Affordable one-way flights to San Jose

San José

A holiday to San Jose gives all the tropical flavours of Costa Rica with an added touch of thriving city chic and plenty of attractions to keep even the busiest holidaymaker happy. The capital of Costa Rica, San Jose, is a riot of colour, culture and life. This sprawling city is home to over a quarter of the entire population of Cost Rica and many of its finest attractions. This stunning city is bursting at the seams with bustling bars, shops and restaurants dotted along tiny winding streets filled with the sights and sounds of South American life. Starting at the museums of San Jose, you’ve got the Jade Museum where you can learn the history of Costa Rica through the detailed descriptions of thousands of pieces of ceremonial and decorative jade artefacts.

If that’s not enough treasure for you, the world-class Pre-Columbian Gold Museum is a favourite with visitors to the city, because, well who doesn’t like to look at sparkly gold ancient artefacts? The National Museum of Costa Rica gives even more background to the ancient tribal Costa Ricans who lived in the rainforests for thousands of years before the colonisation by the Spanish, and is well worth a visit to learn the incredible history of this place. In terms of entertainment, the Teatro Nacional Costa Rica is a great place to enjoy some of the country’s finest classical orchestras and opera performances, and is very reasonably priced for such a lavish activity.

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Shopaholics will feel right at home at the bustling Mercado Central where you can shop for locally grown produce, arts and crafts and souvenirs to take home. If the kids grow tired of shopping, make the tiny theme park of Parque Diversiones next on your list. Just outside of the city centre, you’ll hit the lush rainforests of Parque Nacional Braulio. Hike through the jungle or jump into the rivers with white water rafting. You can even see the rainforest from the tops of the trees with zip-lining through the canopies for a real thrilling adventure.

The Orosi River Valley is another great place to enjoy the rainforests of Costa Rica and here you can go hiking, visit tiny villages, relax in outdoor hot springs or just take the popular scenic drive through the dense jungle. The city of San Jose is a vibrant sprawl of colour and energy, and with the lush tropical rainforests of Costa Rica just on your doorstep, this is a holiday you won’t want to leave.

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Top 5 things to do in San José

10 facts about San José


San Jose is 3,800 feet above sea level and sits in the fertile Valle Central of Costa Rica. It was founded in 1736.


The Pre-Columbian Gold Museum has over 1,600 ancient gold artefacts dating back to 500AD including Costa Rica's very first coin, the Media Escudo.


Costa Rica’s rainforests house over 5% of the planet’s biodiversity, despite its tiny 0.03% landmass.


San Jose was Costa Rica’s tobacco centre during the Spanish colonial era. It later became the country’s most important producer of coffee.


A ‘soda’ is a colloquial term for a small traditional restaurant where you can try local dishes like chicken, rice, beans and salad for very little money.


Costa Rica is home to more than 121 volcanoes, with Arenal Volcano being one of the most active in the world.


San Jose wasn’t always the capital of Costa Rica. Up until 1823, the capital was nearby Cartago.


A ‘pulperia’ is a local grocery shop where you will find basic food items like cans, eggs, bread and milk.


The University of Costa Rica was built in 1940 and is the country’s oldest and most diverse university, accepting many foreign exchange students.


The National Theatre of Costa Rica opened in 1897 and is considered one of the finest historic buildings in the capital.