Explore the City of San Jose, Costa Rica

Last updated on April 30, 2023

San José is Costa Rica’s capital city. And listen, I know what you’re thinking – it’s just a landing pad for visitors heading out to the beaches, mountains, and national parks, right? WRONG!

Sure, San José might not make the best first impression, but remember what your mom always told you – first impressions aren’t always correct. And if you give this city a chance, you might just be pleasantly surprised.

First off, San José is at an elevation of 3,800 feet, which means you get those year-round mild temperatures that Costa Rica is so famous for. And while the houses and businesses might be arranged in a haphazard way, you’ll find plenty of parks and buildings with interesting attractions.

Now, historically, San José was just a small village known for farming. But after gaining independence from Colonial Spain, a brief civil war led to the national capital being moved to San José. And then, the introduction of coffee in the Central Valley in the early 19th century led to a rise in prosperity and the growth of a wealthy merchant class. They even looked to Europe for architectural influence, which is why you’ll find plenty of World War II-era buildings filling the skyline.

But let’s talk about the present day – 40% of the nation’s population live in San José and its surrounding suburbs. So don’t let this city’s first impression fool you – there’s plenty to discover here. Get out and explore, folks!