San José is the bustling capital of Costa Rica and the place to learn about the country’s fascinating culture. Food, art, and people flow in from all directions. Likewise, you can use the capital as your launching point to discover the rest of this friendly country. Beautiful national parks, picturesque mountain villages, and relaxed beach towns are nearby and easily accessible. Spend your weekends exploring volcanoes, zip-lining through the jungle, or visiting a sloth sanctuary.
As a CIS Abroad student in San José, you'll get to know local Costa Ricans (aka Ticos), who have a friendly, laid-back demeanor. Being minutes from the heart of the Costa Rican capital, you can explore the city with ease. Then, spend the evening with new friends in the Plaza Francia, in the beautiful Barrio Escalante.
Chepe, as the city is known locally, is famed for its National Theater, busy market life, and easy-to-use public transportation. There are plenty of international restaurants, ranging from Lebanese to Italian, in addition to local sodas, where you can eat large helpings of gallo pinto, the delicious national dish. Visitors and residents adore the street food in San José or grabbing a cheap and cheerful meal at Mercado Central. After class, you can head to one of the many local theaters, concert venues, cinemas, or salsa clubs. Then, spend the evening with new friends in the Plaza de la Cultura watching the pigeons and a marimba band. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Enjoy the tour and learn all about the history and architecture of this gem of San Jose!
Coffee, coffee, coffee!
Try some of the world's best coffee in one of the many coffee shops around town, or take the Coffee Tour, where you'll learn about the history of Costa Rica and coffee production in the country.
La Feria Verde de Aranjuez
Every Saturday La Feria Verde takes place in the neighborhood of Aranjuez. Enjoy delicious food, coffee and crafts made by local artists, and meet some of the many Ticos that enjoy breakfast at the fair.
Take part in a volunteer project and give back to the community. Visit Escuela La Joya and share some time with the local students, help with projects, or work in the vegetable garden.