Most travelers spend at least one night in San Jose, but only because the country's main international airport is there. The capital city is unattractive, but it has a few interesting museums and historic buildings in neighborhoods such as Amon and Otoya. Downtown San Jose is crowded and noisy, and crime rates are high in some areas. But it's a convenient home base for exploring Central Valley attractions such as Irazu Volcano -- located 25 miles east of the city center -- and the pristine rainforest in Braulio Carrillo National Park.
In San Jose proper, your best bet is to stay in the Amon or Atoya neighborhoods, home to the city's nicest hotels and convenient to its tourist attrations. The Escazu suburb -- located six miles from the city center and easily accessible by car -- is also home to several luxury hotels. The smaller cities of Heredia and Arajuela are a short drive from San Jose, and offer accommodation options closer to the airport.
December - April (dry season), Easter week
May - November
No, though some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination
Colon, but US dollars are widely accepted
120 V, 60 Hz
Not required for taxis; automatically included in the bill at most restaurants