A few days in San José, home to over one third of all Ticos, will give you an insight into the true character of the nation. The city's markets are colorful and vibrant, and its nightlife is as sophisticated as you want it to be.
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Standard Two Double, Kids 11 & younger stay FREE, EXCLUSIVE $100 discount per booking
This luxury hotel boasts captivating grounds, exceptional service and a relaxing ambiance.
Mercado CentralSan José’s crowded indoor markets retain an old-world feel. This is the main market, lined with vendors hawking everything from spices and coffee beans to pura vida souvenir T-shirts.
Museo de JadeYou will find the world’s largest collection of American jade (pronounced ‘ha-day’ in Spanish) at this small museum on the 1st floor of the Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS; National Insurance Institute). The pieces are varied: expect to see display cases cluttered with translucent jade carvings that depict fertility goddesses, shamans, frogs and snakes, as well as some incredible pottery (some of which reflects Maya influences), including a highly unusual ceramic head displaying a row of serrated teeth. The craftsmanship is generally excellent and pieces are in a fine state of conservation.
Teatro NacionalOn the southern side of the Plaza de la Cultura resides the Teatro Nacional, San José’s most revered public building. Constructed in 1897, it features a columned neoclassical facade that is flanked by statues of Beethoven and Calderón de la Barca, a 17th-century Spanish dramatist. The lavish marble lobby and auditorium are lined with paintings depicting various facets of 19th-century life.
Across the street, also belonging to the national theater is the Museo Homenaje Joaquín García Monge which features temporary exhibitions by contemporary Costa Rican and Central American artists.
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