Located in the heart of Costa Rica, San Jose is one of the most diverse provinces in the country due to its dense urban capital city of the same name. Boasting a pleasant and mild climate, San Jose is one of the most populated regions of the country and welcomes visitors regularly. Its central location allows for direct access to the most popular attractions throughout the country. In addition, because of the city of San Jose, getting around is very easy because many of the roads are paved unlike some less-developed areas along the coastline and in densely forested areas.
San Jose is home to dense culture and history, exquisite architecture, bustling nightlife and friendly locals. Considered to be both a traditional Central American city and cosmopolitan urban center, San Jose provides a wonderful array of activities and attractions. Because San Jose is the cultural hub of the country, there are plenty of museums
, art galleries, parks and dining options for visitors to choose form. Although the city is fairly modern in terms of Latin American cities, as buildings are rarely older than 100 years, there are still plenty of World War II era buildings.
Some of the best attractions in San Jose include Central Park, Morazan Park, Spanish Park, National Park, Democracy Plaza and the Jade Museum
. The Jade Museum is one of the country's finest and home to the largest collection of American jade in the world. Arranged by cultural regions, exhibits include gold pieces, stonework and ceramics.
Considered to be one of the most beautiful spots to go bird watching in the area, San Gerardo de Dota boasts stunning views of rolling hills with the Cordillera de Talamanca in the background. Roughly 200 aviary species call this area home, and the park is a must-see for nature lovers. San Gerardo de Dota has not yet become a booming tourist attraction, so travelers may find this gem to be peaceful and truly unique.
The nearby Savegre River
is a great spot to cast a line, and the hiking here is unmatched.
It's not even necessary to leave the city center of San Jose to enjoy pristine greenery. La Sabana Park is located at the sight of the old main airport in San Jose. As a popular hangout for locals, La Sabana Park is a must-visit for any traveler in the capital. It is the country's biggest and most important urban green space, comparable to New York's Central Park. The park is also the site of the National Stadium
, a 40,000-seat stadium that hosts international musicians and sporting events. Even if you are not attending an event at the stadium, its architecture is a sight to see. Pack up a picnic or pick up a futbol game at this lovely park.
Known for its large population of elusive, yet adorable, quetzal birds, this park is a crucial habitat for many animals and plants along the Cordillera de Talamancan. The quetzal is a small, vibrantly colored bird, and it is very easy to spot here. It's best to plan a trip between December and May, which is the peak quetzal season. The park spans three types of rainforest and 14 different ecosystems, making it a great site for coyotes, tanagers, hummingbirds, jaguars and tapirs. The park also sits along both sides of the Rio Savegre, and is home to a diverse array of brightly colored tropical flowers. The vibrancy is easily apparent in this jewel of nature.