San Jose On the Road

San Jose, Costa Rica
Costa Rica means rich coast and rightly so because of its rich natural environment. Many have journeyed across the ocean in hopes of finding gold or other precious goods. Costa Rica now has a large production of coffee, bananas, pineapples and ornaments. The country has many plants and animals some include big cats, about 600 types of different birds, turtles, monkeys, sloths and more. San Jose adds to Costa Rica with its own peaceful, calm way of life. No one is in any particular rush.

To check out the sites, I would recommend the Gold Museum which is the most glamorous. It has the largest collection of indigenous gold art in the nation. For other museums try the Jade Museum (imported jade), Museo de Arte Costarricense (for local artists), Museo Nacional (history and culture) and Arte Latino (works from local artists).

For more sites, try the Spirogyra Butterfly Garden, with 30 different species of butterflies. There is the Teatro Nacional, an elegant theatre and historical site where you can catch a performance. Serpentarium is where you can watch snakes and other wildlife crawl through their cages. If you’re into golf, go to the Melia Cariari Gold Course where you can swing your club in the beautiful sunshine of Costa Rica. The last site I would recommend would be the Metropolitan Church which is not much to look at from the outside but has a beautiful 1871 interior.

However if you’re tired of looking at the sites, try walking around a bit to get a feel for the city. The Mercado Central is a flea market with stalls, ice cream vendors and restaurants. There is the Plaza de la Cultura, the main plaza, where celebrations, demonstrations and performances take place. Volcan Poas is a volcano and national park that you can explore.

If you get hungry, which you are likely to do after all these sites and walking, try the local food which includes rice, beans, coconut milk and fried platains. Another specialty you might be able to find is turtle eggs. Beware if you’re on a diet - they love fried food and oil here. Drinks include horchata (a cinnamon cornmeal drink), chan (a drink with seeds), fresco de frutas (fruit floating in water) and guaro (a nearly tastless but alcoholic drink).

For the nighttime, activities can last from 10 till dawn. El Pueblo is a good place for bars and clubs. During the day art galleries and shops open in the El Pueblo area. This area has over what seems like 50 bars and clubs along its cobblestone streets - proof that Costa Rica loves to dance till dawn.