San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica and is famous for its tourist attractions, which include great museums, fine dining and a bustling nightlife. Let us explore all that San Jose can offer to the traveler choosing Costa Rica as a tourist destination.
Plaza de la Cultura is one of the best places to be while in Costa Rica. Here, you can visit the gift shops for souvenirs to take home, or simply take a seat and enjoy the live performances held directly on the street by marimba bands, clowns, jugglers or musicians playing their instruments. As for accommodations, a recommended place is Paseo Colon, where the solicitous staff will help you get acquainted with San Jose.
One of the most popular museums in San Jose is the Jade Museum, where you can admire old artifacts and items made of jade dating from the pre-Columbian period. Museo de Arte Costarricense is also very much appreciated, as it hosts a large collection of artworks designed by the most famous local artists during the last two centuries. This modern museum is well known for rotating shows and the extensive sculpture collection. Museo Nacional should also be on the list of museums to visit as it is the place where you can admire a wide variety of natural history exhibits featuring pre-Columbian items.
Another museum to visit is the Gold Museum, situated close to the city downtown area. This museum is operated under the Central Bank Museums, and features a very large collection of items made of gold, designed in the unique pre-Columbian style. On the first level, you will pass through an introductory area and, on the second level, you will be able to understand the evolution of the local culture through the means of the exhibited gold objects. You will learn about the way metallurgy was developed in this country, as well as about the different styles of gold artwork.
Mercado Central is the place to go if you want to experience local flavors. Here is the market, where you can buy spices or exotic fruits and vegetables. Also, you can buy bread from a local bakery and, if you prefer, visit the stalls selling various manually designed wood and leather items. From here, you can also take the train towards other destinations.
San Jose on its own offers plenty of tourist attractions. On the other hand, if you want to leave the city for a while and experience other locations, you can choose the Monteverde National Park.
It will take you about four hours by car to get to the park when leaving from San Jose. If you prefer to go by plane, Sansa Airlines has flights readily available, and it will take you only 20 minutes to get to the destination. This natural park is famous for the amazing beaches, as well as its coral reefs. Here, in the rainforest, you will get the chance to see monkeys, crabs, sloths, iguanas or squirrels in their natural habitat.