The weather in San Jose can be different at all times depending of the route of the winds and yearly seasons, some times in the later months of the year it is colder than the months at the middle. For many Costa Ricans the coolest temperatures in San Jose are equal to high (warm) temperatures for a Northern American Citizen or some one from a country with a snow season. When you view the size of Costa Rica, then you can understand why weather temperatures differ from one city to another across short distances, unless the Caribbean weather suffers a major event in the atmosphere.
Because of its elevation San Jose is usually 70 to 80°F (21 to 27°C) though it can get chilly at night. The rainy season is from mid April through December.
The airport (SJO) is 17km or about 20 minutes by car from the center of San José.
There is a local bus stop outside the airport (on the other side of the multi-story car park which you see when you come out of arrivals). It costs less than 1 US$ and takes you right downtown. You can put your luggage in the storage area below on the bus. The cheapest option is taking the bus into downtown and get a taxi there for your final destination.
When you need to go to the airport from downtown, you catch the Alajuela bus (takes you to the airport) at the Merced Park. It costs less than $1 and they leave every five minutes and it takes about 25 minutes to get to the airport. The airport bus stop is easy to see.
The taxis charge around 25-30 US Dollars to take you to the city, be sure to take one of the licensed reddish-orange taxis that say "Taxi Aeropuerto." There are many unlicensed taxi drivers who will charge you almost twice as much as Taxi Aeropuerto. The taxis gladly take Dollars, but the local bus only takes Colones and they would not be pleased to get a 10 000 Colones bill.
There is an ATM by the entrance to the departures that will give you both Colones and Dollars.
Buses from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama both arrive to and leave from San José. Unlike in most cities in Latin America, there is no central bus station: there are literally dozens of bus terminals in downtown San José. Nearly every company has its own terminal, and these are spread widely out across a few dozen blocks near the center of town.
The Tica Bus [url=http://www.ticabus.com/]]terminal is one of the most common choice for locals and foreigners alike when it comes to traveling around Central America and even Mexico. Please take note that it has recently been moved to the other end of town, near the Mercedes Tower. (Address: 200 meters north and 100 meters west of Torre Mercedes (Paseo Colón), in front of the Magisterio Nacional Mortuary)
King Quality [url=http://www.king-qualityca.com/[/url]]is a new choice available, their prices are considerably more expensive or cheaper than Tica Bus depending on the destination.
There is also Transnica, note they don't have a website up, for information their phone number is (506)2223-4123.
Of course most local buses start or end here. There are several bus terminals in San José [http://horariodebus.com/cr/sjmap.php[/url]. It is important to know which bus terminal serves your bus route. Bus stops are usually every few blocks in the city. Take always a taxi, when traveling with luggage.And it is highly likely to speak to you when you arrive.
Trains have recently made a comeback in Costa Rica and, after being shut down for many years, several routes have been put back into service using second-hand equipment brought over from Spain and some very ancient wooden carraiges that look like they have been taken from a museum. Lines are mostly singe-track and level crossings have no lights or protection at all, which has led to several accidents. There's also no signalling. Overall it's an interesting experience if you have the time and it's the best way of getting to Heredia (a lot faster and more comfortable than the bus).
Timetables for all services are available at:
Heredia: on weekdays, trains run betwen San José and Heredia every half an hour in the mornings (6am-9am) and afternoons (3:30pm-8pm), leaving from Estación del Atlántico near the Parque Nacional. Some of these trains continue on to the UCR and U Latina in San Pedro. The 6pm departure from San José (returning at 7pm) is a big train, so you can almost always get a seat on this one.
Pavas, San Pedro and Curridabat: another line runs through the south of the city, stopping at Estación del Pacifico, Sábana and heading west into Pavas and eventually turning round in a fairly dangerous slum area in the middle of the hills. If you take it east, it stops across the road from Estación del Atlantico and then goes to the UCR, U Latina and Curridabat. Timetables are very limited, with just one train per hour early in the morning and in the evening on weekdays.
