Where to Sightsee in Costa Rica

If you’re looking for a city with a touch of Mother Nature, look no further than San Jose in Costa Rica. Once you arrive, you will be greeted with big smiles, fresh air, and beautiful landscapes. Although San Jose is a well-developed city, the locals take the most pride in preserving the natural beauty in the area. Let’s get started with a few top attractions you must-see during your visit!

San Jose City Tour
Learn all about the history of San Jose by taking a city tour from Viator. My favorite stop along the tour was at the Central Market. Here, you can shop amongst the locals and taste samples of pastries and craft-brewed beer. Keep notes of the different beers you enjoy so you can order them with dinner in the evening. This is a great opportunity to stock up on snacks to keep in your hotel room.

Local Museums in San Jose
The museum buffs in your group will be pleasantly surprised by San Jose’s wide variety of museums.

  • Museum of Costa Rican Art – the extensive picture display submerges you in the local culture of Costa Rica through spiritual images and exhibits.
  • Natural Science Museum – This museum features a huge exhibit of animals including birds, insects, dinosaurs and mammals.
  • The Gold Museum – Highlights the history of the first American settlers and an extensive collection of gold relics.

After exploring a few museums, head over to Grano de Oro Restaurant for a delicious lunch. My favorite dish is the Curado de Pescados which includes shrimp and three types of fish mixed with lemon and olive oil. Since Costa Rica is in on an island, the seafood cannot be any fresher!

San Jose Craft Market
After lunch, visit the Municipal Craft Market where you can shop and browse through local vendor booths. Local artists create unique items perfect for souvenirs. You can find pretty much any type of craft item here at the market including, shot glasses, pens, purses, and more. The market is located on Calle 5, Avenida 6, costado Sur de la Plaza de las Garantías, San José, Costa Rica.

A kayak in the grass in front of a beach

Outdoor Activities in Alajuela
If you’re looking for an adventure, you can find a few different options including cultural tours, nature tours, beach tours, Caribbean tours, Guanacaste tours, and Monteverde tours.

Colinas del Poás Zip Line Tour
I chose to do the Colinas del Poás Zip Line Tour which offered a variety of activities including the zip line, Tarzan swing, and lunch. I decided to enjoy the Tarzan swing which included climbing a staircase stairs up to the top of a treehouse. The extra steps were worth the views. After enjoying the views, I took a leap of faith (literally) and jumped like Tarzan off of the top of the treehouse. It was definitely an exhilarating experience!

Dinner with a View in Alajuela
Plan ahead and make an early dinner reservation at Xandari Resort. The restaurant has a beautiful view of the Costa Rica skyline. The restaurant includes an open area where you can enjoy nature and the cool breeze at night. The filet mignon is a popular choice and the Chefs prepare it perfectly. The ambiance of the restaurant is created with brightly decorated masks on the walls.

What to do at Night in Alajuela
After dinner, enjoy a show at the National Theater of Costa Rica. This theater features plays, musical events, and cultural dances. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance. Take a peek at their event calendar to plan your itinerary ahead of time.

After the theater head to Casino Fiesta. You can gamble, enjoy a drink at the bar, and dance the night away. Learn a few new dances like the salsa and merengue, or show off your own moves when your favorite song comes on.

San Jose is a great place to visit for travelers who enjoy both, city life and Mother Nature. Jump right into the daily lifestyle when you visit the Central Market or enjoy a relaxing dinner in the city. During the day there is always an adventure to discover. Take a leap of faith like Tarzan or explore the rainforest, you never know what kind of critters you’ll run into!


Girl wearing a hat and sweatshirt, going for a hike.

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Bertha C. Are you interested in traveling to Alajuela? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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