In San Jose City there is a popular saying; I need vacations from my vacations!
This happens because we are constantly trying to get the best of a trip. So, we wake up as early as possible and sleep as late as we can, trying to get every possible experience.
In the journey you get up early, take breakfast in a near restaurant, then go to a tour where you do canopy, white water rafting, get lunch in a local place and then go to a hiking tour and walk for bird watching, at night you have dinner in another close restaurant and then sleep to start all over again. When we get back home, we are exhausted, in need of real resting vacations.
In Costa Rica, you have a choice. Costa Rica, being a small country, can take you in a ride from the pacific to the Atlantic in a matter of hours. How is this good for your vacation? Every way possible, there are resorts everywhere, tours that lead you to the right path and places where you just lay down in a hammock for an hour and remove all stress with beautiful views. And from San Jose City, there are the one day tours which are the best way of getting a lot done in less time than usual and relax the rest of your vacations. In GioTours we actually customize these one day tours, and you will always get the best of the day in a very personalized series of activities.
Let’s say you are looking for some cultural material, maybe learn about the local people, visiting some museums and not going to a long ride where you are going to finish exhausted. Well, San Jose city is the place! If you know where to look, you may be able to find great beauty waiting for anyone who wishes to take it easy, relax, and learn tons of history.
In San Jose city you can find The National Theater, architecture brought from Europe at the end of the XIX Century and established at the center on the San Jose city, it irradiates greatness. The construction began back in 1891 and was completed in 1897. Nowadays it is used by several artists, including the National Symphonic Orchestra that plays every 15 days, you can watch ballet, contemporary plays, among some other shows.
Not far away (4 blocks from it), we have the Jade museum, and archaeological museum created back in 2014, which has the world’s largest collection of Pre-Columbian Jade, with five floors of exhibits with interactives screens and games for the family, children’s and friends. The collection is impressive with more than 6000 pieces and scenes that show how the aborigines used to give form to them. Inside you can get a tour that leads you all through the museum and teach loads of lessons about how the pre-Colombian people used to live.
The Democracy Plaza -Plaza de la Democracia- is ample, with an auditory and an incredible view of San Jose City, the “Plaza de la Democracia”, is in the middle of two museums, first, the jade museum and the impressive Costa Rica National Museum. Part of the Costa Rica National Museum used to be a fortress, built-in 1917 it was originally military barracks, on the exterior you can still see bullets lodged in the main tower, a consequence of several riots in the early XX Century and the civil war of 1948. Once inside, as you enter through the west gate, you pass by a natural exhibit featuring a butterfly house with dozens of species just flying around you, small ones, big ones, the famous blue morphos, the sensation is magnificent. The National museum is done so you can watch history in order, starting on the pre-Columbian stone tables, passing to the ceramics, and then the gold room. There is a vast amount of information related to Costa Rica’s geological, archeological, religious and modern history data. Also, you will be able to watch the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Oscar Arias and a bust of Jose Figures, leader of the revolution of 1948, and the man that abolished the standing army.
If you go out the east gate and look to your left, you will be able to see the Costa Rica National Monument in the middle of the Costa Rica National Park. In this park everything is carefully placed so you can just sit and enjoy the amazing trails and the well-selected flora, there are signs pointing you the scientific and regular names of the trees and plants, and, sometimes, you can get a National Artist concert, or even rehearsal.
And now, if you are a lover of the night activity there is this area called La California, it is a set of four or five blocks very close to the Costa Rica Nacional Park, where clubs and bars gather the most. You can decide on different locations; go dancing or just drink close to the Atlantic Train Station -Beautiful Station-, also there are diverse themes like; Rock, Trova (Latin Protest music), Latin music, 80s music, Irish pub -highly recommended-, reggae bar and more!
Just in front of the bar, you get a Cinema Theater, is you are in the mood for movies this is the place. It’s called Cine Magaly, an old-style sort of movie theater where they usually present classic movies, awarded movies or movie festivals from all over the World. Because it was constructed back in 1978 the lobby is vintage style with beautiful hanging lamps and mirrors with gold color figures in them, once inside the theatre is pretty big (especially if compared to nowadays mall theatres) and the seats are quite comfortable to enjoy the movie.
All these places are close to San Jose downtown at walking distance from the hotels downtown. Also, in the area, there are two or three taxi stops where you can take a cab to your hotel and in less than 5 minutes you will be all comfy in your room. This is why San Jose City is worth a visit, you can get many free activities to enjoy, and everything within a short distance, you can learn a lot, party and rest as much as you like. I especially recommend, grab breakfast in the morning and then equip yourself with a camera and go take pictures all around San Jose city, the secrets are there for everyone to discover them, then at night go for a drink, get to the hotel and sleep like a baby.