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Travel Tips for San Jose (Costa Rica)

Located on a plateau, San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica. It boasts lush green forests and valleys. Almost half of this country’s population is residing in San Jose. San Jose weather is pretty warm throughout the year. While it is an enticing place to visit, you must know how safe it is to travel there.

Places to avoid

The Caribbean coast has been a problem. There are several gangs active in that area. Petty thefts occur n the La Fortuna and the arenal area. You should also avoid taking a hotel in Puerto Viejo area. You should avoid walking in that area late at night.


Never drive for long distances at night. You can encounter mudslides on the highways. The street signs are rare in San Jose or any of the large cities here. The traffic is very confusing. You will not be able to navigate through this dark wilderness.


Most locals travel via buses here. The Coca-Cola terminal is the most well known landmark in San Jose. Other bus terminals are Terminal San Carlos, Gran Terminal del Caribe and Terminal Musoc. You have to either pay the driver or a tiny office with a small window by the street to buy a ticket. Buses are usually overcrowded and theft is common. You have to stay careful about your belongings. The best way to avoid these hassles is to book your tickets via travel agent companies or ‘A Safe passage’ (, which helps in buying tickets in advance for a small fee. It also helps in arranging transfers from airport to your hotel.

The cheapest way to travel is by taxis that have a meter and charge about 570 colones per kilometer. (1 colone = $1).

Beware of robbers and pickpockets

It is recommended that you walk in large groups. The San Jose airport is packed with people to “want to help you”. But keep your head down and simply walk away with your luggage. They will approach you to ask for a change and then just run away with it. Don’t carry anything apart from essential items outside your hotel room.