San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, is on a plateau in the Central Valley at 1200 m (3,700 ft) elevation. It is ringed by lush green mountains and valleys. The population of this city is probably half of the whole country. It contains the primary airport, the University of Costa Rica, the US' and other embassies and many museums, cultural venues, hotels, markets, etc. It is the hub of the country.
Popular Vacation Hotspots
Museo de Oro Precolombino (The Gold Museum), an underground museum below Plaza de la Cultura. At the same place you will also find The Numismatic Museum and The Temporary Exhibition Galleries. There is a nice museum shop and a tourist office at the entrance.
Museo del Jade (The Jade Museum) - The largest collection of precolumbian Jade in America. Furthermore they show how Jade was elaborated in the precolumbian aera. They offer a variety of other objects made of stones, bones, ceramics, shells,... Moreover you get an insight in the daily life of the people in the precolumbian era. If you only have time for visiting one museum and interested in precolumbian , this is the recommended choice, it is small, easy to get in, very representative of the many materials used and geographic zones habited before the European contact.
Museo de los Niños (The children's museum), Antigua Penitenciaría (the old prison). This is an edutainment museum, and it was designed for Costa Rica's children, all the exhibits are in Spanish only.
Museo Nacional - The museum includes a large butterfly garden (With many morpho butterflies) and a collection of large stone spheres from the Diquis Valley near the Pacific Ocean, a permanent precolumbian exhibition, the barracks, the rooms of the army general and his family, and a couple of temporal exhibits at the time.
Museo de Arte Costarricense, east end of Sabana Park. This used to be San Jose's main airport terminal back when La Sabana was the airport.
Insect Museum at the Universidad de Costa Rica A very elegant collection of exotic bugs.
Museo de arte y diseño contemporáneo (MADC) Definitely the main institution in Costa Rica dedicated to the broadcasting of contemporary art.
Zoológico Simón Bolivar An almost hidden zoo in Barrio Amón, some of the most representative animals are available in this small zoo. There are many big cats, including a non native lion, the serpentarium is one of the most interesting spots, with colorful (and dangerous) snakes available.
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5 stars and 4 stars Hotels near Juan SantamarÃa International Airport San JosÃ© (SJO), Costa Rica
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