Belen: A new service to Belen (just south of the airport) started on 5th April, leaving from Estación del Pacifico. Services are approximately every half an hour between 6-8am and 4-8pm on weekdays only and take 35 minutes.
The main downtown area is a bustling collection of well-laid out streets filled with bustling traffic and lined with eclectic, historic architecture. On the surface it is a gritty downtown area, but look inside and you'll find friendly people, quirky spots, and the historic side of San Jose that change your impression. A walking tour is the best way to see this area.
Barrio Bird Walking Tours offers downtown San Jose tours in Spanish/English covering everything from local history, art, architecture, and the "local" side of San Jose life. Flexible scheduling and reasonable prices starting $15usd with some packages including yoga, massage, and/or lunch. [http://www.toursanjosecostarica.com/].
There are a lot of other tours and local events and doings in and from San José. Some include:
*3 in One
** Buses to volcano Poas leave from Parque La Merced at 08:30AM daily (2990 colones). Entrance to the park: 15$US
** Buses to volcano Irazú leave at 8AM daily on Av. 2 in front of the National Theater (50 km, 2 h, 4000 colones return) and return at 12:30PM from the National Park. Park entrance fee for foreigners only: $US10 / 5020 colones, a bit overpriced but the view is nice.
* La Paz Waterfall Gardens An hour away from San Jose you can find lovely trails through primary rainforest that take you past five beautiful waterfalls. The La Paz water fall gardens also offer a hummingbird gallery, serpentarium, frog exhibit and large butterfly observatory.
Every Thursday a dozens of young jugglers gather at the Parque Morazan and juggle together. Often with percussion music. It s a free event in public space. Normally you will be invited to play with them. Lovely experience if you like street art.
Yoga. Costa Rica is a top destination for yoga. In San Jose, check out Downtown Yoga near Parque Morazan, which offers accessibly priced yoga and hooping classes for all experience levels. [http://www.downtownyogacostarica.com/]
*Specialized golf transportation to/from San Jose area hotels and Marriott Los Suenos course. Reserve online for a $160 rate (2 person min.) including trasportation.
* Gym. Decent gym facilities can be found at the Spa Corobici (telephone: 231-5542) located behind the Hotel Corobici. The taxi ride from the airport is approximately $10 - $20 USD and entry into the gym is 5,300 CRC or $10 USD. The club has a good selection of free and machine weights as well as a cardio theater. The club also has an outdoor swimming pool for lap swimming, a jacuzzi tub, and a sauna.
Casinos Many hotels have gaming. The most famous for the single traveler is Casino del Rey.
San Jose is a very tolerant city. Most bars are gay friendly. There is a small but vibrant gay life in San José from lesbian bars, to saunas and discos.
*La Avispa Is the oldest gay disco in Costa Rica. Big place with Latin music and dancing, pop. It has the most popular crowd and is recommended if you want to try the local flavor. Sunday's late afternoon and evening is the best time to go.
*Club OH Huge electronic music place with open bar on Fridays and Saturdays. It has a VIP area with better quality liquors and another DJ. Live Drag shows at midnight. Best day to go is Saturday.
*Bochinche Crowded Pop bar/disco, twink ambient. It is a very fashionable art deco style, colorful place. Diverse shows during the whole week, Fridays are open bar with carnival at midnight. Place is open until 5AM. Gets very crowded after 1AM. $3 each person.
Dorms from $13. Comfortable beds with real mattresses in dorm style rooms of 13 beds. Five private rooms including one deluxe. Fully-quipped kitchen. There is also a common room equipped with cable TV, free internet, and coffee. Very central, tranquil location in an old but well-maintained house. Excellent hosts, knowledgeable and friendly.
* A comfortable Quaker hotel with a shared kitchen and dining area available for use, a great place to meet like minded travelers, a simple breakfast is included. dorms from $15, singles, doubles, triples available $10-$12 /person.
* Casa Yoses is in a great central location surrounded by tons of restaurants, bars, and stores, just off the University of Costa Rica and the San Pedro Mall.
