Culture and Lifestyle
San Jose has a distinctly European feel, as seen in the architecture of the city, which is a result of the settlement of the Spaniards soon after Colombus’s discovery. Privileged classes from Costa Rica often studied in Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, returning with European traditions and seeking to implement them.
While few people acutally reside in the city center, more than a million people work and visit here daily. Due to its size, San Jose typically has a higher crime rate than other cities and towns in Costa Rica. Still, is one of the safest cities in Latin America and was ranked the 15th fastest growing destination in the world in 2012 by Visitor Spending according to the MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index.
Transportation in San Jose
About 14 miles west of downtown San Jose is the international airport, the Juan Santamaría International Airport. The Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) is one of the largest and most modern in Central America, with direct flights to cities all over the world including Boston, Miami, and New York.
Within the, city private bus companies connect the downtown neighborhoods with the suburbs. Other private buses, like Mepe, transport travelers from the city center to the many beach towns throughout the country and to Panama and Nicaragua.
Taxis offer convenient transport around the city, some “official” others “unofficial.” Many taxis have meters, but for those that do not, passengers will need to negotiate on rates before riding.
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