San Jose, Costa Rica
Updated: Mar 24
I've just started a 4 month trip in Costa Rica and thought I'd make a blog series about my time here. I begin my trip with two weeks travelling with my friend. So we start our trip in the capital - San Jose. As this is the easiest place in Costa Rica to fly to from the UK this is what we chose, we flew from Edinburgh to Paris then from there to San Jose, in total about 13hrs flight time, quite a long hall. When we arrived in the SJO airport I got myself a sim, I went with Kolbi, they gave me 30 days worth for $8.
After a lot of research and deliberation we decided to hire a car. Public transport isn't great in Costa Rica; it's cheap but you'll spend half your trip on buses, for instance a 3hr journey turns into 8hrs. You can get shuttle buses too but they're a lot more expensive. If you're travelling solo I wouldn't rent a car but if there's 2 or more I'd say its worth it, it's not cheap but we've really enjoyed the freedom. So, if you do go for the car, adobe car is good, they own various companies so we went through easycar, I compared various ones on rentalcars.com and this was the best option for us.
San Jose is a little crazy to drive in but we made it. We used waze instead of google maps as its better for traffic and is more up to date with road changes than google maps.
Now getting onto San Jose itself. There's really not much to do, if you're visiting Costa Rica it's not for this city. We just stayed one night, the night we arrived, in Hostel Del Paseo on Paseo Colon. It was fairly nice; it was clean, a 20min drive from the airport (providing you don't take several wrong turns) and walking distance from the main stretch Avenue Central. In the morning we went to a food court for breakfast and had some pinto de gallo con huevo, a traditional Costa Rican breakfast that consists of rice and black beans with some form of egg. We walked along central avenue to the central market which was ok, there's a few places to buy food and few other stalls that sell differnet types of food and some other clothes and accessories stores. Then from there to the national theatre. Its quite a pretty building, you can walk into the entrance hall which holds some nice statues and an ornate ceiling. We wandered about some more and found a nice cathedral that was beautiful inside. There's really not much else to see. There's some shopping on the central avenue and in the surrounding streets and I'm sure the night life is good enough, but nothing to keep us there longer than a few hours. We left for our next stop before lunch.
So sure, spend a morning or afternoon in San Jose as a little pit stop between places, there's a couple of really nice places to see, but don't waste your time by staying there more than one night.
Keep an eye out for more blogs on Costa Rica! It gets more interesting I promise!