San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, is a bustling city nestled inside a tropical paradise. It sits in the Central Valley region with the Talamanca Mountains to the south and volcanoes to the north. It is surrounded by stunning, untouched cloud forests.
Founded in 1737, San Jose today is a sprawling metropolis. Costa Rica’s largest city, it is considered to be among the most cosmopolitan cities in Latin America. Here, you can find excellent range of accommodations, quality museums, inviting bars, diverse international restaurants fitting every budget, shopping centers, colorful markets and a fast paced night life.
The city is distinguished by its Spanish colonial buildings, like the ornate, neoclassical National Theatre overlooking downtown’s Plaza de la Cultura, a popular gathering spot.
Plaza de la Cultura –
Popular public square in downtown San Jose with a fountain & some greenery sitting atop the Museum of Pre-Columbian Gold.
Museos Banko Central de Costa Rica – www.museosdelbancocentral.org/en
Located under the Plaza de la Cultura. Includes Museum of Pre-Columbian Gold. A small art museum with extensive collection of Costa Rica’s Colombian gold and other Pre-Columbian artifacts.
Teatro National Costa Rica – https://teatronacional.go.cr/
The National Theatre which anchors one side of the Plaza de la Cultura, opened to the public in 1897. Coffee earnings and taxes derived from these profits, helped finance the theatre. The building is considered the finest historic building in the capital. Offers high quality performances by orchestras, operas, ballet, and other musical performances.
National Craft Market –
Huge covered market located in a square in the San Jose’s historic district near the National Museum of Costa Rica.
Museum National de Costa Rica – www.museocostarica.go.cr
The Costa Rican National Museum which sits on top of the Plaza de la Democraticia, is located inside the old Bellavisa Fortress. The museum features artifacts and history of Costa Rica related to Pre-Columbian art up to the present time. The Fortress, an ochre-colored building which was built in 1917, was originally a military barracks. It was converted to a museum following the 1948 civil war.
Jade Museum – www.museodeljadeins.com
Located opposite the Museum National de Costa Rica. One of the largest collection of American jade in the world.