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How to Spend 1 Day in Day in San Jose

How to Spend 1 Day in Day in San Jose

Though many travelers rush through San Jose on their way to Costa Rica’s coast and mountains, spending a day in the city opens the gateway to Costa Rican culture. You’ll enjoy vivid artwork, historic architecture, colorful markets, and exciting nightlife. Here’s how to make the most of one day in San Jose.

 

Morning: Discover the City

Wake to the sound of tropical birds, then head out for a morning of exploring Costa Rica’s capital city. Vehicle tours cover more ground, while checking out San Jose on a walking tour is a great way to take in the vibe: Meeting the famously friendly locals is a highlight of many travelers’ time in the country. To get right to the things that interest you most, consider a themed tour that features street art, traditional handicrafts, history, or the lively markets where many residents shop for food.

 

Afternoon: Taste Costa Rica’s Finest

Pause for a simple lunch—San Jose is known for having some of Costa Rica’s best street food—then perk back up with a coffee tour. With coffee plantations just a short drive from downtown San Jose, you can take your cup straight to the source to see how coffee is grown, harvested, processed, and brewed. In season, you might have the chance to get into the fields to do a bit of picking yourself. Once you’ve got the basics, enjoy what may be the freshest coffee of your life.

 

Night: Check out San Jose Nightlife

Join a guide who knows the scene for a night out in San Jose. You can choose a laid-back craft beer crawl, pub tour, or club tour with perks such as skip-the-line admission and free shots. A night out in San Jose doesn’t have to be all about partying, though; Costa Rica has fabulous cuisine, and evening is the time for special meals out, dinner shows, or food tours, which range from the traditional to the contemporary.

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13 Tours and Activities | All San Jose Tours

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San Jose Walking Tour: Food, History and Architecture

San Jose Walking Tour: Food, History and Architecture

star-5
Get a taste of San Jose’s culture and cuisine on this 3-hour walking tour. Explore Costa Rica’s capital accompanied by an expert guide and learn about the city’s history, architecture and flavor. Explore the produce stalls of two traditional markets and discover what makes Costa Rican coffee so delicious as you sample some local brews. The tour is capped at 12 people for a personalized small-group experience.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$38.00
From
$38.00
Taking safety measures

San Jose By Night: Food and Culture Small Group Tour

San Jose By Night: Food and Culture Small Group Tour

star-4.5
Discover San Jose’s hidden delights with this unique evening tour of the Costa Rican capital. Wander through a maze of vendor stalls and to learn about staples of local cooking at the Central Market, and see the opulent National Theater and other architectural highlights on a twilight walking tour. Drive to the ritzy Paseo de la Luz the east side of San Jose well known for its gastronomy. Finish the night with a 3-course meal and wine pairings at a gourmet Costa Rican restaurant.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$74.00
From
$74.00
Taking safety measures

Britt Coffee Tour and Chocolate Tasting from San Jose

Britt Coffee Tour and Chocolate Tasting from San Jose

star-4
Treat your taste buds to a sampling of Costa Rica’s famed coffee paired with gourmet chocolate on this half-day tour of the Café Britt coffee plantation. See firsthand how this sustainable, gourmet producer grows, harvests, and roasts coffee beans to create the perfect aromatic cup. Visit the on-site coffee bar to taste several of Café Britt’s different roasts, accompanied by chocolate. Round out the day with a farm-fresh buffet lunch of traditional Costa Rican cuisine at the plantation restaurant.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$57.00
From
$57.00
Taking safety measures

Lonely Planet Experiences: San Jose Tapas, Traditional Masks and Escazu Visit

Lonely Planet Experiences: San Jose Tapas, Traditional Masks and Escazu Visit

star-5
Enjoy an insider’s perspective of San Jose on this half-day city walking tour. Accompanied by an expert guide, you’ll get a sense of daily life in the Costa Rican capital as you ride public transportation, stop by a beautiful local park and visit the artisan workshop of a third-generation craftsman. Taste local flavors while you browse stalls at the historic Central Market, savor a traditional lunch at an 80-year-old inn and learn to make tortillas.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$80.00
From
$80.00
Taking safety measures

