San Jose is Costa Rica’s capital and home to a quarter of its population. A city tour provides a cultural experience for tourists who want see Costa Rican lifestyle. Other travelers may prefer to take day trips to other regions of the country. Popular attractions near the city include the Poas and Irazu Volcanoes, white water rafting, the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, the Turu Bari reserve, Orosi and Cartago (home of the country’s largest Catholic church) and the renowned Rainforest Aerial Tram at the Braulio Carrillo National Park.
San Jose is home to the country’s top restaurants and some of its best entertainment. The downtown area offers interesting sights such as the National Museum, Children’s Museum, Gold and Jade Museum, the National and the Melico Salazar Theatres, parks, plazas and the Central Avenue walking boulevard.
Typically, Costa Rica honeymoon guests arriving on evening flights and/or departing on early morning flights choose to make San Jose their home for the first and/or last nights. Many visitors choose to stay an extra night or two to enjoy the sights near the city, take a white water rafting trip or experience the city’s cultural and social life. Top rated hotels in the city range from large five star chain hotels like the Real Intercontinental or the Costa Rica Marriott to small, quaint Bed & Breakfasts like Grano de Oro, Fleur de Lys or Brittania, and popular downtown full service San Jose hotels like the Hotel Presidente.
While in San Jose:
The best class III and IV white water rafting trips are available as one- and two-day trips out of San Jose. The Pacuare River, one of the world’s top three rivers for rafting and kayaking, is an especially unforgettable adventure and remarkable day trip opportunity.
The Poas Highlights tour is a well-designed one-day tour that visits the Poas Volcano and National Park, the La Paz Waterfall Gardens and the Doka Coffee Plantation. Visitors will witness one of Earth’s largest craters, five magnificent waterfalls, Costa Rica’s largest butterfly farm and learn about coffee plantations and production.
Climb the Irazu Volcano and see the Orosi Valley. Take a trip east, past the city of Cartago, to the Irazu Volcano, one of the country’s tallest peaks. Additionally, tours visit the Orosi valley, a fertile landscape with scenic views and interesting towns.
Take in San Jose’s top museums and buildings. Downtown, a number of landmarks and attractions are within walking distance. Visit San Jose’s Cathedral, the renowned National Theatre, the Plaza de la Cultura and the Gold Museum. Continue on to the National Museum where you can learn about Pre-Columbian Costa Rican cultures. Other sites in the neighborhood include the Costa Rican Congress, Democracy Square, the Jade and the Children’s museums.