San José

District of Costa Rica, the nation’s capital and the province of San Jose are situated in the central northern area, at 1,160 meters above sea level and hemmed in by the Central Volcanic Mountain Range, at the base of Talamanca. The original core of the city was just a village known as Villa Nueva de la Boca del Monte del Valle de Abra, and its population antecedents hark back to the late 16th century when the first colonizers settled down. The burg’s top economic activities are administrative, financial, commercial and cultural. However, due to the earthquakes San Jose has endured, the city does not have a colonial architectural heritage similar to those found in other Central American cities. Nevertheless, San Jose features many museums, libraries, buildings, monuments and other works worth taking a long look at. A walk around this district could begin on a major monument, a token of the city itself: the National Theater, built in 1890, that has turned out to be the cultural hub of the entire country. From here, you can walk to the Central Marketplace (a.k.a. the Bourbon Marketplace), which is another favorite spot for the residents of San Jose, full of scents and items that pack a wallop among visitors. As usual, the best that you can do is take a spin and go unearthing interesting places around, like the National Park and its National Monument, or the southwestern area with the statue of Juan Santamaria, Costa Rica's national hero. Not far from there, you'll find the headquarters of the National Assembly, the National Library and a curious Liquor Factory founded in 1856. Other must-sees are the Spain Park -smaller than the National Park. Not far from there, you'll come across the well-known Jade Museum that cherishes a collection of jade pieces made in the Americas; the Yellow House which houses the HQ of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Spanish Courthouse that harbors the city's finest school. The modern-style cathedral is near Central Park, a place where you can rest and admire beautiful scenery, and the Garden of Butterflies. The city is dotted by a multitude of museums, like the National Museum, the Museum of Pre-Hispanic Gold, the Museum of Costa Rican Arts and the Museum of National Sciences, among many other options that will be waiting just for you in one of the loveliest cities of the Western Hemisphere. As far as leisure and fun is concerned, the city offers an array of movie theaters, theaters, restaurants, cafés, stores, disco clubs and an out-of-the-way hotel infrastructure in a backdrop of breathtaking natural landscapes.

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Tips

One of the world's three largest cave systems is in Puerto Rico - the Parque de las Cavernas del Rio Camuy.