* Great place to meet other travelers in town, 20 minutes walking from the center, affordable and comfortable hostel, facilities include an outdoor pool, kitchen, free internet and bar. Great place to party!
* Colorful hostel with a Caribbean vibe. Free internet and wifi, towels, common kitchen, in house bar, Wii, guitars, frequent theme nights, and hot showers. Close to many embassies and the largest public park in the city. New owners as of January 2009.
* Cnr Ave 5/Calle 36-38, phone (506) 22480086, free breakfast, internet and WiFi, kitchen and laundry use, storerooms, dorms from USD 12.
* Hostel Bekuo is one of the nicest and cleanest hostels in all of Costa Rica, and you can't ask for a better location while staying in San Jose. Includes free breakfast, pool table, internet, coffee & tea, and above all a great atmosphere and staff
* Lounge Hostel with Private rooms (with/out baths, from 15 USD per person) and dorms (from 11 USD), Breakfest included. Free WiFi inside the rooms, pool table, air-hockey table, a garden with BBQ area, kitchen for free use. All new and modern. 2 blocks away from bars, supremarket and the San Pedro Mall.
One hostel, One home, A different way of living in San Jose!
* Phone , free breakfast, internet, kitchen use, dorms from USD 10. Near Tica Bus Terminal.
*Kàbáta Hostel is centrally located and provides free breakfast, internet, and lots of helpful information.
* Brand new hostel in a safe and central area of San José with dorm beds from $10 and private rooms from $25 per night. Free breakfast, free use of the internet, communal kitchen, garden, lounge and bar. Big party the first Saturday of every month!
* Clean and safe with a fun and lively atmosphere with guitars and movie everyday at 8PM. Free breakfast everyday, free coffee and tea all day, free internet/wifi, free storage, full kitchen, and a friendly knowledgeable staff. ATTENTION now closed
* Clean and safe and extremely peaceful. You'll get a good nights sleep here without having to worry about all the hippies in CR, free internet/wifi, and a friendly knowledgeable staff.
* The number one and first Premium Hostel in Central America, at a Hostel prices, with high quality accomodations, [wiki=4364ab4a42cf7baca4f77d882d80ab70]Hostel located in San Jose Costa Rica[/wiki] in the best tourist-residential and quick access area in San Jose. Dorms, Private rooms,private and shared bathrooms, huge flat screen TVs, big lounge with wire/wireless high speed internet 24/7,video surveillance, International Restaurant and Cafe-Bar, airport shuttle service, free tourist info and travel tips, free maps, free parking, typical costarican breakfast included, plenty of services around the area, public and private transportation to anywhere in the country upon just a few steps, and much more!
*$10 and $12 a night dormitory rooms. $20, $29 and $39 a day private rooms available. There are also monthly rates from $295, $370 and $495. Castle Tam is located in the safe San Pedro/Los Yoses area close to central San Jose and the University District of Universidad de Costa Rica. Its next to all the bus terminals, government agencies, cheap restaurants, museums and historical centers. Offers free WIFI, free city tours and pub crawls on student Calle de La Amargura
Adventure Inn, Tel: +506-2239-2633, [url=http://www.adventure-inn.com/promo/WikiTravel].]Only 8 minutes from the airport with free airport shuttles. Dynamic rates averaging $79 single, $96 double, includes an all you can eat American breakfast, free unlimited international phone calls, on-site sports bar / restaurant, pool and Jacuzzi, fully-equipped gym, hotel-wide wireless internet. [url=http://www.adventure-inn.com/promo/WikiTravel]Click here[/url[/url] for a promo code worth 10% off plus an additional 10% discount for cash.
* Airport Hotel, Tel: +506-24337333, [url=http://www.airporthotelcostarica.com].]Only 5 minutes from the international airport with free transportation 24 hours. Wikitravel corporate rate $70 single, $80 double, includes taxes & buffet breakfast, restaurant, pool and wireless internet. Mention WikiTravel when booking through our website.
