San José

San José Travel Guide

With nearly 200 different shops and studios selling painted boxes and trays, jewelry, furniture, textiles, and carved wood utensils, the town of Sarchí is Costa Rica’s crafts hub.

Behind the columned, Neoclassical facade of San José’s National Theater, the opulent pink marble lobby with statues of Beethoven and other iconic composers gives way to a main auditorium with grand oil paintings of 19th-century Costa Rican life.

A buzzing hive of commercial activity, this covered market is as much of a full-immersion experience as a shopping destination.

This long established agency can organize botany, birding, or photography tours, and more.

Functional, beautiful objects made from rainforest woods are created on site at this small store and wood shop run by American craftsman Barry Biesanz. Among the offerings are painstakingly made and richly colored humidors, jewelry boxes, credit card cases, and comb sets.

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 off the country’s ecotourism movement when it opened in 1983.