- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Spanish Phrases
North and East of Downtown
Immediately northeast of downtown lie Barrio Amón and Barrio Otoya. Both neighborhoods are repositories of historic houses that have escaped the wrecking ball; many now serve as hotels, restaurants, galleries, and offices. (A few are even private residences.) Where these barrios begin and end depends on who's doing the talking. Locales on the fringes of the city center prefer to be associated with these "good neighborhoods" rather than with downtown. Barrio Escalante, to the east, isn't quite as gentrified but is fast becoming fashionable.
The sprawling suburb of San Pedro begins several blocks east of downtown San José. The town is home to the University of Costa Rica and all the intellect and cheap eats and nightlife that a student or student-wannabe could desire. But away from the heart of the university, San Pedro is awash in the consumerism of malls, fast-food restaurants, and car dealerships—although it manages to mix in stately districts such as stylish Los Yoses for good measure. To get to San Pedro, take a $3 taxi ride from downtown and get off in front of Banco Nacional, just beyond the rotunda with the fountain at its center.
North and East of Downtown at a Glance
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $59 -- Costa Rica Beach & Golf Resort w/Breakfast, 65% Off Bookit.com
- $144-$159 -- Costa Rica All-Incl. Luxury Resort, 45% Off BookIt.com
- $769 -- Costa Rica 4-Star All-Inclusive Trip w/Air, $500 Off Hotel Riu Guanacaste
- $1099 -- Costa Rica 7-Night Riu All-Incl. Vacation w/Airfare — $1,099 Apple Vacations