Surrounded by green mountains, lush coffee plantations and picturesque villages, San José is Costa Rica’s lively metropolitan capital and the primary point of entry.
Here visitors enjoy cultural attractions including the Jade Museum, the Gold Museum, Children’s Contemporary Art and Design Museum, and the National Museum where you’ll find exquisite examples of pre-Columbian craftsmanship. The National Theatre is the architectural jewel of the country.
San José is also the gateway to the strikingly beautiful Central Valley. Lush and green with a year around spring-like climate, the Central Valley is home to the national parks of Poás, Braulio Carrillo, Irazú and Turrialba which protect the region’s volcanos. Poás Volcano is the most active in the country where visitors can view the torrid, sulfurous caldron that boils within its massive crater. Irazú Volcano is the largest and highest active volcano in Costa Rica. From its summit you can see both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea on a clear day. Due to the altitude and rich volcanic soil, this region produces some of the world’s best coffee on sprawling, fertile plantations.
Things to see and do in San Jose & Central Valley
- Visit San Jose museums
- Enjoy fine dining
- Tour a coffee plantation to learn how coffee is grown and processed
- Go whitewater rafting or safari floating
- Visit area volcanoes and gardens
- See traditional oxcart painting and visit local artisans at Sarchi
- Ride the Rainforest Aerial Tram in Braulio Carrillo National Park
Our Favorite Hotels
Costa Rica Marriott
Hotel Grano de Oro
Finca Rosa Blanca
Heredia, Central Valley
Xandari Resort & Spa
Alajuela, Central Valley