Victorian charm and Caribbean culture all at once, Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose bustles with metropolitan energy, fueled by centuries of history and industry. Set atop the site of ancient native civilizations and bursting with international vibrancy, San Jose keeps both its historic allure and contemporary attractions, making it one of Costa Rica’s top destinations.

Collections of ancient art at the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum mingle with the contemporary creations from local artists at the Galeria Namu. Both galleries encapsulate what it means to be a Costa Rican with all of the color, flair, flavor, and style from the ancient world to today. But the flair and flavor of Costa Rica is evident in everything San Jose has to offer from the Pueblo Antiguo local amusement park to ecotourism sites like the Orosi River Valley park where you can find a small colonial village, incredible natural views, and an abundance of eco-friendly activities to enjoy as a group.

Even the architecture of San Jose reflects the historical continuity between the Victorian colonial past and the contemporary surroundings today. Buildings like the Teatro Nacional Costa Rica, an 1897 gem of a theater, remains operating with her preserved elegant structure, incredible details, lush interiors, and amazing facade. Tours of the Teatro are offered for groups large and small, and is one of the most popular buildings to tour in the city. The National Museum, likewise, draws visitors into the beautiful 19th century building to see collections on Costa Rican history and culture. On the other hand, if you want to experience what San Jose is like today, visit the Central Market where locals shop for fresh fruit, organic foods, and more. Plus, this is a great destination for non-natives to “people-watch,” as it were, and to garner a heightened appreciation for the culture and energy of this amazing city and its people.

Through the concrete jungles of the city’s borders to the cobblestone laden historic district and even the jungles and valleys in the lands beyond, San Jose magnificently represents what Costa Rica has to offer. Fascinating history, beautiful accommodations, vibrant living culture, and environmental friendliness mix to make Costa Rica’s capital city one of the top tourist destinations in the country.

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