San Jose

On March 7, 2014 we arrived by plane in San Jose, Costa Rica coming from St Vincent via Barbados and Miami.

San Jose is Costa Rica’s capital. It is not a place to fall in love with, but anyway it is a cosmopolitan city with department stores and shopping malls. It does not have lots of high interest sightseeing points but it not so ugly as several touristic guides wrote. Sometimes it is an advantage if the expectations are not so high.

San Jose stands at an elevation of ca. 1100 m and the temperatures are not so high. You can walk to all important touristic places.

The school in downtown San Jose is an interesting building with the front out of sheet metal.


Costa Ricas Foreign Office is located in casa Amarillo (the yellow house). There is a Chinatown in San Jose too. However not very large.

The railway station has been built at the beginning of the 20t century and is now used for urban trains.

 The central market (El Mercado Principal) is covered, with tight and angled lanes and you could have problems to find the way out. It has a variety of products and goods ranging from live turkeys to leatherwork. There are a number of nice small bars and restaurants.  You will find fresh cooked fish and shellfish, corn based dishes, sopa de pescado (fish soup) and such exotics as “squid in his ink”, ceviche (small bits of raw fish “cooked” in lime juice), helado de sorbetera (artesanal local cinnamon ice-cream) and more.The most common dish is gallo pinto (colorful cock): chicken with rice, black beans and plantains. Gallo Pinto is the national dish and is served any time.

In front of the Central Bank of Costa Rica some statues show the tough life of the old farmers.

The National Theater is the most impressive of San Jose’s public buildings. It is a small copy of the Paris Opera house. Inside the theater there is a nice coffee shop in art nouveau style with tasteful cakes.

During the last day we have visited the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art. Precolumbian means the art objects are from the time before Columbus discovered America. There are over 2000 objects and jewels in gold on exhibition. The museum is well worth seeing.

For security reasons the guide told us to not leave the main places in downtown San Jose and to avoid at all costs walking at night.
The tallest building in the city is Holiday Inn in which we lived.

On March 10 our guided bus tour (provider DERTOUR) started.