Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, is a buzzing city and acts as the main gateway to the country.

New flight routes to the city have recently opened, making holidays to San Jose more accessible than ever before with direct flights from the UK with British Airways. Most holidays to Costa Rica include some time in the capital, and its neoclassical buildings and charming, faded grandeur offer a pleasant surprise. Also known as Chepe, the city can make a rather unremarkable first impression but give the city a chance to show off its historic neighbourhoods and fascinating museums and you might just fall in love.

We’d recommend a night or two in San Jose to get your bearings, but don’t let its concrete buildings and noisy traffic overshadow its many hidden treasures. Delve under the surface and you’ll discover colourful neighbourhoods like Barrio Amon, where the crumbling colonial mansions of years past have been converted into contemporary galleries, boutique guesthouses and Latin-flavoured restaurants.

Pick up exotic fruit and mingle with the locals at the farmers’ market, take a stroll around the enormous urban green space of Parque La Sabana – San Jose’s answer to Central Park – or perhaps a stroll around the gold, jade or natural history museums or the National Theatre. After dark, the city comes alive with percussive rhythms of marimba and a pulsing dance beat.

With cultural landmarks on its doorstep and a huge expanse of natural beauty, San Jose holidays visit a multi-dimensional city that’s ripe for exploring.

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Essence of Costa Rica
Itinerary

Essence of Costa Rica

Costa Rica
Arenal
Manuel Antonio
+2 others
12 nights from £2,795 per person
Itinerary Highlights
  • Have an up close experience of a volcano at Volcan Poas National Park
  • Witness the diverse wildlife of Tortuguero National Park with your local guide
  • Take in the panoramic views of Arenal Volcano
  • Enjoy a relaxing time by the beach at Manuel Antonio National Park
Family-Friendly Costa Rica
Itinerary

Family-Friendly Costa Rica

Costa Rica
Arenal
Manuel Antonio
+2 others
11 nights from £2,095 per person
Itinerary Highlights
  • Visit a breeding ground of butterflies at La Paz Waterfall Gardens
  • Paddle down the Peñas Blancas River
  • Take an exhilarating zipline at Sky Adventure Park
  • Relax by the coastline of Manuel Antonio National Park
Grano de Oro
Hotel

Grano de Oro

Costa Rica
San Jose and Central Valley

Situated on a quiet, tree-lined street just off the main thoroughfare of Paseo Colon, Hotel Grano de Oro is ideal for a short stay in the Costa Rican capital. A converted Victorian mansion, the building has been carefully restored to create a charming hotel with a host of historic features. Each of the rooms and suites is unique in design and layout, all containing wrought iron beds, period decor...

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