* B&B Tambo Mundo, del Cristo de Sabanilla 400, tel. +506 2273 0265 / +506 8848 9707, email@example.com, [url=http://www.tambomundocostarica.com[/url].] Tambo Mundo is a bed & breakfast with an amazing view of Braulio Carrillo National Park and Irazú Volcano in a big house with cozy common places. 5 rooms with plenty of hot water, delicious breakfast ( close to the University of Costa Rica and San Pedro. $30- $45 single occupation including taxes. A big Latin American literature, sustainable development and politics library, movies and documentaries are available. Fast Wireless Internet connection all around. Telephone and cable TV. Laundry service (free for long stays). Fluent English/Spanish. German and French.
* Costa Rica Guesthouse, tel. 506 2223 7034, [url=http://www.costa-rica-guesthouse.com/[/url]firstname.lastname@example.org.]From $35 a night, located in downtown San Jose near the supreme court, housed in a beautifully restored 1904 building, this fine guesthouse features 23 decorated private rooms with king size beds, semi-orthopedic mattresses and free wifi access. Especially designed for couples, families and people looking for a little extra comfort, Costa Rica Guesthouse is the upscale hotel at budget price.
*Courtyard San José Escazú, Autopista Prospero Fernandez, Calle Marginal N., Plaza Itskatzu San Jose, Tel:+ 506 2208 3000, [url=http://www.marriott.com/SJOCY[/url]]The Courtyard San Jose is located nearby San Jose's industrial parks, businesses, international companies and within minutes from shopping, nightlife plaza and the best restaurants in San Jose. Spacious rooms, free high-speed Internet, on-site restaurant, outdoor pool and health club.
*Courtyard San Jose Airport Alajuela, Radial Francisco J. Orlich, Plaza Los Mangos, Alajuela, 20109 Costa Rica, Tel:506-2429-2700, [url=http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sjoap-courtyard-san-jose-airport-alajuela/[/url]]Located within downtown’s Mango Park complex, our SJO airport hotel is just 5 minutes from the Juan Santamaria International Airport
* Hemingway Inn, Avenida 9, Calle 9, Barrio Amon, (Behind I.N.S.), Tel +506 221-1804, email@example.com, [url=http://hemingwayinn.com].]Former mansion turned into a hotel. Friendly staff. Quiet neighborhood. Safe and secure. Decent price for the area: $35-45 for a double including traditional breakfast with Gallo Pinto and Tamales. Hotel has a small bar and hot tub on the premises. The hotel will organize Eco-tours for the rest of Costa Rica. Free Internet service and Wi-Fi.
* Hotel Del Rey, Tel: 1-866-765-8037, [url=http://delreyhotel.com/[/url].]Infamous, overpriced, unsafe, and overrated. Sort of a decadent area (prostitution). You're better off hanging out in one of the many other, better priced places, no matter what your buddies have told you.
* Hotel Escazu, firstname.lastname@example.org [url=http://www.costaricaticapartytours.weebly.com.[/url]Located in Escazu close to all the action in San Jose. Hotel Escazu is a clean rustic hotel with great views of San Jose. It is an adult friendly hotel and offers tours for single men and couples. $55 Nightly/ $299 Weekly.
* Hotel La Rosa de America, Tel: +(506) 2433-2741, [url=http://larosadeamerica.com/]http://larosadeamerica.com/[/url[/url]. Located 15 minutes west from the San Jose Airport, in the town of La Garita de Alajuela. This hotel offers sparking clean accommodation in twelve rooms and two family suites arranged in cabinas, located around a large beautifully maintained tropical garden and swimming pool. Breakfast at the restaurant[url=http://larosadeamerica.com/services/restaurante-la-rosa/]]is included.
* Hotel Presidente [url=http://www.hotel-presidente.com[/url].] Located in downtown San Jose, on the walking boulevard of Avenida Central and Calle 7 (seven street). Great location close to historic landmarks, museums and plazas. 4 star accommodations with rooms starting at $85 + tax per night. Free internet. Buffet breakfast included.
