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City of San Jose

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San Jose - San Jose - San Jose - Costa Rica. The capital city of Costa Rica is San Jose, which is situated in the Central Valley that shares four major province and capital cities (Alajuela, Alajuela; Heredia, Heredia; Cartago, Cartago; San Jose, San Jose).

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The city of San Jose is the capital and largest city in Costa Rica, by both area and population.  Founded in 1738 by Cabildo de Leon, San Jose was not made the capital until 1823.  Today it is a sprawling metropolitan area that encompasses 44.62 sq km (17.2 sq mi) and a population of 365,799 people, which is roughly a third of Costa Rica's total population.  San Jose is the economic center of Costa Rica, home to a rich culture, historic architecture, and an exciting night life.

Located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, San Jose has an average elevation of 1,161 meters above sea level.  Technically it lies in a torrid zone of tropical rainforest, but due to its elevation it has a mild climate.  Temperatures range from 15 and 30 °C (59 and 86 °F), but it is also very windy so it can be cooler.  The rainy season stretches from May to late November, but it isn't atypical for San Jose to experience rain and cloudiness during the dry season due to its elevation.

Within the city of San Jose there is a rich cultural history, including theaters and museums, and many bars and restaurants.  With one block you can find two of Costa Rica's most famous theaters, the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica and the Teatro Popular Melico Salazar, and a variety of musical perfomances, acting, and art exhibits.  The Gold Museum offers a rare collection of gold pre-Colombian artifacts from Latin American indigenous civilizations.  The beautiful Lankester Botanical Garden is also located on the outskirts of the city.


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