San Jose and Costa Rica's Central Valley
About Costa Rica's Central Valley
San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, is located in the Central Valley region of the country. The city offers a mix of modern urban amenities and historical sites, such as the National Museum and the Central Market. The Central Valley is known for its mild climate, making it a great destination year-round.
The area is also home to many coffee plantations and visitors can take tours of the farms to learn about the process of coffee production. The Central Valley also offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, bird watching and zip lining in the surrounding mountains. The region is easily accessible from San Jose and offers a diverse range of activities and cultural experiences.
What You Can Find in San Jose and Central Valley
San Jose and the Central Valley in Costa Rica are known for their lush landscapes and rich coffee culture. The region is home to some of the country’s largest coffee plantations, where visitors can take guided tours to learn about the history and cultivation of coffee. The region’s mild climate and fertile soil make it perfect for growing coffee, as well as other crops such as sugarcane and tropical fruits.
The average elevation of this region is 3,845 ft (1,172 meters)
Explore More About San Jose and the Central Valley
What Activities Can You Do in the Central Valley
- Irazu and Poas Volcano Excursions
- Central Market Trip
- Gastronomic Experiences
- Downtown Walking Tour
- Coffee Farm Day Trips
- La Paz Waterfall Gardens Day Trip
- Sarchi Day Tirp & Furniture Shopping
Types of Travelers Who'll Enjoy this Region
Most travelers go to San Jose because of its location as the main hub for international flights and its central location which allows for easy access to other popular destinations in Costa Rica.
The History and Culture of the Central Valley
San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, was founded in 1737 by Spanish settlers. The city’s history is marked by periods of growth and prosperity, as well as periods of political and economic turmoil. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, San Jose experienced a significant expansion and modernization due to the coffee industry. The city also played a central role in the country’s political and social development, including the 1948 Costa Rican Civil War.
San Jose Weather
Where is San Jose Located?
1 hour from Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose (SJO) to downtown San Jose (11 mi/18 km)
4 hours from Guanacaste Airport in Liberia (LIR) (138 mi / 222 km)
*Times are approximate and dependent on time of day and other factors.
Central Valley Highlights
Most people don't choose San Jose as a specific destination. However, a lot of people do have to pass through this area to and from the airport or on their way across the country. Here are some must-do activities and destinations while you're in the area.
Gastronomic Center: San Jose and the surrounding cities have the most variety of cuisine in the country, from fine dining to fusion, and delicious authentic cuisine from many different cultures.
Irazu and Poas Volcanoes: Amongst the almost unbroken ring of mountains that surround the Central Valley are these two volcanoes, which both have craters you can drive or walk to in order to get a glimpse inside a volcano.
Shopping: Between the metropolitan area and the smaller villages that surround it, you can find countless artisan crafts, from beautifully made woodwork in Sarchi to mask carving and artwork of all kind.