* Hotel San Gildar, next to the Costa Rica Country Club, [url=http://www.hotelsangildar.com[/url].] A beautiful private hotel in the higher end side of San Jose, just 20 minutes away from the airport, and surrounded by the best gourmet restaurant in the region. Offers mid range 3 star accommodations, trendy bar-restaurant, souvenir shop, adventure tour desk, free delicious continental breakfast and high speed Internet.
* Hotel Santo Tomas, Av. 7 between Calle 3 and 5, Barrio Amon, Tel: (506) 255-0448 Fax: (506) 222-3950, [url=http://www.hotelsantotomas.com/[/url].]Pleasant bed and breakfast inn, English speaking staff, single rooms are small, some downstairs rooms quite spacious. Rates from $80, including breakfast.
* Kap's Place, Street 19, Avenues 11 and 13, #1142 in Barrio Aranjuez, Tel +506 221-1169, email@example.com, [url=http://www.kapsplace.com[/url].]Guesthouse with 13 rooms and 1 large apartment. $30 - $80 including taxes. Guests have free kitchen use and free travel planning help! The K in Kap's Place stands for Karla. It's her house and her service is top notch. Bilingual (English/Spanish).
* Marcela Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org, arranges accommodation in private homes; will advise on all aspects of visiting Costa Rica.
* Residence Inn San Jose Escazu, tel. 506 2588 4300, [url=http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sjori-residence-inn-san-jose-escazu/[/url]]15 minutes from downtown San Jose, complimentary hot breakfast daily, outdoor pool and fully functional gym. The Residence Inn San Jose also has two meeting rooms making it the perfect San Jose hotel for business or pleasure.
* Rincón de San José, (formerly Hotel Edelweiss), Avenida 9 Calle 15 Barrio Otoya, Tel +506 221-9702, email@example.com, [http://www.hotelrincondesanjose.com[/url]. 27 rooms, $50 + tax for a double including breakfast. 10% cash discount. Free Internet.
*Centrally located hotel with conference facilities.
Located just a short way between San Jose and Heredia, Barcelo San Jose Palacio is just minutes from the International Airport and downtown, and is an ideal starting point for those who fly into the Costa Rica capital to begin their visit to this tropical Central American nation.
* The Costa Rica Marriott is a beautiful colonial hacienda set on a 30 acre Coffee Plantation. Comfortable accommodations, superb restaurants and catering, two outdoor tropical pools, Spa and more.
*Distinctive architecture with lots of plants and a great swimming pool
* The 13 room Finca Rosa Blanca Country Inn, situated above the beautiful Central Valley of Costa Rica, is surrounded by exotic flora and grows some of the world’s best organic coffee. Finca Rosa Blanca is nestled in 10 acres amidst hundreds of fruit trees and dramatic tropical flora, and offers spectacular views of volcanoes, cloud forests and coffee plantations. The Inn has an a la carte restaurant, Spa and small gift shop on site.
*Hotel Don Carlos, Calle 9 & Avenida 9, Barrio Amón, Tel: 866 675 9259 (Toll Free) or +506 221 6707, [url=http://www.doncarloshotel.com].]Beautifully decorated hotel, run by the same family for three generations. $70 + 16.39% tax for a standard double. There is also a tour operator (expensive) and a nice souvenir shop inside the hotel.
* Comfortable European style small hotel with eclectic class and grace. Excellent restaurant on site, suites feature jacuzzis.
* Converted from a Tropical Victorian mansion, the 35-room hotel maintains the warmth and comfort of a private home. Hallways lined with period photographs and original art meander through the building and present lush tropical flower arrangements and luxuriant plants at every turn. Italian tile fountains grace intimate atriums, ensuring that one is never far from the soothing melody of falling water. The restaurant is beautiful, opening upon a courtyard with a fountain at the center. Service is prompt and efficient, and the staff mostly speak very serviceable, if not near-perfect, English. The rooms are comfortable, but most lack air conditioning which means you will be awakened by bird calls most mornings. Carved woods dominate the public rooms, a beautiful venue which appears to be popular with Ticos as well.
