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Cosmopolitan San José lies to an altitude of 3.770 feet above sea level. This Central American city with nearly perfect climate, modern surroundings and warm, friendly residents has lured many travelers to stay and call it home.
Daytime temperatures average between 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit with a rainy season that lasts from May to October. During the rainy season, showers fall primarily during the afternoon hours and produce refreshing breezes.
The Central Valley in which San José finds itself is the central nervous system of the country. Government, finance and economic sectors all headquarters is sleek San José.
Many visitors to the capital city will find themselves pleasantly surprised by the smooth blend of modern buildings and classic architecture. San José is home to nearly a third of Costa Rica's population. The bustling streets can attest to that figure in the early morning hours when everyone is heading to work. But don't be intimidated by the rush - head on out among them and take in the sights as you walk along.
The city offers a variety of sights for the visitor. Museums, the National Theater, and elegant cathedral are waiting to be explored. Below the Plaza of Culture lies the impressive Gold Museum. The Plaza's museum complex also houses a collection of contemporary art exhibits.
The Gold Museum houses an impressive collection of pre - Columbian gold objects including jewelry, breast plates and even gold tweezers! The displays are as informative as they are appealing. You will see how the indigenous worked their gold using wax and solid casting methods. Try not to miss this wonderful museum!
From San José, day trips can be taken up two semi - active volcanoes, where roads climb to the very brink of the craters! Irazú Volcano, just 35 miles from the capital, towers eight thousand feet above the Central Valley.
With an altitude of 11.260 feet, the summit is chilly enough to warrant using a sweater or jacket. Although often Irazú's fumarolic activity cannot be seen because of clouds, a strong sulfur smell permeates the air, a subtle reminder of the subterranean forces pent up just below your feet. A striking, yellow - green lake fills the volcano's large, principal crater, and is surrounded by jagged cliffs of sulfur - streaked lava. Just above the park's visitor area, the road forks and continues to the very summit of the volcano, from which, on a clear day, both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans can be seen.
No less impressive is the 8.871 foot Poás Volcano, less than an hour's drive from San José. The road to the top winds through fertile hillsides planted with terraced rows of dark - green coffee bushes which look, from a distance, like a patchwork quilt. At the top of Poás, tourists may wander through a National Park visitors center and hike about a half - mile of nature trails.
There are many activities that await travelers making their way through Costa Rica. Begin them in San José and enjoy the country to the fullest!