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The Perfect Day in San Jose

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Costa Rica's capital is far more than just a place to fly into on your way to other parts of the country. A vibrant city with fascinating shops, top-notch restaurants, museums, and easy access to some of Costa Rica's most fascinating natural wonders, you might be tempted to just set up camp in town for your entire stay. But, if not, make sure you spend at least a day in town.
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Avenida 2, calle1, San José, Costa Rica
For three centuries, Costa Rica’s national theater has been an important cultural forum, and its beautiful structure is a designated national monument. Docent-led tours of the Renaissance-style building and its performance hall are highly...
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San Jose's Pre-Columbian Gold Museum has an impressive collection of gold objects, yes. It's remarkable to see a collection of sculptures, tools, and jewelry made with this coveted metal, some of which date back to 500 AD. There's even Costa Rica...
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Cuesta de Moras, San José, Costa Rica
The walls of the National Museum still bear the scars of cannonballs. The museum, formerly the Bellavista barracks, was where prisoners were jailed, in cells that can be visited by those interested in how prisons and dungeons...
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Calle 31, San José, Costa Rica
Kalú is the brainchild of Costa Rican-French chef Camille Ratton, who sought to create a sacred space for diners to encounter new tastes. Backed by a capable kitchen crew, Ratton turns out colorful, tasty dishes based on Mediterranean, Asian, and...
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Calle 33, San José, Costa Rica
Thanks to some amusing murals by local artist Juan Gha, no one overlooks Bocana. Besides the artwork, Bocana is known for a selection of tapas, pizzas, and other bar food, as well as an array of Costa Rica’s popular artisanal beers. The menu...
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Calle 5, San José, Costa Rica
Alma de Amón, located in old-school Barrio Amón, seeks to revive some of Latin America’s very best dishes. The border-crossing cuisines are served by candlelight in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. Among the recommended...
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300 Este 25 Sur de la Iglesia de Santa Teresita, Barrio Escalante, San José, Costa Rica
This comfortable wine bar may be a bit hard to find in the trendy Barrio Escalante, but worth the search. Oenophiles love the flights offered at La Uvita, like an array of glasses from Argentina’s Gran Caballero de la Cepa brand or the Cinco...
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Entre Av 7 y Calle 11A, San José, Calle 11A, San José, Costa Rica
eÑe was one of Costa Rica’s first so-called cultural boutiques. Its showroom, in a beautiful Barrio Amón building overlooking the Parque España, is a pleasure for the eyes. Even its sign is stunning: an enormous red...
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Avenue 9, San José, Costa Rica
Looking for authentic souvenirs of Costa Rica to bring back home? Kúkara Mákara offers a great selection of items, all 100 percent artisanal and officially Costa Rican. Its name—an allusion to children’s nonsense...