San Jose the Capitol of Costa Rica
San Jose is a typical Central American City. In many respects it has outgrown itself and suffers from poor planning. It is the largest city in Costa Rica and has every service you can think of. The scenery around the city is something to see with mountains on all directions.
San Jose is always busy as many Costa Ricans still view it as a central part of their life. Many expats, however, who live here don’t go into San Jose, preferring the new suburbs and better services around the towns of Escazu and Santa Ana to the West of San Jose. Traffic is terrible in San Jose, so avoid driving into it if you can.
A large variety of shops and stores are open from dawn to dusk with all staples and more available. A number of good hotels and museums are spread throughout the city. The area around San Jose has exploded in recent years with many industrial estates and hotels feeding free trade agreements and tourism respectively.
The city is vibrant and alive at all times with most of the people being very friendly.
Places of Interest in San Jose
Plaza de la Cultura
Located next to the Gran Hotel Costa Rica, the Plaza de Cultura has been famous as a meeting place and for street performers for many years. Underneath this Plaza is the Gold museum with many pre Colombian collectors pieces to be viewed with many local pieces from the Diquis from the South of the Country. Well worth a visit.
This is an old fort just east of the Plaza de Cultura which has bullet holes purposely left in its turrets to remind people of the revolution of 1948 so they don’t forget the sacrifices people made for the freedom they now have. There are some great exhibits here from the colonial days and from various digs around the country.
The Jade Museum
One of the Better museums in the city, it is has a very large jade collection. Interestingly enough there is no known natural jade in Costa Rica so we wonder how so much of it found its way into Costa Rica and how so much was discovered in digs around the country.
La Salle Natural Science Museum
Located near LA Sabana it has many stiffed fish and animals along with other forms of preservation. Many different animal and insect life forms can be viewed.
Over 110 years old the theater is the pride of many Costa Ricans, and is partly copied from the Paris Opera house. One of the nicest in the Isthmus. It is used for many different events and was originally funded by wealthy local coffee farmers.
Costa Rica Art Museum
The Costa Rican Art Museum, located in Parke La Sabana, was originally the control tower of the old international airport. The art museum has many different local and international artists on display.