San José lies in a wide, rich valley and has an excellent climate. Few of its older buildings have survived the centuries, as earth tremors are fairly frequent, so modern high-rises rub shoulders with faded 19th century buildings.
Our preferred accommodation
City hotel - HerediaA lovely hotel on the edge of San José with vast gardens and views across the city. It is not far from the international airport and an excellent base for excursions within the Central Valley.
Country hotel - HerediaA small country inn, just 20 minutes from San José airport, with lovely views over the valley and coffee plantations, a pretty pool, jacuzzi and large gardens. It has a good restaurant with indoor and outdoor sitting areas, a bar and small spa.
City hotel - San JoséA beautifully furnished, small and friendly hotel, formally a town mansion in a quiet area of downtown San José. It has a good restaurant, nice outside terrace, small outdoor roof-top pool and jacuzzi.
Country hotel - AlajuelaA small boutique hotel on a coffee plantation with stunning views over a valley, yet only half an hour from San José airport. There are two swimming pools and walks to five natural waterfalls. They have a spa, large sitting areas and lovely gardens.