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San Jose Travel Guide
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Costa Rica

If you’re travelling through Costa Rica, it’s likely that you may pass through San Jose since it is known as the country’s transportation hub. Situated in the lush and beautiful region of the Central Valley Costa Rica, San Jose is a splendid starting point for you to begin exploring all the wonders of this marvellous country. With the most interesting spots located a few hours away, travellers often choose San Jose as the base camp for their Costa Rican journey. Several stunning beaches and resorts are situated near the capital allowing you to enjoy a memorable San Jose vacation, packed with exciting tourism activities and the opportunity to take in the beauties and culture of this stunning country.

San Jose is located within the “heart and soul” of the country - San Jose province. Recognized as an agricultural city throughout most of the 20th century, San Jose has since experienced explosive growth and development. Today, the city features shopping malls, diverse restaurants, office towers, and numerous museums. Its general style and architecture have a Spanish colonial influence. Some old adobe structures in the city’s north and west areas have been preserved with care, making it an attractive tourism spot for travellers keen on learning about the country’s heritage from the economic era of coffee prosperity.

At 1,149 meters above sea level and an average temperature of about 24 degrees Celsius, San Jose offers a comfortable climate for visitors to browse the city admiring local attractions. Art lovers can enjoy a day of exploration at one of the many museums found in the heart of the city, such as the National Center of Art & Culture, the Gold Museum, the Costa Rican Art Museum, and the Jade Museum. Another popular attraction is the National Theatre, which is the pride of Costa Ricans. Built between 1890 and 1897, the National Theatre is home to the magnificent work of several Italian artists, which are still in good condition even after 100 years.

San Jose, or Chepe as called by the Ticos, is often referred to as a charming and cozy city due to its small size and friendly residents. Ask anyone in the street, “how are you?” and you would invariable hear, “Pura Vida” (Pure Life). In two simple words, this expression conveys the friendliness and charm of the locals. Travellers to downtown San Jose can enjoy delicious local cuisine, the exquisite smell of freshly baked bread and recently brewed coffee, as the culture and energy of the city comes to life.

A trip to San Jose will allow you to enjoy an array of activities along the Central Pacific and South Pacific regions. Beach lovers will find their paradise at Jaco Beach, which is one of Costa Rica’s most visited beaches by both foreigners and Costa Ricans. Extending 4 km long, Jaco Beach is shaped in a lovely curve with lush hills situated at both ends. Surfers will experience some of the best surfing in the world at Jaco Beach. Meanwhile adventure travellers and thrill-seekers will marvel at the many opportunities to go white water rafting in the Savegre River or along the Naranjo River.

Eco-travellers will especially love Punta Leona Beaches, which are two beaches called Playa Mantas and Playa Blanca, separated by a point known as Punta Leona. With wildlife and greenery complementing its scenic beauty, both beaches are situated in a private biological preserve. Take an unforgettable sightseeing trip about 30 km from San Jose to see the Irazu, which was historically the most active of all Costa Rica volcanoes. Reaching 3,432 meters above sea level, Irazu welcomes many visitors each year. Regardless of your vacationing and exploration interests, San Jose and its surrounding areas offer something for everyone.

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San Jose  travel tips
Language spoken in San Jose
Spanish. English widely spoken in most areas.
Currency and exchange used in San Jose
The Costa Rican Colon is the local currency, although US dollars is recommended. Most hotels have a money exchange office on site. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted credit cards. ATM's are not easy to find and the Cirrus system is not compatible everywhere.
Voltage in San Jose
110V (same as Canada and US)

Vacation packing checklist
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San Jose weather
Weather in San Jose
The average temperature in San Jose is 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit) with seasonal fluctuations of 4 – 6 degrees depending on the month. While on vacation in San Jose, most months of the year visitors should pack clothes for swimming and warm weather. For December and January some nights may require a light garment. While the average temperature in San Jose makes this an ideal vacation destination we recommend that you apply plenty of sunscreen, drink lots of water and relax.
Avg. J F M A M J J A S O N D
High 33.0°C 34.0°C 35.0°C 36.0°C 34.0°C 32.0°C 32.0°C 32.0°C 31.0°C 31.0°C 31.0°C 32.0°C
92.0°F 93.0°F 95.0°F 96.0°F 93.0°F 89.0°F 89.0°F 89.0°F 88.0°F 88.0°F 88.0°F 90.0°F
Low 20.0°C 21.0°C 21.0°C 23.0°C 23.0°C 23.0°C 23.0°C 22.0°C 22.0°C 22.0°C 21.0°C 20.0°C
68.0°F 70.0°F 70.0°F 73.0°F 74.0°F 73.0°F 73.0°F 72.0°F 72.0°F 72.0°F 70.0°F 68.0°F

 
Traveling to San Jose
While on vacation in San Jose
Sunwing suggests the recommendations below while traveling on vacation to San Jose to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable holiday.
 
Documents required to visit San Jose
Documents needed to visit San Jose
Canadian Citizens please click here
Non-Canadian citizens please contact the San Jose consulate or embassy for information.
Map of Costa Rica
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San Jose Hotels
Hotels in San Jose