After visiting Costa Rica on a trip coordinated by ethical travel agency Sumak Travel, I can attest to the fact that this beautiful country is a conscious consumer's paradise. Fresh, organic, farm-to-table food? Check. An abundance of eco-friendly lodging options? Check.
There are many opportunities to use your travel time to support small businesses and local initiatives focused on rainforest conservation, something that is so, so important given the rate at which the world's forests are disappearing.
Of course, you'll want to spend time in nature while visiting Costa Rica, but don't skip over soaking in a little city culture in San Jose! This vibrant city is nothing but a quick stopover for many travelers, who head straight out to other areas once their planes have landed, but don't underestimate it: San Jose is full of surprises, with lots to do and see.
My friends at Sumak Travel have kindly helped me pull together a list of some of the highlights!
EAT + DRINK
Al Mercat offers an elevated twist on traditional Costa Rican dishes. I visited Al Mercat on my first evening in San Jose and enjoyed a wonderful sampling of mostly veggie-based dishes featuring locally harvested produce from the restaurant's own farm!
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Phone: 00506 2221 0783
Free Tour San Jose
This walking tour through San Jose will introduce you to local landmarks as well as the hidden gems most tourists won't find. About 2.5 hours long, You'll be sure to learn lots about the local culture and history!
Experience a night out on the town like a local with Carpe Chepe! Hop on the bus (painted by a local artist) and enjoy a pub crawl featuring tucked-away local establishments. San Jose is home to a burgeoning craft beer industry, and the folks at Carpe Chepe will give you all the details on where to find the best brews!
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Enjoy some active and eco-friendly fun by participating in a bike tour around the city. There are several different routes to choose from which will take you to local hotspots like Central Market, National Monument, Old National Liquor Factory, the Otoya neighborhood, Barrio Amón, Parque España, Parque Morazán and Temple of Music.
If yoga's your thing, stop by this yoga venue and organic vegan cafe. Take a class, connect with other yogis, or get some great natural health and wellness recommendations from the community of experts.
Hotel Boutique Luz de Luna
This small, locally owned hotel offers comfortable accommodations, wifi, great service, and a delicious traditional breakfast in the morning! Located in a beautiful neighborhood with many amazing eateries, shops, and art displays.
Phone: 00506 2225 4919
If you prefer slightly more upscale accommodations, stay downtown at Hotel Presidente- a stunning, locally owned boutique hotel with all the amenities.
Want some expert guidance on your trip to Costa Rica (or South America in general)? Get in touch with Sumak Travel! Sumak Travel's off-the-beaten-path trips highlight fair trade initiatives, authentic cultural experiences, and eco-friendly travel.
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Phone: 844-677-7010 (US Toll Free)