Last updated on June 13th, 2019
Happy New Year explorers! We want to wish you the best this year with lots of adventures, too.
If you are interested in planning a visit to Costa Rica most will start with an important question:
Where should I stay my first night in Costa Rica? This is a question which I receive on occasion from working as a tour guide. Many people have wanted to hear an opinion or suggestion.
There are many reasons why I would recommend staying in a hotel outside of San José but initially it is important to know the plans or itinerary within the country.
However, many people have already planned their trip in advance around the country and already have tours during this time.
Therefore the main idea of this article is to give some guidance to those who are organizing their own trip in Costa Rica for this 2016 or 2017.
But hey- let’s go to the point! Lol
Some people know that my blogging work and base city is San Ramon of Alajuela.
San Ramon is a city in a great location; especially if your travel itinerary will start in the lowlands of the north, North Pacific and Central Pacific country. Below the Costa Rica map:
Most of the travelers who visit the country, stay their first night near downtown San José in order to be able to visit museums, theaters, churches and more- which is fine, because it will give them a general idea of the capital.
But why not stay somewhere else?
If we think from a strategic point of view it would be more convenient to stay closer the first night after a very long flight, especially after many hours waiting in airports and even worse maybe an occasional bad experience like “the airline loses your luggage”.
For these reasons and many others, the least desirable experience would be to wait an awfully long time in transit to a hotel.
This is a map of the main route, which takes you out of the airport. The Bernardo Soto Highway, which goes to the Northwest can take about 50 minutes at a distance of 45 km (28 mi) to get to San Ramon.
By contrast there is the option to take the General Cañas highway which goes towards the east to San José (the capital), it takes about 45 minutes at a distance of 18km (11.2 mi) during rush hour or holidays it may take 15 extra minutes.
Going towards San José will be shorter in distance when compared to San Ramon of Alajuela but time will equal or be faster taking the Bernardo Soto route.
Some things to consider:
- San Jose and the cities that surround it are no exceptions to the large amount of traffic that can be perceived in a city. That is why it can take about 50 or 60 minutes in rush hour from the airport to the Crowne Plaza Hotel San Jose Corobici.
- Typically, the first night’s stay is in San José and the next day includes a visit to Fortuna (Arenal Volcano); but it is more convenient to stay in San Ramon to avoid being in the car hours since the route from San Ramon to Fortuna takes 2 hours.
- Staying in San Ramon allows you to walk in the center of town that is much quieter with fewer people.
- San Ramon is a small town compared to San Jose but it also has two museums and a big church with a great history.
- San Ramon is known as the town of presidents and poets.
If you visit San Ramon, please send an email to [email protected] and it would be our pleasure to meet up with you.
Thanks to all of our readers and explorer friends. Pura Vida!
San Ramón Church:
Bernardo Soto Highway and The International Airport:
The General Cañas highway: