If you’re going to San Jose, Costa Rica, it’s probably because you’re flying there on route to somewhere else – like the the coast. My advice when you land – don’t bother sticking around. San Jose is the capital city, so it goes without saying that it’s congested and polluted. Of all the cities I’ve visited throughout the world, San Jose was one of the least intriguing. Luckily I was with a good travel group (Tucan Travel) and the good, entertaining company made up for it.
We took a La Paz Waterfall Gardens Park tour which I highly recommend. The tour guides will pick you up from just about anywhere in San Jose – I remember it being a long ride to the Park and costing about USD$50, but like I said – highly recommended and well worth the cost.
We also did a tour to visit the Poas Volcano which was pretty cool, however the weather that day wasn’t very great and limited our view of the crater, which is the primary purpose of the trip. My advice would be to only take this tour on a sunny day. In the morning there were a “few” clouds and talk of rain, but we took our chances. Even a few clouds and a little rain was enough to spoil this view. However, the ride up was cool as we passed through some villages and coffee plantations. If you’re a coffee nut (bean) like me, you’ll enjoy the pit-stops to these villages and plantations on the way to the Poas Volcano and have an opportunity to buy some of the best coffee you’ll ever taste in your life!
If you decide to spend a day in San Jose, go check out the Mercado Central Market, it’s a great place to get authentic souvenirs and you’ll likely find some better deals on coffee at the market (vs the touristy coffee plantation stores).