San José West, San José

Immerse yourself in the Tico culture when you plan a visit the western side of San José, Costa Rica.

From world-class sports to world-class restaurants, concerts, art and more, this western area of the bigger city of San José offers an eclectic mix of attractions and amusements, with enough fun activities to please any visitor.

La Sabana Metropolitan Park

If you’re a soccer fan, you’ve likely seen the modern National Stadium of Costa Rica, home of the national fútbol (soccer for Americans) team.

Soccer is the national pastime, and you’ll find game fields throughout the country. The stadium is located in La Sabana Metropolitan Park and draws local, regional and national, not to mention international, fútbol fans to the city.

It’s also the site of major concerts and other events.

La Sabana Neighborhood

Once the site of San José’s main international airport, the La Sabana neighborhood includes La Sabana Metropolitan Park, the jewel of San Jose West.

The city converted the land to create a wonderful mix of residential homes, restaurants, hotels and of course, the stadium and park.

You can spread a blanket beneath a tree for a family picnic, enjoy an open-air concert, or just stroll the grounds and soak up the atmosphere.

Your stroll will take you past ponds and fountains, statues and sculpture installed in areas around the park. If the kids are getting fidgety, let them spend some energy on the park playgrounds.

Area Museums

Make a day of it with San Jose West culture opportunities that include visits to the Museum of Costa Rican Art, on park grounds, or the La Salle Natural Science Museum, near the park’s southwest corner.

The Contemporary Art and Design Museum of Costa Rica is a beautiful building which includes the former airport’s control tower, an interesting anchor to area history.

The museum houses the work of Latin American artists in a variety of mediums, from paintings to wooden sculpture, watercolors and more. Works by important artists such as Max Jimenez, Jose Sancho, Francisco Zuniga and many more are on display, along with an incredible second-floor mural showing the historical progression of the country beginning in pre-Columbian times to the present.

La Salle Natural Science Museum offers dinosaur bones and a set of whale bones are among the exhibits, one of Latin America’s most important museums.

You can view more than 55,000 stuffed animals, birds and marine life, including the sea turtle, as well. Additional displays feature mineralogy, archaeology, paleontology, an amazing assortment of fossils and an impressive butterfly collection that highlights the beautiful blue morpho.

Be sure to take a peek at the live turtles napping in the sun on the way out.

Area Restaurants

If you didn’t pack a picnic lunch, no worries; there are several restaurant options in this western side of the capital, many within walking distance.

Explore the national cuisine with dishes such as pork or chicken casado with white fresh rice, beans, salad and plantains or the international favorite, arroz con pollo.

Enjoy fresh fruit from area growers for dessert.

Additional Neighborhoods

There are plenty of hotel options throughout San José West, but if you’re looking for something with more local flavor, consider a bed and breakfast.

There are many small B&Bs in the Rohrmoser and Pavas neighborhoods. Rohrmoser is the home of many diplomats and affluent native families and Pavas is the home of a domestic airport.

San Joseé West is a city within a city and home to a rich mix of cultural arts, cuisine and activities that reflect the native Tico population. It’s a great place to take the plunge into the Costa Rica lifestyle.

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