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What to do in San Jose

San Jose, Costa Rica is a phenomenal place to visit while on a tour or vacation, and offers a wide array of interesting things to do. Exploring the area can be incredibly fun and eye-opening, especially if you are fan of the outdoors and nature activities. San Jose also boasts an incredibly vibrant and exciting nightlife for those who enjoy nights out on the town. Thanks to its rich cultural heritage and amazing history, San Jose is also home to a splendid variety of museums which will surely please even the most discerning tourist.

Day Trips from San Jose

Simon Bolivar Zoological Park

One very popular and family friendly attraction in San Jose, Costa Rica is the Simon Bolivar Zoological Park. This zoo, while relatively small, is jam-packed with an incredible array of Costa Rican wildlife. There is also a large variety of other animals, including some from Asia and Africa. The Simon Bolivar Zoological Park is a great way to spend an afternoon, or even an entire day, in while visiting San Jose. You and your traveling companions will find a great number of opportunities for photographs of the many animals on display here. This zoo also offers a great educational opportunity, as visitors can learn many interesting facts about the various animals on display.


If you or people in your traveling party are fans or students of art history, there are many options for art museums in San Jose, Costa Rica. One example which really stands out is the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum. This is certainly one of the most unique art displays one could ever hope to encounter, and it is worth a visit. More than 2,000 incredible pieces of work, all done in gold, are on display here. All of the work at the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum is quite ancient and really gives visitors a feel for how the culture of Costa Rica must have been back in those ancient times. This museum is a great opportunity to educate yourself on the culture and history of Costa Rica; there is also an amazing display of stamps and gold coins here which will further enhance your visiting experience.

The Museo Nacional, or National Museum, is another great place to check out while you are inn San Jose, Costa Rica. This museum has an archeological room with Indian artifacts and items such as pottery and arrowheads. It also has a colonial room, where visitors can view and learn about the Spanish conquest and many artifacts from that period of Costa Rica’s history. In another area of this museum there are exhibits about various contemporary art in Costa Rica.

Turu Ba Ri Tropical Park

For those who enjoy hiking and being out and around incredibly scenic natural environments, the Turu Ba Ri Tropical Park is an absolute must for any visit to San Jose, Costa Rica. This intriguing park boasts nearly 600 acres of undeveloped, protected natural wildlife and amazing vegetation. With over 500 different kinds and species of plants, those who enjoy learning about and seeing different types of flowers and trees will certainly be incredibly entertained at this beautiful place. The park offers many wonderful hiking trails, so please bring your hiking boots, water bottles and perhaps even a light picnic lunch to bring with you while you explore the gorgeous surroundings. For those who enjoy a thrill, there is also a “Tarzan Swing” which is over 260 feet high!

Plaza de la Cultura

While in San Jose, Costa Rica, you may find yourself wanting to do a little shopping. Perhaps you would like to pick up some souvenirs for yourself or for friends and family back home. If so, head right over to the Plaza de la Cultura (the Plaza of the Culture). This is undoubtedly the most popular and varied shopping area in all of San Jose, and you are certain to find many wonderful items to remind yourself of your Costa Rican trip for many years to come. There are many street vendors in this area, as well as many delicious and enticing options for dining out and trying the fantastic local cuisine. Or you can simply stroll around the area and watch the comings and goings of the local residents of San Jose. No matter what you do there, you are sure to have a great time.

Finally, no trip to San Jose, Costa Rica would be complete without sampling some of its incredible nightlife. Whether you seek dancing, entertainment or a simple but pleasant dining experience, San Jose has plenty to offer. There are many great dance clubs and restaurants to go to in San Jose, and a night on the town here will never be forgotten by you or anyone in your tour group.