San Jose: Surrounded by farmland and coffee plantations

Most Costa Rica holidays start in the capital of San Jose. Located in the Central Valley, the city is surrounded by farmland and coffee plantations – your morning cup may just be the best you’ve ever tasted, accompanied by the traditional breakfast dish of rice and beans, known as ‘gallo pinto’. From the capital you can easily embark on tours into the valley, such as white-water rafting, hiking and mountain biking. The city, and indeed the rest of Costa Rica, is easier to visit thanks to a new British Airways route direct from London Gatwick. Get past the traffic and the city may surprise you. In contrast to the unspoilt scenery that cloaks the rest of the country, San Jose is more of an urban jungle, and the historic neighbourhoods such as Barrio Amon are full of colonial mansions, galleries and vibrant music venues.