One Day San Jose

Old Mar 17th, 2015, 08:28 AM
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One Day San Jose

I have already booked a hotel for our first night of Costa Rica. I tried to arrange a private guide for the afternoon of our arrival to quickly see some sites. However it's Good Friday and we've been told no guides are available as it's Good Friday and the traffic will be terrible. So even if I could do on my own I'm concerned about getting snarled up in traffic.

So I've thought about rebooking to a different hotel more centrally.....so we could easily see some stuff but then maybe It will be harder to get out next day.

We already have driver arranged for pick up at airport and then to get us from our hotel to transfer to next place...... but it would all be easy enough to arrange again.

The hotel for first night is moderate but pleasant.... Trying to make first night lower price but if worth it would adjust.

My thought is that the rest of our time is very beachy/wildlife/pool side.... and family would love to see some cultural, markets, art sense of city....

I'm waffling!!! Anyone have any thoughts.
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 10:30 AM
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We usually spend as little time in San Jose as possible because most of the good stuff is outside the city in the more nature oriented areas, but there are some museums that are popular - national museum, gold, jade, and the national theater. I don't find San Jose to be that attractive for the most part - lots of barbed wire, fast food restaurants, etc. About an hour away is the La Paz Waterfall Garden, or you could go to a Doka Coffee Estate tour, or Poas volcano but that usually has best visibility in the a.m. since it can get enshrouded in fog.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2015, 04:23 AM
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I agree with volcanogirl that San Jose has little to recommend it, and the traffic is horrific. I would suggest you stay in Alluejala (sp?) which is not too far from the airport and would give you a taste of urban life. You would probably manage fine without a guide if you had a good map. Taxis are relatively cheap and you can arrange with a driver to drop you off and come back at a specified time to collect you.

There is a zoo/bird sanctuary there that is well worth a visit.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2015, 09:01 AM
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I third the suggestion not to stay in downtown San Jose, if that is what you had booked. Costa Rica is not really the place for cultural tourism.

I like this place, in Tuetal Norte not too far from downtown Alajuela. They offer 'last minute' specials. It has a view of Poas (which doesn't really look like a volcano from a distance). Ask if they will be able to make dinner for you on Friday night and if taxis are available.

http://www.puravidahotel.com/

Another option might be to see if you can book the Doka coffee tour to include transport from your hotel on that day. You can call them toll=free.

http://dokaestate.com/
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Old Mar 22nd, 2015, 10:20 AM
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If your one day in San Jose is Good Friday there will be no traffic. Everyone has left the city. Nothing will be open, including the museums you want to see. Stores, markets, and restaurants will all be closed too. It's a ghost town that day.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2015, 12:23 PM
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Thank you for thoughts. The guide I contacted was fearful of terrible traffic. I think we're best to continue with our plan and see how it seems and do perhaps an impromptu drive to market or museum if it's open? This hotel has been so nice, seems so pleasantly convenient and helpful.... and we've already arranged for airport transfer etc. We'll see if we feel like just recovering from everyday life by the pool or exploring!

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...a.html#REVIEWS
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Old Mar 22nd, 2015, 07:05 PM
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You'll be a good 15-20 miles from San Jose. Don't even attempt to go into the city. Seriously. Nothing will be open.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2015, 07:18 PM
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Jeff, do they still have the ban on alcohol around the Easter holidays, or did that change?
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Old Mar 23rd, 2015, 07:52 AM
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Thursday and Friday are legally dry days. Yes.

To the OP: volcanogirl mentioned the Doka Coffee Estate above. They do a great tour of their facilities and you won't be far from there. I just called them and they are doing their morning tours (9 and 10 a.m.) on Good Friday, but not the afternoon ones. That would something interesting to do that morning. Reserve in advance.

www.dokaestate.com

You say you're looking for something cultural. Coffee is the traditional foundation of Costa Rican culture.
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