San Jose & The Central Valley






San José: Costa Rica’s Capital

San José, Costa Rica’s capital city, lies in a fertile valley at 3,800 feet above sea level. Arcing along its northern edge are the green slopes of Volcan Irazu, Volcan Barva, and Volcan Poas—each protected in a separate national park.

The city’s altitude and latitude are responsible for its mild, near-perfect climate, with plantations of shade-grown coffee covering the foothills.

Founded in 1824, San José is one of Central America’s newest capitals. Since most of the city’s growth occurred after 1950, downtown San José is largely modern. Several fine boutique hotels are located in this area. Cloud forest lodges are also within reach.

San Pedro Claver

San Jose National Theater

The National Theater is a beautiful exception to San Jose’s modern layout. Completed in 1897 at the height of the coffee boom, the theater was designed by Belgian architects and constructed of Italian marble and sandstone. Guided tours are available during the mornings and early afternoons.

Pre-Columbian Gold & Jade Museums

Across the plaza from the National Theater, the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum houses more than 2,000 articles of pre-Columbian gold jewelry—the largest collection in Central America—as well as an exhibit of rare coins.

Nearby, the Museum of Jade secures the world’s largest collection of pre-Columbian jade. Many pieces are between 1300 and 1700 years old. Some are carved into elaborate totems, featuring eagles and frogs.

What to do in San Jose

LANDED arranges privately guided experiences with our clients’ unique interests in mind. In San Jose, we’ve tailored experiences such as:

  • Coffee Tastings
  • Zip-lining at Colinas del Poas
  • City Tours
  • Visits to Museums
  • Rainforest Visits

Among the day trips possible from San José are rafting on the Pacuare River, hikes at Poas Volcano National Park, coffee plantation tours, and visits to private reserves on the Caribbean side of the Cordillera Central. San Jose also offers great culinary experiences as well as tennis and golf courses.

What is the Weather Like?

Costa Rica is located in the tropics and close to the equator and is considered a rainforest country with warm temperatures being characteristic throughout the year. There are two well-defined seasons:

Dry Season: December – April
Green Season: May – November

San Jose is located in Costa Rica’s Central Valley. It is a mountainous area with higher altitudes, which is why temperatures are lower here. Its position in the central region of the country allows the passing of cool coastal breezes. The Central Valley has perhaps the best climate in Costa Rica. With temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to the mid-60s at night.

These averages are changing, please check extended weather forecasts using your favorite weather app prior to departure.

Getting There

Most international flights to San Jose (SJO) reach the capital in the late morning or early evening; travelers often stay overnight in San José upon arrival.

Short regional flights connect the capital with several domestic airfields. Private charters can also be arranged.

For domestic flights within Costa Rica, you will most likely be traveling on a small aircraft which imposes weight restrictions on luggage, typically 25 pounds per person.

Start your journey today

LANDED delivers the finest in custom, private travel to Central America, South America, and Antarctica. These regions are our passion; we know them first-hand and by heart. Speak with one of our travel designers and let us create a tailored itinerary for you in Costa Rica. 

How to combine San Jose

Have some extra time? Here are some options for you to combine with