San José is a city some may consider a diamond in the rough. But, students who spend time in Chepe (as it is known by locals) grow to know and love the hidden beauty below the surface of the city.
The real San José is a city of beautiful parks, friendly locals (called Ticos), a vibrant arts scene, international cuisine and an energetic dance culture.
Here are five ways you can uncover the hidden gem that is San José, Costa Rica:
- Visit any city park. Chances are if you study abroad in San José you’ll find a park nearby. We suggest you join in on a game of a fútbol because if you spot a pitch, there will likely be an active soccer game taking place-it’s the national pastime!
- Immerse yourself in the sounds of Costa Rica by strolling down the pedestrian only Avenida 1 in downtown San José. Here you can listen to locals while enjoying a beverage at café or interact with local shop owners at one of the many stores that line the street.
- Catch a performance at the elegant and stately Teatro Nacional in downtown San José. Students often comment on the lavish decor of both the exterior and the interior of the most beautiful building in Costa Rica.
- Dance the salsa at Castro’s, the most famous salsa club in Costa Rica. This is the place where locals to show off their dancing skills and have a great time. Salsa is San José’s heartbeat.
- Take advantage of the great Costa Rican educational system (there is a 99% literacy rate) and enroll in one of the many courses offered at universities. While studying abroad, you may also wnt to choose to stay with local host families and experience life as a real Tico.