Heading to Costa Rica this year, but planning to spend a bit of time in its capital? While most of the things that make this country great are well outside the Central Valley, there are still many awesome things to do in San Jose Costa Rica. Let’s explore a few possibilities below…
1) Go on a museum crawl
There is more than malls and fast food restaurants within the core of downtown San Jose. In its centre lies a number of interesting museums that will take up your first day in the capital. Start with Museo de Oro Precolombino, or the Gold Museum.
Detailing gold trinkets found here and throughout Central America that dated back to the era before Christopher Columbus, you’ll marvel at the wealth that civilizations here before the Spanish possessed. Continue viewing valuables at the Museo del Jade, which was another preferred precious stone for the peoples that were here before the Europeans.
From there, the Museo de los Niños (Children’s Museum) and Museo Nacional may interest those that are really into learning.
2) Go on a day tour to attractions throughout the Central Valley
Being constructed mostly in the 19th century, San Jose lacks many of the colonial flourishes that mark other capitals in Latin America, but it makes up for it for having a wealth of natural attractions within a short drive of the city centre.
From coffee farms to volcanoes, there is no shortage of ways to connect with this country, whether you are just starting your trip here, or scrambling to squeeze the juice out of your final days.
3) Experience Costa Rican cuisine
While many decry the food in Central America as being boring and uninspired, those willing to dig deeper into Costa Rica’s culinary scene will find meals that are hearty and flavorful.
To that end, there are many sodas, or neighborhood eateries that serve up casados, which are dinner plates with a meat entree, rice, black beans, salad, sweet or savory plantains, and other delicious sides.
4) Party with local university students in San Pedro
San Jose is not just the governmental centre of Costa Rica … it is an educational seat as well, and with that come scores of college students.
While they work and study hard during the week, they let loose as hard (and often harder) than your average student from a western nation on the weekend. To witness this first hand, hit the bars in San Pedro (a wealthy neighbourhood to the east of downtown) and see for yourself.