Downtown San José/Barrio AmónThe urban center of San José is the city’s heart and soul, with a wide range of hotels and restaurants and easy access to museums and attractions. It has several popular public parks and plazas, and the atmospheric Barrio Amón, a charming neighborhood that is home to the city’s greatest concentration of colonial-era architecture. The neighborhood’s biggest drawbacks are the street noise, bus fumes, gridlock traffic, and petty crime.
The Sleep Inn, Av. 3, between calles 9 and 11 ((tel) 2521-6500; www.sleepinnsanjose.com), is a modern, American-style chain hotel in the heart of downtown. Hotel Colonial ★, Calle 11, between avenidas 4 and 6 ((tel) 2223-0109; www.hotelcolonialcr.com); Hotel Doña Inés ((tel) 2222-7443; www.donaines.com), on Calle 11, between avenidas 2 and 6; and Hotel Rincón de San José ((tel) 2221-9702; www.hotelrincondesanjose.com), on the corner of Avenida 9 and Calle 15, are all solid boutique options.
Kap’s Place ★ ((tel) 2221-1169; www.kapsplace.com), across from the Hotel Aranjuez on Calle 19 between avenidas 11 and 13, is a good choice for budget travelers, as is Hostel Pangea ★ ((tel) 2221-1992; www.hostelpangea.com), on Avenida 7 and Calle 3; Hostal Casa del Parque ★ ((tel) 2223-3437; www.hostelcasadelparque.com), on Calle 19 avenidas 1 and 3; and Pension de la Cuesta ((tel) 2256-7946; www.pensiondelacuesta.com), on Avenida 1 between calles 11 and 15.
La Sabana/Paseo Colón
Located on the western edge of downtown, La Sabana Park is San José’s largest city park, and Paseo Colón is a broad commercial avenue heading straight into the heart of the city. Stay in this neighborhood if you’re looking for fast, easy access to the highways heading to Escazú, Santa Ana, the Pacific coast, and the airport and northern zone. Since it’s on the edge of town, the area can be pretty dead at night.
Tryp Sabana by Windham ★ ((tel) 800/422-1115 in the U.S. and Canada, or 2547-2323 in Costa Rica; www.tryphotels.com), inside the Centro Colón building on Avenida 3, between calles 38 and 40, is a well-located business class hotel, with with a very good tapas restaurant.
Aldea Hostal ★ ((tel) 2233-6365; www.aldeahostelcostarica.com), is a solid budget hostel option, with a popular little pizza restaurant attached.
San Pedro/Los Yoses
Located just east of downtown, Los Yoses is home to numerous foreign embassies and consulates, and was one of the city’s early upper-class outposts, while San Pedro is home to the University of Costa Rica, and offers up a distinct college town vibe. Staying here, you’ll be close to much of the city’s action but still enjoy some peace and quiet. If you’ve rented a car, be sure your hotel provides secure parking or you’ll have to find (and pay for) a nearby lot.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.