What to do and see in Province of San Jose, Costa Rica: The Best Places and Tips

October 15, 2017 Major Galusha

Discover the best top things to do in Province of San Jose, Costa Rica including Teatro Nacional Costa Rica, Galeria Namu, Cloudbridge Nature Reserve, Museo de Arte Costarricense, Precolumbian Gold Museum, Carara National Park, Jade Museum, Museo de los Ninos, Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo.
Restaurants in Province of San Jose

1. Teatro Nacional Costa Rica

Second Ave. and Fifth St., San Jose, Costa Rica +506 2010 1100
Excellent
67%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Teatro Nacional Costa Rica

Since 1897, this elegant theater has been a source of pride.

Reviewed By Prawet J - Washington DC, District of Columbia

I did not have a chance to see inside of the National Theater but just the lobby and the outside. The Teatro Nacional Costa Rica is situated in the heart of the busy old town San Jose. The plaza in front of the building is very lively with a lot activities. According to the history, the Theater was built in 19th Century for performing art purpose and is considered the finest historic building in the country. It is worth stopping by for photos.

2. Galeria Namu

7th Avenue | Between 5th And 7th Streets, San Jose, Costa Rica +506 2256 3412
Excellent
81%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 165 reviews

Galeria Namu

Galeria Namu is a fair trade art gallery for local and indigenous artists from Costa Rica and surrounding Central America countries. Established in 1998 at this same location, visitors to Costa Rica's capital city of San Jose can find us easily behind the Holiday Inn (across from Parque Morazan).Knowledge and passion for the artists and their work is what makes a visit to Galeria Namu special; the owner, Aisling, and her son Conall, along with their support staff love to share with visitors the background of the tribe or individual artisans and the remarkable collection of unique and very special pieces available for purchase. For the past 15 years, Galeria Namu has nurtured a relationship with the artists who create folk art, gold and jade replicas, handwoven baskets, originals paintings, tagua carvings and jewelry and much more. Visit the website for hours and a sampling of what you will encounter. Be prepared to catch their enthusiasm for fair trade with these local arts and crafts.

Reviewed By Peytonsage - Barrie, Canada

This was our second trip here and once again we were impressed by many of the items offered for sale. The baskets are such high quality crafts and it's nice to see that many of the indigenous communities they come from are identified. They also have some great reproductions of many of the pre-Columbian artifacts you see in the Gold and Jade Museums. Not your usual souvenir shop!

3. Cloudbridge Nature Reserve

2 km este de Escuela | San Gerardo de Rivas, Perez Zeledon, Chirripo National Park 11904, Costa Rica 917 494 5408
Excellent
82%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 106 reviews

Cloudbridge Nature Reserve

Reviewed By Nene M

This is a great place to experience the cloud forest, which was everything you would expect. A plethora of plant, bird and insects. We stayed at the casita blanca which was beautiful set into a lush garden, will say it’s a bit on the expensive side. No food provided on premises. Walked the sendero montaña which takes you up a steep path to the chirripo trail, we are fit it took us 3 hours - can take you longer. The ascent allows you to appreciate the different vegetation at each elevation. Multiple shortest trails available as well.

4. Museo de Arte Costarricense

Parque Metropolitano de La Sabana, San Jose 10109, Costa Rica +506 2256 1281
Excellent
57%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 298 reviews

Museo de Arte Costarricense

This museum displays works by local artists.

Reviewed By Rachel Z

It's a tiny art museum but it's free. The museum was repurposed from an airport terminal, which renders a sense of history for this museum - reminds me of Musee D'orsay! Pretty amazing collection of Latin artwork! Took an hour to finish viewing all the pieces of artwork. Then it's a good idea to take a walk in the La Sabana Park which is right behind the museum.

5. Precolumbian Gold Museum

Calle 5 | between Central and 2nd Ave, San Jose, Costa Rica 506-243-4202
Excellent
54%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Precolumbian Gold Museum

A large collection of indigenous gold art.

Reviewed By Larry R

This museum, just around the corner from the National Theatre is incredible. It is all underground and should be considered a must see if you are spending any time in San Jose. The gold creations and art created by the precolumbian people may be considered better than some of the recent art I have seen in some more modern museums. The gold jewelry is extremely sophisticated.