San Jose Beer Tasting Tour

San Jose Beer Tasting Tour

star-5
Tap into Costa Rica’s emerging craft beer movement with this 4-hour beer tour in San Jose. Accompanied by a local guide, you’ll explore the Barrio Escalante, the heart of San Jose’s pub culture and home to many brewpubs. Taste 10 different varieties of beer, accompanied by traditional tapas — the Costa Rican version of bar snacks. You’ll also have a chance to pick up a few souvenirs at the Artesanos Market. A small group size helps create a more personalized tour experience.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$75.00
From
$75.00
Taking safety measures

Dinner Show Ram Luna From San José

Dinner Show Ram Luna From San José

star-4
Take in aerial views of San Jose and the central valley while you dine and enjoy a traditional show during this dinner and a show tour with transportation included. Sitting high in the mountains at Ram Luna restaurant, watch the vibrant performances while dining on your favorite Costa Rican foods from the buffet. Learn about local folklore through traditional dances performed by artists and musicians.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$71.00
From
$71.00
Taking safety measures

Doka Estate Coffee and Sugar Cane Tour with Butterfly Garden

Doka Estate Coffee and Sugar Cane Tour with Butterfly Garden

star-4.5
Get the inside scoop on a pair of Costa Rica's most famous exports on a combo tour of the Doka Estate coffee plantation. Learn how coffee beans are grown, harvested, and roasted to perfection, and then follow the sticky-sweet journey of sugar cane at a working sugar mill. Finish the flavorful visit with a tour of the estate’s inedible natural treasures, including hundreds of miniature bonsai trees, colorful orchids, and butterflies.
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  • 1 hour 24 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$81.82
From
$81.82

Britt Coffee Tour From San José

Britt Coffee Tour From San José

star-3.5
Visit a coffee farm located in Barva de Heredia and learn about Costa Rican coffee on this guided tour. Along the way, see how the beans are grown, processed, and roasted, and find out why Costa Rica’s climate and diverse landscape provide ideal growing conditions for gourmet coffee beans. At the end of the tour, enjoy a buffet lunch with local ingredients and visit the coffee bar.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$54.50
From
$54.50
Taking safety measures

San Jose: Insider Spots, City Highlights - small groups

San Jose: Insider Spots, City Highlights - small groups

star-4.5
See the best of San Jose on this incredible walking tour that takes travelers through more than 40 different sites, including galleries, parks, art houses and iconic buildings. Whether you're a first time visitor or returning to this beautiful city this two-hour tour is the perfect way to hit all of the highlights.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$32.00
From
$32.00

San Jose City Tour

San Jose City Tour

star-4
On this San Jose city sightseeing tour, an art-historian guide lends an astute perspective on essential San Jose sights such as the National Theatre of Costa Rica, the Museum of Gold, and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Plus, learning about San Jose sights and history is made personal thanks to a small-group tour of just 15 people or fewer.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$77.28
From
$77.28

Pub Crawl Costa Rica with FREE cocktails & Skip-the-Line Entrance by Carpe Chepe

Pub Crawl Costa Rica with FREE cocktails & Skip-the-Line Entrance by Carpe Chepe

star-5
Experience San Jose’s party scene with a pub crawl through the heart of Costa Rica’s capital, and skip the line with an expert guide and a fun crew of fellow travelers. Learn about the city’s history as you walk alongside your guide, drink like a Tico as you tip back house shots at a series of four bars and clubs, then dance, drink and party the night away in the heart of the city.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$30.00
From
$30.00

San Jose ART Walking Tour - small groups, creative experience

San Jose ART Walking Tour - small groups, creative experience

star-4.5
Whether you’re an art collector or enthusiast, you’ll enjoy this tour that explores the contemporary Costa Rican art scene. Visit galleries featuring indigenous works, fashion, paintings, sculptures, furniture, and more, and possibly meet the artists. Along the way, you’ll also catch sight of the local graffiti and learn about the history of the city and its current events.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$32.00
From
$32.00

San Jose Craft Beer Walking Tour with food pairings by Carpe Chepe

San Jose Craft Beer Walking Tour with food pairings by Carpe Chepe

star-5
Sample what’s on tap at local breweries on this pub crawl tour in San Jose. Hear about the beer revolution in Costa Rica while you learn about the brewing process and how to pair beer with certain foods. Plus, as you travel between pubs, discover the city's streets at night on this walking tour.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$55.00
From
$55.00