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Things to do in San José + The Central Valley

From classic must-see sights to insider hot spots and local haunts, there are countless things to do in San José + The Central Valley. How do you decide? Start with our travel guide and get our favorite San José + The Central Valley attractions and activities—shops, museums, parks, nightclubs, coffee shops, tours, and more.

Our international team of editors and writers handpick the best things to do in San José + The Central Valley to help travelers discover authentic, local experiences. Whether a hidden boutique with handcrafted products, a popular local festival, a bakery with a cult following, or a picnic-worthy park, Travel + Leisure guides the way, providing information and inspiration. From beaches and bars to cultural attractions and up-and-coming neighborhoods, our list will help you make the most of your romantic getaway, family vacation, or trip with friends. Below find Travel + Leisure’s top picks for what to do in San José + The Central Valley.

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  • Hotels
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  • Things to do
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  • Biesanz Woodworks

    Functional, beautiful objects made from rainforest woods are created on site at this small store and wood shop run by American craftsman Barry Bies... More
  • Rara Avis Rainforest Reserve

    Many of the nearly 400 bird species at Rara Avis can be found nowhere else in the world. Costa Rica’s first reserve, this is the place that kicked ... More
  • Sarchí Crafts

    With nearly 200 different shops and studios selling painted boxes and trays, jewelry, furniture, textiles, and carved wood utensils, the town of Sa... More

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