Villas del Rio


5 (not so) Touristic destinations in San Jose

Whenever I stay in San José I like to take one day to breathe the city in. Don’t you like to feel present in the city you are? In this post, I’ll be talking about some well known touristic places, and my top choices, but keep in mind that getting to know a city is more than it’s touristic spots.

I feel that getting in touch with people, eating at local places and having a “local day” paints a better picture of the place in your mind.



This museum is located in the old distiller factory in what’s today the middle of San Jose and it usually displays the latest design trends and artists. The installations themselves are a complete show as well, so you will spend a very interesting afternoon there, I especially prefer the afternoons here when it’s warm and the colors through the machinery look enchanting.

Now it’s displaying an exhibition called “Potassium: consequences of abundance” by Moises Barrios. It tells the story related to banana plantations and the lives of people regarding them.

Check their videos at:

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Since I enjoy eating so much, one of my favorite places to visit is the Central Market, there’s one in every town (Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago) and they all are very similar. But a true foodie from Costa Rica knows that the true “Tala Pinto” (gallo pinto with cheese, eggs, meat, the whole shebang) is in San Jose’s.

This market offers as well fresh flowers, fruits, and spices. Some of them exotic and all of them really really cheap.



This edification was the official customs central around 1900 and kept on functioning until 1970 when it was closed, the customs needs had overgrown the building.

Ever since it has been a venue for fairs, art exhibitions and cultural activities.

Check their schedule of events here:



This street has risen during the last years due to the neighbors association and their efforts to make of it a trendy spot to visit.

Here you’ll find plenty of restaurants, bars, and parks where people usually gather during nights and weekends. Barrio Escalante is the latest up and coming place to enjoy a night out with friends. During the dry season, there are casual movie screenings out in the open, and food festivals. It is FUN FUN FUN

Check the restaurants you can visit here:



Now, this is a little controversial place. Some people say animals shouldn’t be in cages, but in this zoo, these animals are rescued from places outside their natural Inhabitat.

If you want to see crocodiles from inches near, or sloths climbing up the trees, take a visit this weekend.

This is another jewel located in the middle of San Jose, with a “vintage” feeling to it, you can follow the paths and find the tropical animals. It has lately had some restorations, go and see them for yourself!

It opens every day from 8 am during weekdays and from 9 am on weekends.