*Hotel Villas Corcovado, [url=http://www.villascorcovado.com/location.htm[/url].]Villas Corcovado is a beautiful community of luxurious villas found throughout 70 oceanfront acres of unspoiled rainforest on the Southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Perfect for those who seek adventure, flora and animal life in the inspiring framework of the Golfo Dulce.
*Hampton Inn & Suites, [http://http://www.vacationscostarica.com/hotels/hampton.htm[/url]. An ideal accommodation for anyone visiting Costa Rica on business of for those who are set to fly out. Hampton Inn & Suites is located just minutes from the International Airport and is close to many Costa Rican company's headquarters.
* Located amid tropical gardens, only 15 minutes from Juan Santamaria Int’l Airport and 10 minutes from downtown San José, the hotel is close to an array of stores, movie theaters and fast-food restaurants and faces the modern Multiplaza Mall. It has 210 luxurious rooms, 54 rooms of the Camino Real Club, 5 junior suites and a presidential suite, for a total of 261 rooms. Each room is equipped with a mini-bar, hair dryer, air conditioning and a system of electronic key. Services : gym, swimming pool, jewelry shop, tennis court, restaurant, bar, conference rooms and gift shop.
* Xandari Resort and Spa is home to 21 spacious villas on a 40-acre coffee and fruit plantation overlooking the Central Valley. The colorful villas, private terraces, furniture and gardens are designed with great attention to detail, and each villa is adorned with original works of art.
*Cristal Ballena Resort and Spa, on the Pacific Coast between Dominical and Palmar Sur. Nature Air and Sansa fly into Palmar Sur, and the Resort can arrange pickup. The owners are an Austrian couple who "retired to go to work," and opened this beautiful resort just above the Pacific ocean with incredible views. Even in the off season, Waldemar will usually be in the restaurant in the evening making sure the guests are happy. Many tours and adventures are available, as usual. The restaurant is very good, one of the better ones in the area. Some Austrian dishes complement local seafood. The view is incredible, every room has a private balcony with a view of the pacific. Monkeys can be heard howling in the morning, and tropical birds are common.
* Quality Hotel Real San Jose has 154 rooms, 16 mini-suites and rooms for disabled people. Also it has a restaurant, pool, business center with computers, printers and internet access high speed.
Adventure Inn, Tel: +506-2239-2633, [url=http://www.adventure-inn.com/?r=WikiTravel].]Only 8 minutes from the airport with free transportation. $77 single, $94 double, includes an all you can eat American breakfast, free airport transportation, free international phone calls, on-site sports bar / restaurant, pool and Jacuzzi, fully-equipped gym, hotel-wide wireless internet. [url=http://www.adventure-inn.com/?r=WikiTravel]Click here[/url[/url] for a 10% discount off your room rates for cash or travelers cheques or mention WikiTravel at your time of booking.
*An Airport hotel surrounded by nature, more than 40 property extension is covered by trees and gardens. Hotel Aeropuerto is located near the international airport san jose costa rica With pool, restaurant, tours, room service, free internet (wifi), currency exchange, very secure facilities, free airport shuttle 24/7 .
* Hampton Inn. $105/night avg (from Travelocity) Right in front of the airport, adjacent to Fiesta Casino and a Dennys restaurant.
*The Trapp Family Country Inn is located only 1 mile from Juan Santamaría International Airport. Comfortable accommodations along with genuine family service in a peaceful atmosphere. This colonial style hotel is surrounded by beautiful gardens with centenary fig trees.
*Great entry/exit point for travelers, minutes away from main tourist pick up points and the airport. Provides comfortable rooms with memory foam mattresses, private bathrooms, restaurant and beautiful surroundings such as Doka Coffee fields and Poas Volcano.
Cable TV channels have many American English language channels includings Fox News, CNN, CNBC, TNT, HBO, ESPN, ABC, NBC, and CBS.
On Amnet in San Jose ABC, CBS, and NBC are broadcast on channels 69-71, respectively.