WELCOME TO SAN JOSE!
I am very happy to be sharing ‘my story so far’ here in
Costa Rica with you future travelers to the land of Pura
Vida. I will be telling you all about my personal
experiences, parts of Costa Rican culture I have fallen
in love with and every practical tip I can think of to
make your holiday run smoothly. From the must-sees
and must-knows to the tucked-away places you usually
won’t find in the glossy tourist guides, here are my 50
tips for travelers visiting San Jose, Costa Rica!
1. UNDERSTANDING PURA VIDA
Pura Vida means ‘hi’. Pura Vida means ‘bye’. Pura
Vida means ‘I am well’ and Pura Vida means ‘oh well,
life goes on’. You will hear the words Pura Vida
everywhere. When I first arrived in Costa Rica, I
thought Pura Vida was nothing more than a phrase
people used to greet one another and wish each other
well. But it goes deeper than that.
Pura Vida, literally translated as Pure Life, is what
actually defines the Tico way of life. It means to live
worry-free, stress-free and allow the simple pleasures to
rule your life. This intoxicating lifestyle seems both
wonderful and alien to most of us and it is this that
often turns tourists into regular visitors and sometimes
even into residents.
I will expand on Pura Vida at the end of this book
where I will also reveal my own path in finding my
inner Pura Vida and what you can do to connect to
2. FROM THE AIRPORT TO YOUR HOTEL
The Juan Santamaria International Airport is located in
Alajuela, a mere 20 kilometers from downtown San
Jose. While many of the more upscale hotels will offer
shuttle services, there is also a bus stop right at the
airport. The final stop is in downtown San Jose close to
La Parque Merced, Tuasa. This is by far the cheapest
way to travel. You can also take advantage of taxis or
Ubers – I have provided more information on how to
work with these below.
Read all 50 Tips in the book
Greater Than a Tourist-San Jose Costa Rica
available at Amazon.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mieke Leenders is a writer and traveler from
Belgium. After obtaining her master’s degree in art
history, she spent several years working as a freelance
writer and hotel receptionist. In 2017, she decided to
take the money she had saved and spend it on a year-
long solo trip. After backpacking through Nepal and
several countries in Latin America, she settled in Costa
Rica. She is now further pursuing her passion for
writing while also eagerly planning her next adventures.
Next to travel and writing, Mieke is passionate about
books, photography, animal rights, art and history.