The Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) is the primary aviation hub for Costa Rica, and is situated in its capital, around 17km from the downtown area. Passengers will find that there are all the standard and necessary amenities you will need at this airport. Such as ATMs, currency exchange desks, showers, a decent number of duty-free outlets, a good selection of restaurants, access to free WiFi, and a spa.
Buses, and taxis serve the route between the city and the airport, with a taxi journey coming to a fare of about 12,000CRC ($29).
Carriers flying to San Jose are typically American Airlines, ANA, Virgin Australia, Fiji Airways, Delta, Air Tahiti Nui, Hawaiian Airlines, Korean Air, and Qantas.
Why visit San Jose?
Costa Rica’s capital will seem like a bit of a jumble at first, but this chaotic city is also dynamic and urbane, and hanging around for a while will give you a chance to experience its sophisticated side. In the centre you will find the first-class restaurants, the excellent museums, and the inspiring galleries, and on the outskirts you will discover the gorgeous cloud mountains that surround it.
Things to do in San Jose
Find your way around the excellent museums of this city, with highlights being the Costa Rican Art Museum that showcases many homegrown artists, the Jade Museum, which houses treasures from the Pre-Colombian period, the National Centre of Art and Culture, which looks at more contemporary art. And then, the piece de resistance, the Gold Museum, better known as the Museo del Oro, which is considered to be one of the best museums on the continent, with a vast collection of gold artefacts that were made before the colonists touched upon Central and South America.
Once you’re out of the museums, why not dive into this lively city by heading straight for its Central Market, where you can try all the local street food favourites, and buy hand-crafted souvenirs.
Then enjoy the natural delights that surround the city, by going on coffee plantation tours, where you can drink the strong brew straight from the source. Or go on an adventure tour through the rainforest canopies of the Cloud Mountains. If you can, make time for the Poas Volcano, where you can hike along the trails that snake along the slopes of this dormant volcano, and take some extraordinary pictures of its aqua-coloured caldera lake.
Best time to visit San Jose
· San Jose is probably best between the months of December and April, as you can count on the temperature being about 25°C and dry. The wet season is May to November, when the surrounds of San Jose are very lush, but the downpours might impede your sightseeing. If you must come during this season, book for July and August when the sun comes out far more frequently, and the rains ease off.
Arriving in San Jose by plane
· Flights to Costa Rica from Australia involve layovers in North America, usually in Dallas (DFW) or Los Angeles (LAX).
· Costa Rican Colon (CRC).
· Australian citizens can travel to Costa Rica without applying for a visa and stay for up to three months. Make sure you head on over to the Smart Traveller website, which has a dedicated information page on Costa Rica, which lists safety precautions, Embassy contact details, and will update with any changes in conditions of exit and entry.
Please note that information is correct as of December 2016
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