San Jose seems just like most other industrial cities in Central America. I think the difference is the surrounding mountains. You can defiantly feel as I read that they have a thriving middle class that is lacked in the surrounding countries.
The main walking street reminds me of that in the usa as there seems to be brands everywhere. but you also have the hustle of street sellers that are technically no allowed to be there but they constantly move when the police arrive its a great sight to see. Defiantly you can feel this is a more expensive country than the others i have been too in central america I would say its in comparison to the usa and some cheaper European countries. this is not the place to visit if your on a tight backpackers budget.
After a few days exploring the city i decided to make my way to a famous national park called manuel antonio on the pacific coast. its about a 4 hour bus rise and costs are $10 one way. you can do it in a day if you leave super early but its not advisable. i would stay in one of the many hostels for the night and enjoy the beach. but make no mistake the surrounding area is extremely touristy its made for the american vacation market so maybe you won't meet the most interesting people but their are always exceptions. its costs around $16 to get in the park, its a bit steep as its actually only quite small and you can walk around the whole park in a few hours but whats nice is the beaches inside the park so take your towel and spend your way to the beach looking for animals. i seen monkeys and sloths its was amazing oh yes and a toucan, at the beach the monkeys will come right up to you they have no fear so take them some snacks so you can get great photos.
my time in manuel antonio came to an end the next day and i made my way back to san jose as i had made plans with a really interesting company called subcultours. the company really interested me as it was offering a different type of tour lets say its a tour company for the millennials generation an alt tour. they offer super cool tours like; art & pastry, fashion & coffee. after speaking with them, the owner katja just flew in from germany and met me at the home of a local pastry chef. the amount of effort was commendable. we met with fiamma whom is woking out of her home on a new pasty venture called pastel. we made choux buns & a great smoothie then talked for hours. it was one of the best tours i have ever had the pleasure of taking as i truly felt i was with a local and not on a tour this is defiantly a must while your in san jose. you can book here if your in need of pastries for an event in san jose contact fiamma directly here
the next day i caught the bus to puerto viejo on the caribbean coast on my route to the bocas del toro islands in panama. the bus is around $10 and take about 5 hours its an old bus and beware if you don't get there early enough to get your ticket you will end up sitting on the floor. puerto viejo is like little jamica with a huge carribean theme this is the place in costa rica where english is king not spanish. strange but true. i only stayed for the night so I can definatly say that its a must to go and listen to live music at the bars near the coast.
my recommended places to visit
- manuel antonio park
- subcultours san jose
- the green market on weekends in san jose
- university bar area of san jose
places to eat
- university bar area of san jose
- main street
how to get around
- bus ( safe and cheap)
- rental cars are very cheap from san jose $50 per week.
where i stayed
- selina manuel antonio
- selina san jose
length of stay
-as long as you want its a huge country.
- they have their own currency but american dollars are accepted everywhere but not with a good exchange rate.
- one of the most expense places in central america