San Jose

Located 3,700 ft above sea level, San José is the administrative, economic and commercial center of the country. Surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, the city is everything Latin life is known for: full of colors, rhythms and flavors. It has a great influence from the Mayas and their history and traditions are present everywhere. Typical festivals and visits to World-class museums, theaters and historical buildings are some of the cultural activities that visitors can enjoy. To stay in contact with nature, a lot of outdoor activities and adventure sports can be practiced in this beautiful scenario. In fact, “Pura vida” (Pure Life) is the slogan of Costa Rica and San José is a perfect example of it.

 

The best of the city

 

Be ready to immerse yourself in this “Pura vida” paradise and enjoy what San José has to offer (which is as vast as its beauty):

 

Majestic views: dozens of National Parks, mountains and mystic volcanoes create a spectacular mix of locations where you can find peace and escape from daily routine. A lot of excursions and guided tours are available every day. 

Adventure sports: for the adrenaline-lovers, there are several options including trekking, climbing, hikes, paragliding, horseback riding and canoeing. Also, wildlife watching is a developing activity where you can appreciate amazing species, mind you: to fully enjoy this activity, the company of a well-instructed guide is absolutely necessary.

 

Museums and theaters: the city has a wide range of opportunities to explore the artistic side of Costa Rica. The “Teatro Nacional” is the main theater in the country and is also considered an architectural jewel.

 

Eating and Outing: The cuisine of San Jose is characterized for being very caloric and colorful (be prepared to gain a few pounds, but trust me, but with PLEASURE!). Rice and beans are the base of their cuisine. You have to give “casado” (which translates as “married”) a go: a dish with rice, beans, banana and meat. Try “chorreadas”: baked sweet corn tortillas of sweet and don’t forget “empanadas” (turn-over pie) with beans, meat and cheese. A local gem to try any of these and even more is Mercado Central, a very old food market with many  small restaurants. Here you will also find fresh cooked fish and seafood, corn-based dishes, and some more exotic ones like “calamar en su tinta” (literally: squid in its ink) and ceviche (small bits of raw fish marinated in lime juice).

Climate

 

The temperature ranges between 18 and 24 Celsius degrees (the nights can be a bit cooler), the wettest months being May, September, October and November. The rainy season is from April through December.

 

How to get to San Jose

 

The airport of San Jose is 10kms (about 20 minutes by car from the center of San José). There is a bus stop outside the airport to get you to the city. Taxis can also take you to the city and trains have recently started again after being shut down for many years. 

Reasons to visit San Jose:

 

-Natural Landscapes: mountains, volcanoes and a lot of green preserved areas.

 

-Typical Cuisine: You can choose to savor specialties at some of the typical restaurants known as “miradores” (it means “with a view”) or buy them in one of the sidewalks stalls.

 

-Museums and Theaters: The wide range of artistic options includes typical festivals like the International Festival of the Arts in March. 

TESTIMONIALS

'The three weeks I spent at the Turtle project was an incredible experience. I highly recommend the Sea Turtle program to anyone interested in biology, or just the beach!'' Volunteer program. Mike Leahy

 

''I had an amazing time. The language institution was awesome. The staff members were always there to help and I really loved my Spanish teacher, she made learning Spanish fun and easy.'' Spanish course. Michelle Appleby

 

''I am grateful for the personal attention I received at my language school. Unlike owners at other schools in Costa Rica (I went to two others), you made yourself known on a personal level to your students. Whether talking with us at break, arranging outtings etc., you ALWAYS had time for each of us. I will never forget your kindness and have a lot of respect for you and to your dedication to helping your students have the best possible experience available. The student housing is outrageous...clean, attractively decorated, and spacious. I truly enjoyed learning Spanish here and plan on returning someday soon.Your school scores the highest at the affective level! Spanish course. Christine Hendrix, USA

 

''My experiences while studying Spanish here were most beneficial for me as they were for all the other students I met during my stay in Tamarindo. This is why I can honestly state that all the teachers at the school have a thorough understanding of the Spanish language, and an incredible ability to share that with their students. I went there not knowing a single word of Spanish. After a few weeks of in-class studying as well as applying my skills with locals and practicing in the student house I left Costa Rica with a more than adequate ability to effectively communicate in the Spanish language. There were many other conveniences such as Internet access, and numerous weekend excursions to other parts of Costa Rica. These excursions enriched my understanding of the Costa Rican culture as well as enabling me to practice more of my language skills.'' Spanish course. Jeremy Shane, Canada