San Jose Costa Rica Vacations
San Jose was built on the profits of the coffee-export business. Between the airport and downtown, you'll pass working coffee farms. Glance up from almost any street in the city and on the surrounding volcanic mountains and you'll see a patchwork quilt of farm fields, most of which are planted with the grano de oro (golden bean), as it's known here.
At 1,125m (3,690 ft.) above sea level, San Jose enjoys springlike temperatures year-round. The pleasant climate, along with the beautiful views of lush green mountainsides, makes San Jose a memorable city to visit. All you have to do is glance up at those mountains to know that this is one of the most beautifully situated capitals in Central America. And if a glance isn't enough for you, you'll find that it's extremely easy to get out into the countryside. Within an hour or two, you can climb a volcano, go white-water rafting, hike through a cloud forest, and stroll through a butterfly garden -- among many, many other activities.
View the spectacular eruptions of the active Arenal Volcano, located just a few hours from San Jose. This region also contains the Tabacon Hot Springs, a natural spa created by the volcano's heat.
For hiking and brid-watching, visit the one-of-a-kind Monteverde Cloud Forest in the Central Mountains. It is home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds and butterflies.
Puntarenas' famous volcanic black sand beaches are close to San Jose and are a great place to begin day trips to the Monteverde Cloud Forest or the Gulf of Nicoya.
Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the country and the most popular. Here, the rainforest and mountains literally meet the sea. Several trails lead through the dense jungle to hidden sandy coves and magnificent lookouts over the ocean and beaches. The endangered squirrel monkey is among the many species of animals and birds identified in the park.
Jaco Beach is located on Costa Rica's Central Pacific Coast. This is where Ticos traditionally come to play in the sun. You'll find plenty to occupy you here, including shopping, activities and nightlife.
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