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To stay in S.J. or not to stay?

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NY, NY
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171 posts
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To stay in S.J. or not to stay?

We are definitely going to spend one night there, on the way back. But, just getting there, should we spend a night there and a full day, or head out to start our trip in Poas?

Thank you.

Eppy68

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: To stay in S.J. or not to stay?

Don't stay in San Jose at all. Stay in Alajuela, close to the airport. You can then stop in San Jose for 2-3 hours on the way to Poas if you really want to see the city. The city is crowded and busy. I will not plan on spending more than 2 hours there. The country side has a lot more to offer!

Costa Rica
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2. Re: To stay in S.J. or not to stay?

Skipp San Jose the city has not much to offer

Nashua, New...
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3. Re: To stay in S.J. or not to stay?

Stay in San Jose, it has lots to offer: Museums, outdoor markets, excellent restaurants, interesting architecture, parks, etc.

California
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4. Re: To stay in S.J. or not to stay?

give SJ the bare minimum time and move on, it is not the beautiful part of CR

NY, NY
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5. Re: To stay in S.J. or not to stay?

I think we are off to Alajeula! Thanks!

Eppy68

Nashua, New...
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6. Re: To stay in S.J. or not to stay?

Just out of curiosity, has anyone writing on this thread ever been to a museum as an adult?

San Francisco...
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7. Re: To stay in S.J. or not to stay?

There are plenty of interesting things to do/see in San Jose for a day. Personally I think San Jose gets bad rap. If you are half way street smart you shouldn't have any problems

Here is what I would recommend and all within walking distance from each other

Walk along Aveneda Central (pedestrian mall)

Shop or browse the Central Mercado

People watch at the Plaza de la Cultura

Visit the Gold Museum and the National Theatre

Enjoy the views from the 11th floor of the Jade Museum

Check out the National Museum.

The Museum of Contempory Art and Design (my favorite)

Shop in the open air artists market at the Plaza de la Democracia

Have lunch at the News Cafe (Aveneda Central & Calle 7)

Puerto Viejo, Costa...
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for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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8. Re: To stay in S.J. or not to stay?

Why people would come to another country and bypass it's capital city in favour of a suburb by the airport is totally beyond me.

Tampa, FL
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for San Jose, Costa Rica
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9. Re: To stay in S.J. or not to stay?

Monica, you might want to re-check your map. San Jose is NOT on the way from Alajuela to Poas. And if you're going to stop in San Jose ANYWAY to check it out there are a LOT of advantages for staying there. Yes, it is "crowded and busy". Crowded with a WIDE selection of nice hotels and great restaurants. And you call it "busy" but I'd call it "vibrant" with ticos (a wonderful people) working and shopping and living their lives.

Infocat, the rest of CR may have more to offer but it is really unfair to say that SJ "has not much to offer". And what it DOES have to offer are things that the rest of CR simply doesn't have. No one is saying to skip the rest of CR, but if you're staying in the central valley ANYWAY there are LOTS of good reasons to make SJ your base while you're there.

LBToni, how many times have you been to CR and exactly how much time did you spend in SJ? Or did you just buy into the typical bad rap before your 1st trip this past winter and are simply repeating it?

Eppy, listen to 2 CR "experts" (colinsito and myself) as well as one who really should be an expert (just check out sean's other posts). Don't buy into the usual misinformation.

BTW, Sean lay out a pretty good itinerary for your 1st afternoon with just 1 correction. Sean, the Jade Museum moved its location to the 1st floor (about a year ago?). The view from the top WAS one of the strong points for the museum. All its placards are in spanish which is one of its big weak points. Perhaps they'll still let you up to the top (in their bizarre elevators with the buttons on the outside). I don't know. Personally I'd rather just spend some more time at one of the other places.

NY, NY
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10. Re: To stay in S.J. or not to stay?

As an elementary school teacher and one who spends 5 months teaching about Latin America and rainforests, I love museums, which is why on the way back from MA, we are staying in SJ so we can hit the gold and jade museums and maybe take in a concert.

Thanks for all your help!

Eppy68