NATIONAL THEATER, SAN JOSE
This theatre was built in 1897 and is considered as San Jose’s Architectural gem. It was designed by Belgian architects and decorated by Italian artists. Completed in 1894 at the height of Costa Rica’s coffee and banana wealth, its stone exterior is eye-catching and its interior will take your breath away. Just stepping into the lobby with its Italian pink marble and gold trim makes you think you’ve stepped across the ocean to Europe. The opera festival is August 4-11 followed up by the music festival. Plays, musical groups and dance troups often visit the Theatre.
PRE-COLUMBIAN GOLD MUSEUM, SAN JOSE
This extraordinary and modern three story underground museum will bring us back to a golden past while we discover the more than 1600 pieces representing marvelous animals and geometrical forms that have been made by mastered aborigine artisans in pre-Columbian time all in a rain forest atmosphere.
NATIONAL MUSEUM, SAN JOSE
Although not its most modern museum, this is San Jose’s best museum. It houses a collection of pre-Columbian artifacts along with colonial and national treasures. The museum is housed in the old Army headquarters, symbolizing now Costa Rica’s peaceful tradition. It’s a Spanish-style courtyard building filled with displays of Costa Rican history and culture. The museum features pre-Columbian art with displays of gold, jade, stone and pottery. There are other pre-Columbian artifacts from indigenous cultures dating back more than 12,000 years. The exhibit is the largest American jade collection in the world (over 6,000 works of pre-Columbian art and jewelry).
METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL, SAN JOSE
The he Metropolitan Cathedral is located on Parque Central and is the largest church in San Jose. The original structure was unfortunately destroyed by an earthquake. It was then rebuilt in year 1871. The interior has painted wooden columns pattern, tiled floor and plenty of relief’s. It is distinguished by a small dome and stain glass windows. A side chapel, Capilla de Santissimo Sacramento, is decorated with carved painted flowers and leaves.
BRAULIO CARRILLO NATIONAL PARK, SAN JOSE
The Braulio Carrillo National Park is located only 20 kilometers northeast of the Costa Rican Capital. The park contains several dormant volcanoes The park also protects areas of the Saraquipi River, including large amounts of primary cloud and rainforest, and the flora and fauna that makes it their home. Because of the park’s large size and its varied altitude – it descends nearly 3000 meters (9842.5 Ft or 1.86 miles) from the highest to lowest points – it is home to several distinct life zones. Ranging from high-altitude cloud forest to tropical lowlands rainforest, it maintains one of the highest levels of biodiversity in Costa Rica. More than 90% of the park is covered in primary forest, providing a unique snapshot of ancient ecological conditions.
SIMON BOLIVAR ZOOLOGICAL PARK, SAN JOSE
Established in 1916, San Jose’s zoo contains more than 300 animals and 150 species of plants. Operated by the National Park Service, it offers opportunity to view numerous species of native wildlife that are not all that easily seen in the wild, even after a week or two of walking trails through different national parks.