Parque Nacional Park, San José

Explore one of the most incredible, secluded spots of San José, the National Park, and visit its surroundings

Parque Nacional Park, San José
Parque Nacional Park
© Emilio Velilla

In your visit to San José, you can not miss the Parque Nacional (National Park), one of the largest of the Costa Rican capital, which is considered to be one of the best places to go for a stroll outdoors. It is also one of the most suitable places for resting in San José.

This bucolic, secluded spot is located between 1st Avenue and 3rd Avenue, and 15th Street and 19th Street. It is a pleasure to walk through its promenade full of palm and deciduous trees. Now, it has become a safe and ideal site for lovers, although in the past it was a prostitution area where frequent robberies took place.  

Inside the park, you can walk through its quiet paths under the shades of the trees, see a nice fish pond, the National Monument and the different busts and statues dedicated to American heroes like José Martí and Mr. Andrés Bello.

This area is not only important for the National Park, but for everything that surrounds it. The following buildings are important and a must see:

- National Library: It is located in the north and it is the largest in size and books’ catalogue throughout Costa Rica.

- National Centre of Culture: It is located in the 3rd Avenue and it houses The National Gallery of Contemporary Art, featuring works by local artists. 

- National Palace: This magnificent palace was reconverted into the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica and it is located in the 1st Avenue.

- Railway Museum: Particular interest to enthusiasts of this transport. In the past, it was a railroad station that was called “jungle station”, where the old railroad travelled from San José to Limón. Also, you can visit the great collection of photographs related to the railroad.

- Libertad Electoral Plaza: It is a small semicircular-shaped square built in honour of the democracy that runs the country. It is noticeable for the neoclassical style of its columns and the monument The Epitome of Flight, a sculpture of the artist José Sancho Benito.

- Ricardo Jiménez Boulevard: It is a wide pedestrian promenade that is surrounded by palm trees, which extends all along 17th Street. It is also known as “Court Road”.

- National Museum: You can get to know the national history, which runs from the pre-Columbian era until now. 

- Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (Supreme Electoral Court of Costa Rica): It is the place where the democratic issues of the government are organised and controlled.

- Democracia Plaza: It is a square built on concrete terraces. A statue of the ex-president José Figueres “Don Pepe” stands in the corner.

- Casa Rosada (Pink House): An innovative building that houses the offices of the Parliament.

- Castillo Azul (The Blue Castle): In the past it was the Legislative Assembly and the Presidential Palace.  

More information:

Location:

Between 1st and 3rd Avenues and 15th and 19th Streets, La California district, San José.

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