San Jose, Costa Rica Travel Guide

San Jose, Costa Rica Travel Guide

If you’re thinking of visiting the land of Pura Vida, check out this helpful post I’ve put together as a San Jose, Costa Rica Travel Guide!

San Jose, Costa Rica and the surrounding areas have a lot to offer the Costa Rican traveler. Although many people fly into San Jose and immediately leave for one of the touristy areas, such as La Fortuna, Monteverde, or Tamarindo, for example, I think it’s worth spending two to three days just staying in San Jose!

There are a few sights to see in the city, and a few sights to see outside the city, but more than that, staying in San Jose will give you loads of opportunities to talk to citizens of Costa Rica and get a true feel for the country outside of the major tourist areas.

I had a wonderful stay in San Jose and wanted to write this post about some great thing to see/do there, as well as places to stay and eat cheaply. So let’s go!

Things To See & Do: Many people will tell you that staying in San Jose, even for a few days, isn’t worth it, but I really disagree with this. When I was there, I went to the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, then I took a cab downtown and walked around for a few hours by myself. While I there, I grabbed some food and headed to the Mercado Nacional de Artesanias. I didn’t get a chance to check out the Teatro Nacional, but that’s another big draw for visitors to the city. All of these places are beautiful, easy to cruise yourself (without getting a tour or guide) and great to meet locals!

You can also do what I did and do a short day trip just outside the city. I went to Doka Coffee Estate, Poas Volcano, and La Paz Waterfall & Gardens, but there are lots of options. If you are into it, you can even drive the three hours to visit Arenal and back!

Where To Stay: I stayed at the Costa Rica Love Hostel, which was outside the city proper, in Heredia, and was small and had very friendly owners. That said, Pangea and the Costa Rica Backpackers Hostel are two places I’ve heard a lot of great things about! I knew someone staying at Costa Rica Backpackers in the city and she was really happy with her experience.

Where To Eat: San Jose is a city, so there are obviously lots of options for food! (I had Chinese food my first night there, because it was the closest to my hostel!) That said, if you want to save money, try eating at the “sodas” or small, family restaurants. You’ll save a ton there and get some delicious, authentic food. I shudder even writing this, but there are McDonald’s and Taco Bell in the city if you need your fix for American food (yes, I’m calling Taco Bell American food because it’s disgusting fast food!).

How To Get Around: I took taxis or walked while I was there, simply because it was faster than waiting around for a bus. Taxis aren’t too expensive, but if you are really into it, you can totally take cheap buses around the city. If you stay near downtown, many things will be walkable for you.

Cost Expectations: The one big misconception I think a lot of people have about Costa Rica is that it’s very, very cheap to live here or travel here. That’s not exactly true. Costa Rica is cheaper than the States, that much is accurate, but not by much. My meals out were between $4 and $6 depending on where I was eating (at the sodas or at bigger restaurants) and by cabs $10 and $15. So go expecting to spend, really, as much as you want. If you want to save, there are easy ways to do it, but if you want to live more comfortably while there, that’s possible also.

Overall, I definitely think a few days spent in San Jose is worth it for any travel to Costa Rica. I hope my travel guide helped and that you’ll be hopping your flight to Costa Rica soon!

We’re In Houston!

We’re In Houston!

Let me start by saying, Houston is a massively cool place. It’s huge (yes, that old adage is actually true, everything is LEGITIMATELY bigger here), there’s a LOT to do, there are a LOT of neat people (a few of which we’ve already met!) and the weather is fun and winter-y right now.

I’m honestly stoked to be here. Since we’ve only been here about two weeks now, it’s been a lot of setting up and unpacking and relaxing. We went to two different yoga studios for some classes and a vegan potluck last week (at which we might some really cool folks). We then ended up at a DINKS meetup (Double Income No Kids) and went to have a vegan Indian buffet with some of our new friends from the potluck. In between those, we went on a date to another fun vegan place with vegan ice cream after, and lots of quality husbandwife time. It’s been awesome!

Moving to a new city as an adult is completely fun. There’s so much excitement and novelty. My hope is always that I’ll find a place that will really feel like a fit, even though time and evidence has proven that isn’t the case. (LOL!) I know I haven’t been the most stable adult ever, but I have feel like I’ve had the most fun with traveling and life in general, so it has all been worth it. And perhaps, my home base won’t look like anyone else’s: it may just be a “base” where I touch down from time to time.

Regardless, I feel like Houston could be our space for a significant amount of time, for many reasons – not the least of which is that our parents said they would move here with us if we did ultimately decide to stay and buy a house. It would be a huge plus to be in a big city and be close to our family. So for now, we’re staying put in the States, which is somewhat sad, but okay. Especially because the sadness of staying in the States is FAR outweighed by being close to our parents (we’re huge dorks that like to constantly be by our parents and we’re fine with it :-P).

Besides the fun, it’s a strange time for me right now, but in a good way. I told Jonathon before we left Florida that when we move to Texas, I want it to be like the start of any good, cheesy romantic comedy, where the heroine of the movie is finding herself and having a great time doing it. I told him I wanted to try like a hundred different jobs, go out all the time, meet new people, and just generally have a ball. Because he’s the most supportive husband in the world, he was here for it.

Now that we’ve arrived, I’ve realized that it’s just that I actually want to find a great fit and NOT run around like a chicken with my head cut off. I’ve said before on this blog that self-discovery is such a fucking bitch, mainly because once you go through a period of self-discovery, you’re like “oh okay, I’m done with that, awesome,” and then, like clockwork, life throws you a brand new period of self-discovery some time later and it’s the worst thing ever.

Over the past two years, I’ve been so perfect personally and so up-and-down professionally (guess that’s how it goes, right?!). Although my struggle with wanting to be a lawyer or not isn’t new, over the past two years it’s been almost more frustrating because I’ve been so happy with so many other areas of my life. It would be nice to find some kind of fit, or to feel like I’ve at least found something to make me deliriously happy. Yoga is that, for sure, but there’s also the matter of finding a fit there. I’m thinking of just opening my own studio + vegan restaurant and MAKING my own fit. It’s also a matter of being married to someone who was literally BORN to do the career he chose (bah, humbug, lol!). I could NOT be more stoked for or proud of my amazing, beautiful, passionate chiropractor husband, but he wont ever know what it’s like to wander around professionally from thing to thing anymore because he was born to heal people and he’s perfect at it.

So, the decision for me now is after my 300-Hour YTT (Jan 24-Feb 14 and I am SO FREAKING PUMPED!), when I come back as a shiny new RYT-500, with lots of knowledge and skill, do I settle my butt down with Hubs and start earnestly looking for some studios to teach? Or do I come back just long enough to plan my next trip and start traveling solo, now that we have a home base and Hubs is locked in his awesome job for a bit?

I’m not entirely sure yet, but I AM taking applications for travel buddies. 🙂