When we think of Costa Rica the first thing that comes to mind are beautiful beaches, lush rainforests or coffee, and rightly so! Costa Rica’s natural wonders are world famed and our greatest pride. There are so many things to do and see that for many visitors the country’s capital, San José, becomes more of a pit stop for more fun adventures. 

But, the truth is that San José is brimming with cultural activities. From museums filled with hundreds of years of history to beautiful theaters, San José has got it all. 

Here are our top 3 activities so you can experience Costa Rica’s culture, just a short drive away from our Juan Santamaría Airport pick up location

Teatro Nacional 

Nestled in the heart of San José is the National Theater, an architectural masterpiece that represents Costa Rica’s coffee boom, a moment in history when coffee exports were in their prime of success. 

Located next to the Plaza de la Cultura, the National Theater is a must see when visiting San José. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in Costa Rica, with an exquisite interior, fine Italian marble floors and beautiful murals, the theater is a grand display of neo classical architecture.    

Don’t forget to visit the theater’s café “Alma de café” before you leave. Sip a cup of coffee while admiring the ornate decorations and enjoying the romantic atmosphere.  

Mercado Central 

After visiting the National theater you can head down to “el mercado” San José’s central market is not only an important cultural site in Costa Rica, but a place where the life of the city can be truly felt. 

The market opened in 1880, making it one of the oldest landmarks in San José. It was declared  National Patrimony of Costa Rica in 1995 because of its roots in the Costa Rican traditions.

Get wonderfully lost in it’s alleys lined with vendors selling everything from spices to coffee beans. Find souvenirs and enjoy a delicious casado while there.

Coffee tours

As you may imagine, much of Costa Rica’s culture and traditions revolve around coffee. Coffee has played a pivotal role in the development of our country: it has shaped our social, cultural and political environment. 

Costa Rica’s coffee story began in 1779 when “El grano de oro” was first introduced to the country. Costa Rica’s mineral-rich soils, mild temperatures and high altitudes provide the perfect environment for growing the highest quality beans. 

We take great pride in our coffee and believe you should learn about it hands on. Visiting a coffee plantation is a fun activity to enhance your authentic Costa Rican vacation. 

Learn how coffee is grown, harvested, dried and processed. You can even participate in the picking of the cherries! Discover the process of brewing the perfect cup and taste the world’s best café.  

We hope we inspired you to take a chance on more cultural activities in San José. Whether you plan on staying in the capital or going on an adventure, Budget Car Rental has the perfect car for you!

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