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San Jose Travel Guide


San Jose Introduction


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San Jose, Costa Rica, is the country's social, political and commercial center, and it's more cosmopolitan and prosperous than many other cities in Central America. San Jose is a pleasant place to visit, although it has comparatively few colonial structures, and most travelers use it as a stepping stone to somewhere else in the country. Volcanoes and mountains ring the city's barrios and suburbs; cloud forests, beaches, raging rivers and rain forests lie within a few hours' drive.  Click here to see the full San Jose travel guide on Travel42 »

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San Jose Geography


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Sitting in the middle of the fertile Valle Central (Central Valley), with volcanoes to the north and a rugged tectonic mountain chain to the south, San Jose has grown awkwardly into a metropolitan area of nearly 2 million residents. Its jumble of potholed streets confounds visitors.   Click here to see the full San Jose travel guide on Travel42 »

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San Jose History


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When Spanish conquistadors arrived in Costa Rica in the early 16th century, there were some 400,000 indigenous people inhabiting the region. Their cultures were not as sophisticated as those of the ancient Maya and Aztecs to the north, but they had developed agriculture, metallurgy, animistic religious beliefs and a hierarchical system of government.   Click here to see the full San Jose travel guide on Travel42 »

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San Jose Sightseeing & Things to Do


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Most of San Jose's important attractions are located within easy walking distance of each other around downtown, which is best navigated on foot. Begin your exploration with a tour of the National Museum, the repository of the country's history.   Click here to see the full San Jose travel guide on Travel42 »

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San Jose Nightlife


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San Jose has a vibrant nightlife scene—Ticos love to dance. Clubs featuring salsa, merengue, cumbia and other Latin music are located all over downtown. You'll find that most nightclubs don't really get busy until midnight, and some have a nominal cover charge, especially if there's live music. Many bars serve bocas, which are appetizers similar to the tapas served in Spain. Most bars technically close at 2 am, but people usually keep partying. Bars rarely close completely until 4 am on the weekend. However, many bars close at midnight during the week.  Click here to see the full San Jose travel guide on Travel42 »

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San Jose Restaurants & Dining


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Until a few years ago, visitors to San Jose were hard-pressed to find alternatives to the local menu of rice and beans combined with beef, fish or chicken. The most familiar regional dish has long been gallo pinto, a blend of black beans, white rice and spices typically served at breakfast (Ticos often eat massive quantities of food at the morning meal). Many visitors become fond of it and request gallo pinto at all meals.   Click here to see the full San Jose travel guide on Travel42 »

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