Bustling big city or nature’s haven? Whichever way you see it, San Jose offers plenty of excitement for the first time and returning visitor alike. In fact, its obvious architecture of tall skyscrapers and expansive malls often overshadow its scenic treasures such as the Tortuguero National Park or the Poas Volcano. Here’s a quick guide on different things to do on a three day visit to the city.
Day 1: Discover San Jose
Spend day one orienting yourself to the city. Sign up for a city tour to get an overview of the city’s top sightseeing spots and attractions. Grab lunch at one of the many quaint Tico eateries that dot the city and then head over to the private adventure park to ride the Aerial Tram Atlantic. Not only does this offer you a bird’s eye view of San Jose, it also passes over dense rainforest canopies offering spectacular views.
Day 2: Volcanoes & National Parks
San Jose is the gateway to Costa Rica’s many beaches, rainforests, national parks and volcanoes. Embark on a sailing expedition passing the dense jungles of the Tortuguero National Park and witness what is one of the few remaining nesting sites of the gigantic green turtle. Alternatively hike to the famous Doka coffee estate and experience rich Costa Rican coffee at its source. Next visit the still active Poas Volcano standing tall 8,884 feet above sea level. End the day with a visit to La Paz waterfalls and the Hummingbird Gallery if time permits.
Day 3: Old Meets New
Visit some of San Jose’s cultural heritage as captured in its museums and galleries. In the second half of the day it’s time to change gears and visit some of the glitzy malls for all that holiday shopping. If you’re there for the night, be sure to join the party for the city has a very vibrant nightlife.