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How to Spend 2 Days in San Jose

How to Spend 2 Days in San Jose

With two days in San Jose, you can sample the best of the city’s vibrant culture, food, and nightlife. Get beyond the city limits, though, and you can explore smoking volcanoes, coffee plantations, rainforest ziplines, and magnificent national parks that are just a day trip away. Here’s how to make the most of two days in San Jose.


Day 1: Wake Up and Explore San Jose

Morning: Start by catching a buzz on Costa Rica’s freshest coffee. San Jose’s packed with stylish coffee shops, but for the real deal head to one of the coffee plantations outside the city. Coffee tours include tastings: a great way to learn what makes Costa Rican coffee distinctive.


Afternoon: Now that you’re energized, check out the history, culture, and cuisine that make San Jose tick. A walking tour is a great way to soak up neighborhood vibes, while opting for a vehicle tour lets you cover the main landmarks in an afternoon.

Night: You’ll see a whole different side of San Jose if you venture out after sunset. Join a guide who knows where to sip craft beer, chat with locals, or tip back shots. Your guide can give you an insider’s view of San Jose nightlife, whether your prefer a night that’s laid-back or wild.


Day 2: Costa Rica’s Wild, Wonderful Nature

Morning: Get out of the city to soar down a zipline, explore the lush canopy of Braulio Carrillo National Park, walk through a cloud forest, or hike through La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Whatever you do, watch for bright tropical birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Costa Rica is a biodiversity hot spot.

Afternoon: When you get back to the city, head to Mercado Central for a well-earned lunch; you’ll join a crowd of locals for an inexpensive meal that’s a world away from the menus in tourist restaurants.

Night: With one last night in San Jose, make it last with a leisurely dinner; find a restaurant on your own, or book an evening excursion that includes door-to-door transport from your hotel. At the end of the evening, toast your adventure with a shot of guaro, Costa Rica’s national liquor.

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7 Tours and Activities

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San Jose Walking and Bus City Tour

San Jose Walking and Bus City Tour

star-4.5
90
Explore the Costa Rican capital’s rich history, landmark buildings, and modern culture on a combo bus and walking tour of San Jose. Get a great introduction to city highlights like the National Theater and Art Museum, and stop to walk through bustling markets and public plazas to feel the pulse of this modern Central American metropolis. Get an extra boost of Costa Rican culture by listening to traditional folkloric music onboard the bus.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$66.00
From
$66.00
Taking safety measures

San Jose Walking Tour: Food, History and Architecture

San Jose Walking Tour: Food, History and Architecture

star-5
183
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
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

San Jose By Night: Food and Culture Small Group Tour

star-4.5
133
Discover San Jose’s hidden delights with this unique evening tour of the Costa Rican capital. Get up close and personal with the nightlife in San Jose, starting with the Morazán Park where we will learn post-colonial Costa Rican history. From there, our appreciation for San Jose’s historical architecture continues, with a walk by the Metallic Building, then on to Spain Park for a fantastic view of the Yellow House (now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). We’ll continue to charming Barrio Escalante, one of the oldest residential areas in San Jose. Finish the night with a 3-course meal and wine or beer 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

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
38
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

Rainforest Adventures Aerial Tram Tour Braulio Carrillo

Rainforest Adventures Aerial Tram Tour Braulio Carrillo

star-4
18
Explore three levels of lush Costa Rican rain forest from the floor to the canopy on a guided tour tour of Braulio Carrillo National Park. Learn about local flora and fauna as you walk along nature trails, explore specialty gardens, and glide over treetops in an aerial tram, all narrated by a guide with extensive knowledge about the local ecosystem. Optional upgrade includes pickup and drop-off from your lodging in San Jose and a typical lunch.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$68.00
From
$68.00
Taking safety measures

Britt Coffee Tour From San José

Britt Coffee Tour From San José

star-3.5
2
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
$57.00
From
$57.00
Taking safety measures

San Jose: Insider Spots, City Highlights - small groups

San Jose: Insider Spots, City Highlights - small groups

star-4.5
46
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