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3 hours in San Jose: Museo de Oro, Teatro Nacional or both?

Brooklyn, New York
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for Sarapiqui
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3 hours in San Jose: Museo de Oro, Teatro Nacional or both?

For our upcoming trip, we arrive at SJO at 9:30 am (on a Saturday) and have a flight from Pavas at 3:30 PM to Puerto Jimenez.

Figuring 45 minutes to get our luggage and clear immigration and customs, plus an hour (just to be safe taking into account traffic) to get to Pavas by 2:30 for our flight check in, we'll have a little over 3 hours free.

The thinking currently is to hire a driver to take us from SJO, take us downtown for some brief sightseeing and lunch, and then over to Pavas.

We noticed that our top two choices for sights--Museo de Oro and Teatro Nacional--are right next to each other (on the map we're using anyways). Is one hour for each place enough time so that we could fit both in plus have time to grab lunch before heading to Pavas?

If we had to choose one, which would you recommend?

Edited: 18 January 2013, 18:28
nebraska
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1. Re: 3 hours in San Jose: Museo de Oro, Teatro Nacional or both?

Teatro Nacional is beautiful and with traffic & walking should fill your extra hour. They are not always open to site seeing. You should check ahead of time.

Cahuita, Costa Rica
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2. Re: 3 hours in San Jose: Museo de Oro, Teatro Nacional or both?

The National Theater doesn't take long to go around but you'll need a good couple of hours for the Gold Museum. I like both but you could base your choice on time available. Both would be a bit of a rush!

Slovenia
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3. Re: 3 hours in San Jose: Museo de Oro, Teatro Nacional or both?

As I am a not so huge fan of museums and other indoor attractions 2 hours at MdO would be enough. Just don't try to read every description of displays. For Teatro take as much of the time as it will be left. Have another great trip!

Brooklyn, New York
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4. Re: 3 hours in San Jose: Museo de Oro, Teatro Nacional or both?

Thanks for the suggestions. Anyone know of a good lunch spot near those places?

Cahuita, Costa Rica
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5. Re: 3 hours in San Jose: Museo de Oro, Teatro Nacional or both?

You're surrounded by fast food restaurants, like McDonalds unfortunately. The Gran Hotel overlooking the Plaza is a lovely place to sit and people watch but I imagine it would be fairly pricey. Have a great time!

guanacaste
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6. Re: 3 hours in San Jose: Museo de Oro, Teatro Nacional or both?

Museo de Oro and do ask for the guided tour, it is worth the money.

Jaco, Costa Rica
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7. Re: 3 hours in San Jose: Museo de Oro, Teatro Nacional or both?

Maybe do a quick walk through the Teatro Nacional and then do a little people watching outside of the building. One of the best people watching spots in the city. Then you could walk about 5 minutes down to the Mercado Central for lunch. Get the real CR lunch experience.

8. Re: 3 hours in San Jose: Museo de Oro, Teatro Nacional or both?

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