Nature is the star in this Central American hub.

San José, the capital and largest city in Costa Rica, serves as a key entry and exit point for visitors en route to other parts of Costa Rica and Central America. And while many travelers make the mistake of simply passing through, this bustling locale is definitely worthy of a few days of exploration. Stay for a while to see all the cultural attractions, dining and outdoor experiences that the capital city has to offer.

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Explore San José

  • Barrio Amón
  • Downtown San José
  • Escazú
  • Santa Ana

Barrio Amón


The historic Amón neighborhood features a massive concentration of Spanish colonial architecture, with ornate woodwork and roofing details and colorful façades. You’ll also find several history-focused museums and restaurants housed inside restored buildings.

Known For

Restaurants , Shopping, Museums, Architecture

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Downtown San José


Downtown is the place to be if you’re looking to access numerous museums and attractions, including the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica and Museo Nacional de Costa Rica. This area is also home to the Parque Metropolitano La Sabana, the country’s largest urban park, and Plaza de la Cultura, a popular spot for people-watching and live entertainment.

Known For

Museums, Restaurants , Parks, Architecture

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Escazú doesn't have the buzzy nightlife of downtown San José, but it's a mere 10-minute drive away from the action — and makes a great home base for a trip. Within this peaceful suburb, you’ll find beautiful golf courses, high-end shopping, chic restaurants and traditional adobe architecture.

Known For

Dining, Shopping, Golfing , Residential

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Santa Ana


Located about 15 minutes from the center of town, this is the spot to experience the lush greenery for which Costa Rica is best known. This suburb has an abundance of traditional and modern homes, 100-plus locally owned pottery shops selling traditional ceramics and clay art and offers easy access to stunning natural landscapes.

Known For

Parks, Golf, Churches , Pottery

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Nearby Hotels and Resorts

Stay in The Center of it All

Immerse yourself in your destination at these centrally located hotels.

Showing 1-9 of 13 Hotels in San José1-9 of 13 Hotels

Find City Vibes With Jungle Flair in San José, Costa Rica

A ballet dancer performs on a dark stage

Get Cultured

Soak in as many cultural attractions as you can as you explore downtown San José. Snag tickets to the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica, walk through the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica and enjoy the sunshine and people-watching at Parque Metropolitano La Sabana. End the day with fine dining and a nightcap set to the soundtrack of live jazz.

A jade bowl with a gold detail sits on a pedestal

Find Home Inspo

Go deeper into San José’s history with a tour through Barrio Amón, which has the highest concentration of Spanish-colonial architecture in the country. After finding a little home-design inspiration, stop in at one of the neighborhood’s restaurants housed inside restored buildings, like Café Mundo, to get a taste of traditional Costa Rican cooking.

A plate with steak sits on a table

Take a Breath of Fresh Air

End your trip with a visit to one of San José’s lushest suburbs — Santa Ana. Here, get a breath of fresh air in the abundant outdoor spaces, including multiple conservation parks and golf courses, which welcome visitors interested in playing a round. For dinner it’s Italian or stick-to-your-ribs steakhouse fare — which you’ll dance right off at the city’s oldest nightclub.

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