San Jose Costa Rica
From Costa Rica Travel Guide: Vacation and Travel tips
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"Dear San José, I hope you can forgive me for my slanderous remarks."
I owe San José and everyone that lives IN and around the city a BIG apology, but especially expats who have chosen to relocate there of their own volition. Since I have been blogging, I’ve been known to use San José (when I say San José, I mean the city and the outlining areas, such as Escazu), as fodder for mine and my readers amusement, frequently associating it with a few of the nastier cities in the US, like Detroit for instance.
I'm so embarrassed I won’t even link to the posts where I BEAT up on San José and the expat community like they were my very own red-headed stepchildren- but I was frequently fond of reminding San José that it was NOT Costa Rica except maybe by default (like the red-headed stepchild) and spending more than 1 night there would probably be 1 night too many... and as for the expats who had chosen San José, well let’s just say I would seriously question their decision making skills… I’ll leave it at that.
If I could go door-to-door and offer my apologies, I would. I do have my issues, but not accepting responsibility for my own behavior is not one of them. So there it is, I’m sorry and I will do ALL I can to correct the problem, not only ‘now’, but in future posts pertaining to San José.
"Why the change of attitude, Mr. Costa Rica Travel Expert man?"
We just returned from spending 5 nights there for one. Imagine, 5 nights in San José, that’s like spending 5 nights in Detroit- why would you EVER do that on purpose... (that's an example of what I might have said in the past). It’s true we were working (I’ll be speaking for myself now, not D’Angelo), but I was NEVER bored. One activity after the other, one experience after the other, one party after the other (if you’re into that), AND we met some cool people along the way. Funny thing is, I’ve been to San José plenty of times, but just never took the time to OPEN up my eyes and appreciate what I was truly seeing. Before, they were always OPEN- and I WAS looking, just never quite seeing.
There ARE things to do in San José. The fact you think there ISN”T, is merely a CONDITIONED response from constantly reading and hearing such over generalizing drivel from the so called ‘travel experts’, such as myself, that 2 nights is plenty in San José. Yes, the city has all the regular stuff: malls and shopping areas, museums, under-rated restaurants (you REALLY can eat extremely good food in Costa Rica), movie theatres- again, all the typical stuff you’d expect of a big city. But what we did this time I would call more of an ‘immersion’ of San José- we people watched outside the National Theatre, participated in a protest about discrimination, talked to a local lady who was feeding the birds about the RECESSION, hung out at La Sabana Park and while there, got a lesson from the TICO’s on how to appreciate LIFE- flying kites, fishing, picnicking, playing pick-up soccer matches, boating, chilling with the family on a blanket, strolling around the park with friends etc. Not a PlayStation in sight.
Meanwhile, we walked, and walked some more around San José, enjoyed the architecture (there really are some beautiful buildings), found a really cool butterfly garden (future video/post), ate at a local Casino’s second floor restaurant overlooking the ‘shopping’ district... and the people we observed- priceless. We took in the nightlife which could compete with any big city anywhere….. HELLOOO… Club Vertigo, El Pueblo, and of course we’ve been known to hit up a gay bar or two, like La Avispa.
Think San José is too boring for you? Don’t think there’s anything to do? ‘Immersion’ doesn’t MOVE you? Well, I got news- Boring is a REFLECTION of yourself. San José isn’t boring- but YOU may BE. You’d be surprised what you can experience when you let yourself be taken by the moment(s).
I would appreciate that any email sent in response to this post does NOT mention the word CRIME- I’m over that… I’ve traveled many places in the world, and let me just say, you wear your Bermuda shorts pulled up to your nipples with the binoc’s around your neck and I’ll wear what I do…. but seriously, I don't want to hear your whining when your camera gets stolen. My original post about crime in Costa Rica as it pertains to tourism: Costa Rica Crime- it's YOUR Fault
That said, I am NOT advising spending your entire vacation in San José at the EXPENSE of the rest of the country- that’s just STUPID… especially if you’re only in Costa Rica for a short time. Furthermore, I’m not a big proponent of the ‘day trips’, with a few exceptions- INBio Park, Lankester Gardens, the Poas Volcano area, and a few others (consult your guide book). For example, some advertise our area (La Fortuna/Arenal) as a daytrip, NOT a good recommendation and makes for a LONG day, just stay here a few nights, we have plenty to do.
Go ahead, hit up the regular stuff in San José like the museums, markets, cafés and restaurants and day trips, but then try a little ‘immersion’- really explore San José without a FUCKIN TRAVEL BOOK nailed to your hands. I swear, travel books were meant to be a TOOL, not taken as the FUCKIN Bible for God sake… geez…. be the author of your own travel book, you'll probably find you're a better writer anyway. Try and speak Spanish with a Tico, spend the afternoon chillin’ at La Sabana or any of the the little parks located in the heart of San José, the list is endless. The TRUTH is, sometimes the BEST entertainment is in the observation of your surroundings and I think you’d be presently surprised at the gems hidden underneath the facade of San José, that is if you can remove the veil for a moment.