The vast majority of tourists who stay in San José choose the city due to its easy access to other parts of Costa Rica where you can experience amazingly beautiful nature and scenery. The city of San José is not particularly beautiful in itself and it does unfortunately have some unsafe areas. So if you are looking for a the best area to stay in San José that is near to the airport as well as the city and that is also safe, we would recommend staying in either Cariari Ciudad or the San Antonio de Belén area.
It is a pretty and safe area, with easy and quick access to the city centre, as well as being just 15 minutes from the airport. The area also boasts a shopping centre with ample restaurants which are perfect for lunchtime. On the outskirts you will find a golf course filled with trees, gardens and lakes which creates very lovely natural surroundings.
Another recommended area to stay in is the Escazú area. This is where San José´s rich and affluent live and is a pleasant and safe place to stay, although it does have limited accommodation options.
BEST LOCATED HOTELS IN SAN JOSÉ
Price per night
City Express San Jose Aeropuerto
Diagonal al Mc Donald del Centro Comercial Cariari
62€ - 74$
Hotel Vista De Golf
Av La Marina, Ciudad Cariari
54€ - 65$
Alameda Cariari Boutique Hotel
Casa 22 Calle Miraflores Bosques de Doña Claudia
60€ - 72$
Price per night
Wyndham San Jose Herradura
Sobre la Autopista General Cañas, frente al Mall Real Cariari
80€ - 96$
DoubleTree by Hilton Cariari San Jose
San Antonio de Belen
93€ - 112$
Terrazas de Golf Boutique Hotel
100 metros oeste Hotel Wyndham Herradura, Asunción, 326-4050
RECOMMENDED / BEST VALUE
75€ - 90$
Price per night
Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose
700 meters west from Bridgestone/Firestone
150€ - 180$
On the map, which shows the best area to stay in San José, you can see a selection of some of the best located hotels.
Cariari City and San Antonio de Belén, the best places to stay in San José
One of the main things you should bear in mind when choosing accommodation in San José is that the Juan Santamaria International Airport is located in the city of Alajuela, 18km from the city centre. With that in mind, one of the best options to spend the night in the Costa Rican capital, before or after a flight, is to stay at one of the lovely residential areas situated between the international terminals and the bustling city centre, which is easily accessible by means of a short train, taxi or shared shuttle ride from your hotel.
The San Antonio de Belén and Cariari City areas, at 5km and 7km respectively from the airport, boast some of the best hotels which are surrounded by spectacular green areas, numerous restaurants where you can try both local and international food, and a calm atmosphere from where you can explore the rest of the city. Nearby, you will also find many great leisure options, such as the Ojo de Agua water resort, the Cariari golf club, various shopping centres and the Pedregal Events Centre.
Other areas to stay in San José
The hotels located in the city centre are the best option if you don´t mind the big city and you want to experience the San José nightlife, its beautiful street architecture, its bustling markets and the many museums it has to offer, without the need for a car. Although it is far from the airport, the San José old town has great transport services so you can get around by train or bus. Close to the Central Avenue, which is where the best hotels are located, you can also visit some of the main tourist attractions, such as the wonderful National Theatre of Costa Rica, the Jade Museum, the Pre-Colombian Gold Museum and the National Museum. It also boasts an array of markets, shops, parks and architecture, all within walking distance of the hotel, allowing you to immerse yourself in the Costa Rican culture and get to know the country, other than its natural treasures.
Easily accessible from all the main highways and located just 10 minutes away by car from the centre of San José, Escazú is an excellent option for those looking to combine leisure and relaxing activities. It´s one of the most elegant and safe areas of town, where you will find the homes of several ambassadors and can take in a bit of calm, fresh air. With all the important amenities, just a stone´s throw away, and without losing the essence of its local character, Escazú boasts one of the largest and most modern shopping centres in Central America (MultiPlaza), as well as an 18-hole golf club, a bustling bar scene and beautiful Costa Rican residential streets, all just a short distance from the centre and 20 minutes by car from the airport.