Parque Metropolitano La Sabana Park, Costa Rica

Discover the green and leafy centre of Costa Rica, the amazing Parque Metropolitano La Sabana, in San José

Parque Metropolitano La Sabana Park, Costa Rica
Parque Metropolitano La Sabana Park
© Adam Jones

Parque Metropolitano La Sabana (Sabana Metropolitan Park) is the largest and most important park of San José, a must-see visit. It is located in the city centre and is officially called Parque Metropolitano La Sabana Padre Antonio Chapui. It was named after him due to the enormous contribution that this Father made to the neighbours of San José by donating the land in 1783. The airport of San José  previously occupied this land from 1940 to the beginning of the seventies.

The park is located in the Mate Redondo District, in the central quarter of San José, in the west side of Paseo Colón Promenade. On the left of it, you can find the Controlaría de la República building, with a futuristic style, where the government of the country is administered and managed. It is a very large park (178 acres), but with really leafy areas, a perfect place if you want to spend the day with your family, because it has perfect spots for picnics under the trees, a great artificial lake to provide food to the geese or go fishing, and an ice-cream parlour. All in all, it is a place specially designed to enjoy a natural environment and some fresh air.

The “Josefinos”, as the natives of San José are called, are people that not only love spending the day in this park with their families, but also practising their favourite sports, because the park has a huge number of facilities. La Sabana Park has a long paved road for running or riding a bike, various soccer fields, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts, where you can practice sports in your trip to Costa Rica.

There are other attractions in La Sabana Park like the National Stadium (the most modern of Central America and the Caribbean where the national soccer team plays), the Costa Rican Soccer Federation, the National Gymnasium, the María del Milagro París Swimming Pool, the National Skating Rink, as well as different lakes.

Apart from being an important sport area, it is culturally a meaningful spot in San José. Inside La Sabana Park, the Costa Rican Art Museum and La Salle Natural Science Museum are located. On the one hand, the Costa Rican Art Museum is one of the most important fine arts museums of Costa Rica, a building with a neo-colonial style that has more than 3200 works. Inside it, you will be able to look at the creations of the great Cézanne, as well as Enrique Echandi, Margarita Bertheau, Lola Fernández and many more foreign artists. It also has a vast collection of Costa Rican traditional art. On the other hand, La Salle Natural Science Museum has the most varied collection of the endemic and exotic flowers and fauna of the world. At the beginning of the tour, you will bump into a magnificent collection of dinosaurs, even with an impressive replica of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Besides, you can visit an extensive exhibition of taxidermy, a fossil´s collection and a huge number of butterflies.

The park has other important museum, the ICE Group History and Technology Museum. This museum was opened in 1993 and it is dedicated to the research and the spread of the technological and socio-economic development of Costa Rica throughout its history, especially in the electricity and telecommunications sectors. You can hire guided tours that will show you the different facilities: a large auditorium for conferences and workshops, an exhibition room for electricity generation, an antique exhibition (photographs, old phone centre exchanges, mockups and so on) and a library with a large documentary archive.

Other spot that you should visit in this idyllic park is the place where the cross in memory of the visit of Pope Saint Jean Paul II to Costa Rica in 1983 is.

In short, Parque Metropolitano La Sabana is one of the places you can not miss when visiting San José. The only advice to take into account is to avoid going at night.  

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At the end of Paseo Colón Promenade, San José, Costa Rica.

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