This is San José, the capital and largest city of Costa Rica! It is located in the Central Valley, surrounded by majestic volcanoes and green national parks. Many of Costa Rica’s roads run through San José, providing extremely good access to the country’s fascinating natural sites. In addition, the city has an international airport, so travelers from all over the world can visit the green country. There are many museums, such as the “Museo del Jade”, where you can admire old and new art, as well as buildings in the Spanish colonial style, such as the beautiful historic National Theater in the heart of the city. For those interested in history and culture, the Museo Nacional, located in an old fortress, is a must-see and provides information about the history of Costa Rica.
The city of flowers, as Heredia is often called, is located only 12 km from the capital San José. The manageable city has some beautiful parks where exotic plants, palms, and mango trees bloom and invite you to linger there. The cityscape is characterized by the colonial era. You can see this, for example, in the old mansions and the church “La Inmaculada Concepción” near the green Parque Central. The landmark of the city is the watchtower “Fortín de Heredia” with the amphitheater next to it – definitely worth a visit! At the markets “Mercado Florense” and “Mercado Central” you can buy fresh fruits and souvenirs.
Coffee tours, farmers’ markets, waterfalls, and a wildlife rescue center – you’ll find all this in the small town of Atenas, which has its own special magic. The town has become a popular vacation and retirement spot for North Americans and Europeans but fortunately is not yet crowded with tourists.
Wondering why so many people make their new homes here and why Atenas is one of the best towns in Costa Rica? It’s probably because you can reach any place in a short time, whether it’s the spectacular capital San José or the breathtaking nature. In addition, there is a wonderful climate in the city. The people of Atenas claim to offer the best climate in the world, as the humidity and temperatures of 20-25°C are very pleasant and stable all year round, even during the rainy season.
The rather less touristy city of Liberia is the capital of the province of Guanacaste. It is home to Costa Rica’s second international airport, which is mainly served by flights from major U.S. cities. Unfortunately, there is not much to see in Liberia – a few historic colonial buildings, a Caribbean-style church, souvenir stores selling painted wooden jewelry, murals, and typical souvenirs.
Jaco is different! There is no rainforest, no national park, and not many animals in the coastal city in the province of Puntarenas. Jaco is more like Miami Beach in the USA or Cancun in Mexico and is not really typical for Costa Rica. Even from a distance, you can see the high-rise buildings on the beach and it is clear: there are probably no monkeys swinging on lianas through the jungle here. For the locals, however, that is exactly what is so beautiful about Jaco.
Cartago is the oldest city in the country and is located in the central highlands at 1,400 meters. It offers you a “cool” place in hot Costa Rica and also some other fascinating sights, which makes it one of the most beautiful and best cities in Costa Rica. The most famous sight of Cartago is definitely the Basilica “Nuestra Senora de los Angeles”, decorated with angel figures, which attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the country every year on August 2nd.