San José: A Portal to Central America

San José Costa Rica is the most prominent city and is also the country’s capital. Along with its surrounding areas, San José makes up more than 1/3 of Costa Rica’s population. It is rampant with activity year round, serving as the country’s political, economic, and transportation centers.

San José Costa Rica

A beautiful view of downtown San José at night.

Much of the city’s central region is devoted strictly to business, with virtually no residencies. Because of the concentration of work and commercial zones in San José, as well as its airport and abundance of buses, around one million people make their way through the city per day. Nearly any material item can be found in greater quantity, quality, and at a better price in San José Costa Rica(though the products could still be much more expensive than they would in another country). Furthermore, many of the items that people travel there to buy cannot be bought in their general area of residency. Furniture, appliances, and building materials are a few of the many things that people travel long distances to purchase.

One of the main draws to San José, or the Central Valley in general, is its year-round moderate climate. Temperatures in San José Costa Rica hover between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, so just about every day is pleasant. While the beaches seem like ideal places to retire or relocate, the Central Valley is popular to many expatriates because of the comfortable weather, and greater access to hospitals and other various amenities. It does rain nearly half the days of the year, however, the majority of the rainfall occurs on a handful of days that experience heavy rains[1].

As with any major city, there’s more to do in San José than other parts of the country. One can go out for elegant nights on the town, with fine dining and drinking. And for the people who like to get their hands a little dirty…. well, San José has everything they’d want too! There’s a booming nightlife, with plenty of wild places to drink, dance, and enjoy life with the Ticos, as well as people from all over the world!

San José Costa Rica

The Central Valley experiences wonderful weather year round.

However, with all the good things about San José, one of the downsides to some is how westernized it has become. Fast food restaurants and shopping centers have taken over certain parts of the city, which has led to disenfranchisement in the poorer population in the area[2].  Because of this poor population, there has been an increase in crime, though most of it is nonviolent. For any visitors, just make sure to know where you’re going and travel with a group, as the threat is necessary to mention, though in no way a deterrent from visiting!

Being the largest city in the country, major transportation through the city takes place daily. Included in the one million people that pass through the town daily are the crowds of travelers coming in, going out, or simply passing through to another location – San José Costa Rica nearly serves as a portal to the rest of Central America.

 


[1] http://www.costa-rica.climatemps.com/
[2] http://www.lonelyplanet.com/costa-rica/san-jose

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