San Jose & Central Valley
When I first came to Costa Rica several years ago, San Jose was considered one of the ugliest cities in Central America. However, over the years I have grown to really appreciate our busy capital city for all of the new cultural activities and delicious restaurants popping up all over the San Jose Metropolitan Area.
San Jose is the main city located near the international airport just 30 minutes from the city's center at Alajuela (SJO.) There are many hotel options near the airport, but you may want to try something closer to the center of San Jose for more nightlife and shopping opportunities. There are interesting day tours you can do with local providers who take you to the more-authentic parts of town, so be sure to ask us how to sign up for these off-the-beaten path tours. I have to say I did not have much appreciation for the bustling, economic center of Costa Rica. San Jose was unappealing with heavy traffic and not much to see and do. Times have changed and San Jose is going through an inspirational revival of sorts and you will likely find something fun to do if you stay in this under-appreciated capitol city!