San Jose is Costa Rica’s economic, administrative, and political heart, and its privileged central location makes it a great hub for daily excursions to nearby national parks, volcanoes, coffee farms and river rafting. The serious visitor will enjoy the Jade Museum with over 6,000 pieces, the pre-Columbian Gold Museum’s equally extensive collection of indigenous artifacts, and the National Museum, located in what was the former Bellavista Fortress until Costa Rica abolished its army in 1949. The classic Renaissance-style National Theatre is well worth a visit even when there’s no production on stage. Nightlife is lively and extensive, including casino action. San Jose has two airports: Juan Santamaria International Airport and Pavas National Airport, both located just 15 minutes from downtown.
One or two nights
Best time to go:
Best time to visit is dry season (December-May), when days are clear and sunny and rain is practically non-existent. Day temperatures average 80F dropping into the 70s at night. Wet season is characterized by higher temperatures and humidity, clear mornings and heavy afternoon downpours.
• Rafting: The Pacuare and Reventazon Rivers rank among the world’s best for whitewater rafting.
• Canopy Tours: Aerial Tram in Braulio Carrillo National Park is a popular day trip
• Volcano Tours: Irazu and Poas volcanoes are regularly visited on day tours.
• Coffee Farm Tours