Founded in 1937, San José is currently a metropolis in constant growth. Costa Rica’s capital and the largest city in the country, San Jose is considered to be among the most cosmopolitan cities in Latin America. Here, you can find not only good accommodations and hotels, but many wonderful museums, bars, restaurants, shopping centers, colorful markets and a fast paced nightlife.
San José sits in the center of the country in the Central Valley, as a bustling city nestled inside a tropical paradise. It is surrounded by untouched forests. Serving as a place to crash in the beginning, San José is the perfect place to use as a base camp to tour throughout Costa Rica. With the Juan Santamaría International Airport just 20 minutes from downtown San José, there are plenty of tour bus companies based here, that run buses throughout Costa Rica.
Since the downtown area is fairly small and is one of the most frequented parts of the city, it is important to keep in mind that you will come across heavy traffic here, with lots of noise and congestion. However, this part of the city is the heart of San José. The streets and avenues here are usually bustling with pedestrians and traffic, so the best way to explore this area is by foot.
Downtown San José is the busiest part of town. A maze of streets and avenues, here you can find most of the city’s museums as well as a number of hotels and plazas. Plenty of tour companies, restaurants and hotels can also be found here, with the Coca cola Bus Terminal sitting just north of Central Avenue, if you’re interested in touring.
Besides touring, there are also a number of language schools in downtown San Jose that can help you speak fluently. Very popular and offering good value for money, you can attend intensive language classes for up to 5 hours a day and at the same time live with a host family that will take care of your boarding and lodging. This is an excellent way not only to learn Spanish, but understand the Tico culture more intimately.