San Jose Prices & Travel Costs

Last Updated: Jan 2024

San Jose is one of the more expensive cities in Central America, though it’s still fairly cheap by North American or European standards. Most people just fly into the capital and then move on to one of the beach cities or La Fortuna for the volcano, but San Jose itself is worth a look around for a day or two.

Is San Jose Expensive or Cheap?

Costa Rica is a hotspot destination with San Jose serving as the gateway to the rest of the country. Though most visitors choose to fly into San Jose and then quickly depart to another region of the country, there are some good reasons to stay within the city for a day or two first. Food here is excellent and you’ll find it’s very cheap, especially if you order at some of the smaller cafes dotting the city. You’ll also find some historical buildings and a garden/zoo.

San Jose City Featured Image

Travel Costs to San Jose

Population 350,000
Area 1,600,000
Timezone UTC-6
Currency Costa Rica colon
BACKPACKER INDEX: US$52.67
1 USD = 512.0900 CRC
133 World cities ranked cheapest to most expensive: Backpacker Index for 2024

Accommodation Costs in San Jose

San Jose Hotel Seasons

San Jose Hotel Prices

Rating Price(USD)
starstarstarstarstar23.00 - 72.00
starstarstarstarstar50.00 - 152.00
starstarstarstarstar94.00 - 187.00
starstarstarstarstar125.00 - 252.00
starstarstarstarstar430.00 - 531.00

San Jose Hostels Prices

Type Price(USD)
Hostel Bed6.00 - 15.00

San Jose Attractions Prices

Best tours in San Jose

Location Description Type Price(USD)
Museo Oro PrecolombinoThe pre-Columbian gold museum is one of the bigger draws in the capital for tourists and because of that, you may see large crowds.
adults
students
21.25
15.93
Museo del JadeThis museum is the place to go to learn about the pre-Columbian jade trade in the region.
adults
16.07

San Jose Food and Drink Prices

Food Type Description Price(USD)
Budget breakfastIf your hotel doesn't include breakfast you'll have plenty of cheap options in the city.2.73 - 5.27
Budget lunchStreet stalls are great for cheap local favorites, and there are plenty of smaller casual restaurants as well.4.10 - 6.44
Budget dinnerIf you want a proper sit-down dinner in San Jose the prices vary considerable, but cheaper options are available.6.64 - 10.74
Beer (.33l bottle)Imperial is the cheap local lager, available at every bar in the city.2.15 - 3.32
Guaro (shot)The cheapest buzz in town is this local sugar-cane alcohol, served straight with a lime wedge.0.64 - 1.07

San Jose Transport Prices

Type Price(USD)
Taxi from airport to city center25.11 - 30.14
Public bus from airport to city center1.27
3km taxi ride in San Jose5.00 - 6.83
Public bus ride in San Jose0.49 - 0.59

Getting around San Jose

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When to visit San Jose

Temperature and rainfall

Month High F Low F Precip (inches)
January75570.6
February75570.2
March79590.8
April79631.8
May81639.0
June79639.5
July77638.3
August79619.5
September796112.0
October776111.8
November77615.7
December75571.6

San Jose Weather advice

Sunrise and sunset

21 Mar5:40am5:47pm
21 Jun5:17am5:59pm
21 Sep5:26am5:33pm
21 Dec5:48am5:21pm

Where to go before and after