If you are visiting Costa Rica, odds are you will be flying into the capital city of San Jose. Many people simply stay in San Jose because they have to, not because they want to. However, if you plan to go anywhere in Costa Rica, you will have to make your way to San Jose. San Jose is the central hub for transportation in the country.
Because of this, many travelers use San Jose as a layover city or as base camp of sorts. Its takes between 3 to 5 hours to get anywhere in Costa Rica from San Jose. This makes it hard to cross the country in a single day. Thus, forcing many travelers to spend the night in San Jose and catch a bus or plane in the morning.
San Jose is located near the middle of the country and is home to the main international airport. From here, it is about 3 to 5 hours to many of the popular destinations in the country.
How to Get to San Jose
As mentioned before, if you are flying into Costa Rica, odds are you will be flying into San Jose. Because San Jose is the central hub for travel, it is very easy to get to. Just about anyone you ask should be able to tell you how to find the bus station for San Jose. It is fairly guaranteed that every city, no matter how large or small, will have a minimum of one bus a day whose destination is San Jose.
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The weather in San Jose is much like that of other mountainous areas in Costa Rica. The days are either very hot and dry or windy and chilly. Nights can definitely bring on some chilly weather. Plan on wearing some pants and carrying around a light jacket when going out in San Jose, day or night.
What To Do
Short of some night clubs and a lot of museums, there isn’t much to do in the way of activities in San Jose. The city is a great place to make reservations for activities in other parts of the country though. Many of the tour companies that have offices in San Jose usually provide round trip transportation to and from San Jose.
If you find yourself stuck in San Jose for a few days and have some money to spare, you can make your way to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. The gardens are an hour North of San Jose and about a US$80 round trip cab ride. Entrance to the park depends on the package you choose, but starts at around US$30 per person.
If you are into museums of any kind, you wont have a hard time finding one. From large theaters and national museums to private art galleries, it seems like there is some sort of museum on every corner.
For an interesting experience you can ask your hotel where the big street markets are. These are worth a visit just for the experience and assault on all of your senses.
Where to Stay
Backpackers – Hostel Pangea is one of the more popular hostels in San Jose. If you are looking for a party hostel, this is it. They have a built in bar, dance club, swimming pool, and restaurant.
Backpackers – Costa Rica Backpackers is another very popular hostel in San Jose. This one is much more laid back than Hostel Pangea. It is very large and has all the backpacker essentials like a kitchen, restaurant, computers, and more.
Photo By accrama