San Jose sits in the centre of the country
in the Central Valley at 1161 m above sea
level and is surrounded by cloud forests.
San José is one of the youngest capital
cities in Latin America by year of conception,
though it was not named a capital until 1823.
It has 44sq km downtown and 4000 sq km including
the suburbs. 25% of the population live in
San Jose and its suburbs, ie 1.5m people.
It is blessed by a moderate climate although
they do have cold winds that blow down from
Alaska around January time.
Our tour took us past Sabina Park, the largest
in San Jose at 1sq km and past the football
stadium that was donated by the Chinese –
all materials came from China, labour was
Chinese and local Costa Rican. We drove around
the affluent housing area of Gromesee in the west which is also the location
of the international embassies. Prime Ministers
do not have an official residence but operate
from their own house with body guards outside.
We walked in San José’s Plaza
de la Cultura, and the National Theatre that,
apparently, has an amazing interior but sadly
it was closed. We visited the Gold Museum
to see an unusual view of various gold artifacts
of the pre-Columbian Latin American civilizations.
We then visited the local craft market before
lunching at the interesting Nuestra Tierra
restaurant opposite that has lots of mugs
and baskets hanging from the ceiling.