Most travelers fly into San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, en route to Iguana Lodge. While San Jose is not Paris (rats!) there are things to do and places to see. Most folks get out of town ASAP, but if you are find yourself in the city, here are some suggestions.  If you have a long layover – think Poas Volcano – a 45 to 60 minute drive from the international airport.

We are familiar with San Jose, and can book you into a variety of hotels and interesting restaurants.  Check out Iguana Lodge’s Hotel and Restaurant Recommendations in San Jose.

Hotels in San Jose

  • close to the international airport (not the best option for fun, but practical!)
  • downtown where there is lively nightlife (and one of our favorite hotels, Grano de Oro)
  • on the beautiful outskirts of San Jose near Poas Volcano and/or coffee plantations
  • in the ritzy area of town called Escazu with fine dining and high end shopping where the InterContinental Hotel is located

Restaurants in San Jose

Here are a few quick suggestions:

  • Park Cafe (edgy International) west of downtown
  • Tin Ho (Asian) or Grano de Oro (International) downtown
  • Il Peperoncino (casual Italian), Product C (Fish), Taj Mahal (Indian) – all in Escazu.

Tourist attractions in San Jose

Meanwhile, if you have a layover (even a relatively short one of four hours or so), you may want to check out Poas Volcano, the Butterfly Tour at La Paz Waterfall Gardens, a variety of Coffee Plantation tours, ZooAve, the Gold and/or Jade Museum, the National Museum, InBio, Lankester Botanical Gardens, and the Serpentarium in nearby Grecia, as well as a one day River Rafting Trip.  For golfing, try Vista del Valle.  Salsa Dancing is great (or course); and then there is the Sibu Chocolate Tour and Toucan Rescue Ranch (these two tours work well together).

We can help arrange all of the above, and provide you with a trustworthy San Jose taxi driver to help you get around.

TRAVEL HINT:  While exploring San Jose, as in many big cities, it is best to travel light and leave your valuables (expensive jewelry, watches, etc) in your hotel room, or better yet at home.

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