the country's population and the city is correspondingly bustling and congested, although less alarmingly chaotic than some of the larger Latin American cities.
It's worth a visit to get to know everyday local life and to see the national museums and public buildings. The climate is pleasant year round and it's small and easy to navigate once you come to terms with its grid system.
Some locals drive aggressively and often erratically, but even downtown San José is quite manageable with care and a cool head.
There are a couple of interesting museums within the city itself, the best of which include the Jade Museum, home to the largest collection of jade in the Americas, and the Precolumbian Gold Museum, with its glittering display of delicate and beautifully crafted figurines.
If you have a spare half hour, the bustling Plaza de la Cultura is the ideal place to find a bench, sit back and watch the world go by.