Extra Time in San José, Costa Rica

This week our guest blogger, Anna Maria Espsater, shares with us her tips on how to spend time in San José.

The Costa Rican capital of San José is scenically located in a beautiful valley surrounded by mighty peaks. The city is home to some of Central America’s best museums, as well as good shopping, excellent restaurants and a busy nightlife. For those with more time on their hands, the great outdoors beckons with interesting day excursions to nearby national parks or working coffee farms.

Central Valley, San Jose Costa Rica
Central Valley, San Jose Costa Rica

San José centre

Museo de Oro Pre-Colombino, San José’s Gold Museum, housed underneath the Plaza de la Cultura, is well worth a visit for its wonderful treasures of gold. Intricate golden animal figurines, jewellery, statues and much more can be admired here and there’s also a replica of a pre-Columbian grave that was discovered in the 1950s, replete with gold objects. The museum is currently hosting “La Noche de Oro”, when the museum opens up to the public in the evening between 7pm and 9pm.

For an entertaining and colourful day out of a different kind, head to the central market, Mercado Central, and enjoy the hustle and bustle of San Jose’s largest market selling fresh produce and even the odd souvenir. Tasty and cheap meals can be found here and munched on the spot. As always in crowded conditions, keep an eye on your belongings.

Café Britt’s coffee farm

Café Britt is a coffee institution with outlets across the country and in other parts of Latin America. A popular daytrip from San José is taking one of Café Britt’s coffee tours, visiting a coffee plantation and finding out all about the process of making this ever-so-popular brew. There are half- or full-day tours that include a guided visit to the working coffee farm, coffee and chocolate tastings and a visit to a nearby eco-park. Lunch with traditional music is included in the full-day tours.

You can visit San José on our tours to Central America.

By Anna Maria Espsäter
First UK Rights

Anna Maria is a London-based travel and food writer, originally from Sweden. With 87 countries visited to date, she’s still trying to get to 100 long before retirement. She has authored, co-authored or contributed to over a dozen books, including the Footprint Handbook Mexico, the Footprint Handbook Colombia, the Michelin Green Guide to Colombia and the Berlitz Pocket Guide to Norway, as well as several food anthologies. She also writes features for a variety of publications and is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers.

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