Best Things To Do in San Jose, Costa Rica

Have you ever visited a new place and felt ‘wow’ about it? For many visitors, it happens at San Jose.

San Jose may not be as popular as other cities in Costa Rica, but don’t let that fool you. San Jose is a smaller but beautiful upcoming tourist destination that is worth a visit. You will be surprised by some of the unique things to do and places you can explore at this hidden destination.

You can definitely plan a few hours of a side trip here while traveling to Monteverde or Jaco. You might wish to revisit it someday again, to take a break and relax at San Jose.

If you have plans to visit Costa Rica and are not sure if San Jose should be included in your itinerary, keep reading. In this list, we have put together some of the things to do in San Jose and around. We have a hunch that if you include this city in your travel plans, you will be thrilled you did so.

Tourist Attractions in San Jose

Here is the list of things to do in San Jose and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Arenal Volcano

    4.6 (104 Votes)
    Arenal Volcano

    Outdoors, Hiking Trail, Lake, Volcano

    Address: Arenal Volcano, Alajuela Province, San Carlos, Costa Rica

    Standing tall at a height of 5480 feet above MSL, the Arenal volcano is the most active volcano in Costa Rica and is around 7,500 years old. Up until 1968, the volcano was dormant with dense vegetation concealing its terrain and the nearby village settlements. The 1968 eruption damaged the town of Tabacón and three more craters were forme...Read more
  2. Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo

    Outdoors, National Park, Park, View Point

    Address: Quebrada Gonzalez, Carr. San Jose Limon KM 2, Heredia, Costa Rica

    Sprawled across 476 square kilometres, the Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo is a part of the central Volcanic Conservation area and is spread in two provinces –Heredia and San Jose. The park geology is divided into three sections namely Barva, Zurqui, and Quebrada Gonzales, among which the Barva sector is most diverse with geological featu...Read more
  3. Carara National Park

    4.5 (203 Votes)
    Carara National Park

    Outdoors, National Park, Wildlife Park, View Point

    Address: Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica

    Located around 80 kilometers from San Jose, the Carara national park translates to "River of lizards" in Huetar and is popular for its variety of birds that take refuge here. The bird in danger of extinction- the Scarlet Macaw, is spotted here along with other animals. The rustic pathways that twirl around the national park embraces lush green t...Read more
  4. Poas Volcano

    4.3 (8 Votes)
    Poas Volcano

    View Point, Hiking Trail, Adventure, Volcano

    Address: Parque Nacional Volcán Poas, Costa Rica

    Located 50 kilometers from San Jose, Poás volcano is another one of the active volcanoes around the city. The volcano stands at a height of more than 8,000 feet with a carter that is 1.7 kilometers wide. The ‘Laguna Caliente’ located to the north of the crater is one of the most acidic lakes in the world- at times reaching a p...Read more
  5. Sarapiqui River

    4.5 (6 Votes)
    Sarapiqui River Image

    Outdoors, River, Water Sport

    Address: Sarapiqui, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica

    Located 70 kilometers away from San Jose, the Sarapiqui river is one of the top tourist places for white water rafting, rappelling and fishing. The river also proved important during the 1856 war when weapons and soldiers were transported through the river. The dams built on the river are also used to generate hydroelectricity. For tourists the ...Read more
  6. Museo De Jade

    4.7 (678 Votes)
    Museo De Jade


    Address: Calle 13 y 13 bis, Provincia de, Av Central, San José Province, San José, Costa Rica

    Visit the city of Costa Rica, and explore some of the hidden gems of history at Museo De Jade. Located in the heart of the city, this museum holds many historical facts about this city and its dwellers. The building comprises of five floors, and in each floor, you will get to know many unknown facts about this city. The museum has a very unique ...Read more
  7. Real Intercontinental San Jose Costa Rica

    Address: In Front Of Multiplaza, San José, 1001, Costa Rica

    San Jose is the hub of fantastic hotels in Costa Rica. Real Intercontinental is one of the most favored locations in the plaza here. The staff here is exceedingly helpful and will look after you from check in to check out. The rooms are spotless with hygienic washrooms. The bathtubs here are quite big and are attached to heavy rainfall showers. ...Read more
  8. Catarata Eco Lodge

    4.4 (34 Votes)
    Catarata Eco Lodge

    Address: Del centro de las Fortuna 2 km Carretera desviación a la izquierda hacia el volcan, Provincia de Alajuela, La Fortuna de San Carlos, 18344, Costa Rica

    To get a taste of real Costa Rica, come and stay at Catarata Eco Lodge. One of the simplest and popular places to stay, this lodge is just spectacular. With beautifully designed interiors and color contrast of the rooms, this lodge just stands out from its other counterparts. There is a small pool inside the lodge premise where you can just sit ...Read more
  9. Malpais

    Beach, Adventure

    Address: Malpais, Puntarenas Province Costa Rica

    Best known as a “fishing and cattle-farming village”, Malpais is a part of Costa Rica and world famous for its beautiful white sand beaches and plenty of adventures it offers. You can understand the popularity of the village by the fact that it was featured in the Forbes Magazine and was considered as “One of the ten most beau...Read more