6. Carara National Park

Highway 34, Carara, Costa Rica +506 2637 1054
Excellent
63%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 493 reviews

Carara National Park

Carara National Park is south of the Rio Tarcoles and 15 km north of Jaco Dentral. It boasts of a large population of breeding scarlet macaws, capuchin monkeys, anteaters, parrots, aracaris, kingfishers old growth forest and is a transistional forest supporting both Amazonian and Mesoamerican habitats.

Reviewed By nettzoo - north Carolina

My eyesight is failing and my hearing is worse, so birding has become very challenging for me. But with a fantastic guide like Freddy, anyone can be successful at birding. He has a great ear and does an amazing job of identifying and locating birds. His eye is keen, and he repeatedly got his scope on the bird before I even had any idea there was something there. He helped me see many more birds than I expected, he took pictures through his scope for me, he was very helpful and patient. In short, Freddy is one of the best bird guides I’ve ever met and I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to go out with him. On top of his skills and professionalism, he is extremely friendly and pleasant to be with. I wish I had time to go birding with him again!

7. Jade Museum

Central Av | Street 13 and 13 bis, San Jose 10106, Costa Rica +506 2521 6610
Excellent
56%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Jade Museum

The Jade Museum and of precolumbian culture is positioned as an innovative state-of-the-art cultural proposal in the protection and conservation of archaeological heritage in Central America. Located in the center of Costa Rics's capital, the building was especially constructed to house the museum's collection, its architecture evoking a cut jade block. Its five levels exhibit objects crafted by artisans specialized in solving their daily subsistence needs, their spiritual and political world.

Reviewed By Prawet J - Washington DC, District of Columbia

The Jade Museum is located very close to the National Museum of Costa Rica and right next to the Mercado Nacional de Artesanias. The Museum is nicely designed and displayed throughout the 4 floors. A lot of information with different things and different era. It is a lot to absorb and to see. The Jade Museum in is dedicated and focused to present the archaeological heritage of the region. According to the information package, the museum has the largest collection of pre-Columbian jade artifacts in the world. I recommend Reading about the displays and what they are before visiting the Museum. It is worth 15 dollars entrance fee.

8. Museo de los Ninos

Calle 4, al norte de la Avenida 9, San Jose, Costa Rica 506 258 4929
Excellent
51%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 399 reviews

Museo de los Ninos

Reviewed By Shirley T - NJ

We come every time we visit Costa Rica and there are always new displays, so many great things to see and explore... Its very big inside and the costs is not bad. Each display has a helpful guide to answer any questions. Its educational even for adults. My favorite is the space display because of the astronauts costumes and all the information about Franklin Chan. The earthquake simulator is super cool also! plan to spend the whole day here. My kids love it and they are 7 and 9 yrs. old. Do wear comfortable shoes to walk all day but do take them off and enjoy digging for bones in the sand... It's amazing!!

9. Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo

North Of San Jose 19 km, San Jose 10104, Costa Rica 506 283 5896
Excellent
54%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 275 reviews

Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo

Reviewed By kitajenn8709 - Atlanta, Georgia

We took the 6 in 1 rainforest tour from San Jose which included a direct pickup from our Condo.
Pros:
- Our tour guide for the animals, tram and in the van (Edgar) was great! He was friendly and extremely knowledgeable about Costa Rica and the wildlife.
- We got to see a hummingbird exhibit which was really cool!
- We learned about the different species of frogs and snakes in Costa Rica.
- We took an amazing tram ride of the upper and lower rainforest! The sights were amazing!
- Our tour guides for the zipline tour (Joseph & Dennis) was incredible! The entire experience ziplining was sooo much fun and something I always wanted to do. The ziplining was very safe and secure. The sights were amazing!
- Lunch was provided with our tour which was a traditional Costa Rican meal which was delicious.
- Lockers were available to rent to store your baggage.
- I saw a sloth lol!
Cons:
- If going during the rainy season as I did, you will get caught in rain while on the tour. But that made the rainforest tour even better! But we did miss the butterfly exhibit.
- Our driver, Andreas, was terrible! He almost got into an accident going to the park and back to San Jose. On the way to the park, he was not paying attention and almost ran into the back of the vehicle in front of him. Returning from the park, he tried passing a gasoline truck into oncoming traffic. He ran out of space and almost crashed into the truck or an oncoming vehicle. That was TERRIFYING and which is why I am not giving the tour a 5 star rating.
Overall I would do the tour and recommend it but ensure Andreas is not my driver!

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