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Destinations:

San Jose, Costa Rica

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San Jose Overview

In a country known for its ecotourism, San Jose provides the metropolitan lifeline for Costa Rica by balancing the untouched pristine natural beauty with a bustling economic hub. Founded in 1738 and named capital in 1823, San Jose is one of the youngest capital cities in Latin America. San Jose is the main entry point into Costa Rica and remains the country’s biggest modern city, offering cultural affairs, excellent shopping and housing the country’s main university.

Visitors and natives alike enjoy San Jose for its consistently moderate climate (70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, 21-27 degrees Celsius). This highly populated city makes up for approximately half of the entire country. As the nation turns its focus on both marketing and preserving its natural beauty, inviting tourists from across the world to enjoy its beaches, jungles and otherwise green and lush countryside, San Jose is the first stop among most tourists. Additionally, it’s becoming a more popular place for business travelers and a more frequent stopover destination.

Due to these factors, this capital has built itself up to be the most culturally and architecturally advanced city in the country and providing a rich contrast to the rural and untouched surroundings that make up the remainder of the country. The city rests 1,161 meters above sea level and is surrounded by fertile, green, untouched land. Because the Costa Ricans value their most precious natural treasures, they respect the land making their country one of the most ecologically sound destinations on the planet. The fact that San Jose itself does not even boast a single beach (a word usually synonymous with “Costa Rica”) is one of the more surprising facts about this unique city.

The majority of the streets in Costa Rica’s capital are unnamed and there is no mail delivery system. Directions are given based on landmarks and it is an easy city to navigate and otherwise enjoy on your own or with a tour group. Due to the city’s development in recent years, more and more people are choosing to vacation in San Jose as opposed to using the city simply as a transportation center. Day trips to and from San Jose are becoming more and more popular and tourists coming from countries with a similar landscape to Costa Rica (such as Puerto Rico or Florida) are choosing to vacation in San Jose specifically for its mild tropical climate and bustling city life.

San Jose has developed tremendously since the latter part of the 20th century and is alive with art, music, dance, dining and more. The night-life is bustling and the locals (many times referred to as “Ticos”) are among the world’s friendliest and most hospitable people making San Jose a lively and fun city.

For people first entering Costa Rica, San Jose provides a homey, city feel where tourists can acclimate themselves for a few days before venturing off to trek in the famous wet and dry jungles, surf on the breathtaking beaches or simply explore the emerald countryside.
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