San Jose Area Information
San José, affectionately referred to as “Chepe” by the locals, is Costa Rica’s capital city where commerce thrives. Visitors to San José will not find lush, tropical rain forests or killer surf breaks, but instead, a raw hustle and bustle that truly is Costa Rica. The entire span of the city can be walked in about 20 minutes, but everything found in between is an experience within itself. Vendors hawking everything from shoelaces and produce to hammocks and souvenirs shout out their offerings in competition with each other and the plentiful sounds of honking horns as cars attempt to weave through traffic. Diversity abounds in San José; Nicaraguans, Panamanians, Columbians and a variety of worldwide expats have flocked here over the years in search of prosperity, in search of change.
Visitors traveling with kids should stop by the Museo de los Niños & Galaría Nacional (Children’s Museum and National Gallery). Child-friendly displays on science, music and geography will entertain young ones, while adults will enjoy bold displays of modern art.
Experience the thrill of haggling with vendors at the local markets; Mercado Central and Mercado Borbón. Both markets feature the standard tourist souvenirs, such as t-shirts, hats and local coffee and boast fresh meat, seafood and produce.
San José is a must-see stop while visiting Costa Rica, even if only for a day. The offerings of the capital city can’t be found elsewhere in the country, and to witness boths ends of Costa Rica’s spectrum is an eye-opening experience that stays with tourists for years to come.