Sunday, August 30, 2009

5 Reasons to Hang Out in San Jose

Let's face it, when you come to Costa Rica you don't exactly want to make San Jose a destination. I mean, there's so much more to Costa Rica. But then again... You'd be surprised about all the fun things there are to do in San Jose.

Since I love to host friends and family at my house and I live in the Central Valley area, I've been able to explore San Jose extensively. So trust me when I say that it's actually a fun spot!

1. Avenida Central
- I always start here. This closed off central street is like a promenade filled with shops and some-what decent restaurants. At one end stands the famous Mercado Central, in the middle is the elegant National Theater and at the other end you can hop on a bus going to San Pedro and other happening spots around San Jose.

2. Mercado Central - This is a must! The oldest and largest Central Market of Costa Rica is always full of excitement and activity. Hundreds of fruit /veggie stands, fish stands, butcher shops, poultry vendors, souvenirs and food stands occupy the indoor arena. You can enjoy a typical Costa Rican lunch while shopping for typical souvenirs to bring back home. Be careful though, pick-pocketers are on the loose and they will get you. Keep all your possessions as close to you as possible and even better if you leave most of them in your hotel room.

3. National Theater - This is one of the most beautiful and elegant buildings in all of San Jose, at least I think so. If you have a chance to catch a show, do so! The tickets can range from $2 - $30 and it hosts a variety of shows: dance, opera, symphony, and much more. Right in front of it is a great park filled with hundreds of pigeons so if you're equipped with kid, they'll have a great time burning off that extra energy running after them.

4. La Sabana Park - Every city has a grand central park and San Jose is right up there with the best. Sabana Park is amazing! With a huge man-made lake and a beautiful cemented trail that takes you all around it, you'll feel like a true local. I always get my son a horsey ride and then let him burn more energy off at the playgrounds. However, after dark it becomes a bit dangerous, so make sure you pack up before sundown.

5. Museums - That's right! Get some culture while you're at it. My absolute favorite museum is the Children's museum. First of all the building is impressive, but once you go in, you'll never want to leave. Even my five year old is stimulated for 3 to 4 hours! And if you have time check these out too, Jade Museum, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, Museo de Oro Precolombino.

Thank you to Marina K. Villatoro, The Travel Expert Blog (all you need to know about travelling in Central America) for this exceelnt story and you can also follow Marina on twitter @marinavillatoro

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