For a lot of guests to Costa Rica, the capital metropolis of San José isn’t on the prime of their bucket lists. Though staying on this centrally positioned metropolis permits vacationers to take all types of fast day journeys, it may be considerably of a turnoff in comparison with the lush jungles, pristine seashores, and dazzling waterfalls elsewhere within the nation.
As a result of numerous the chatter on-line about San José was largely “meh,” I used to be up for a problem and interested in what the town needed to supply. I booked a meals and tradition tour for my first day there, hoping to seek out out what there was to love about San José — and boy, did I discover it.
The San José Meals Tour: What to Anticipate
I knew going into the tour that there can be a concentrate on meals, tradition, and historical past. However previous to my arrival in Costa Rica, I’d solely tried the basic gallo pinto, i.e., rice and beans. If that doesn’t inform you that my information of Tico (Costa Rican) delicacies was restricted, I ought to say that I additionally had no thought concerning the number of fruit and veggies obtainable within the nation. Additionally, full disclosure: I knew nearly nothing about Costa Rica’s historical past earlier than arriving too. So I confirmed up for my tour as principally a clean slate.
An skilled native information with all of the solutions
When my information arrived on the assembly level in entrance of the Nationwide Theater downtown, it was inconceivable to not discover that I used to be the one one on the tour! I used to be excited to have a one-on-one expertise, as a result of I’m, admittedly, that woman who asks means too many questions.
We headed proper to Mercado Borbón, which my information defined was one of many greatest open-air markets within the nation. I like an excellent market, so we acquired right down to attempting every thing straight away. First, he confirmed me a few fruits that I’d by no means seen earlier than. One among them was referred to as mamón criollo, which made me giggle as a result of it actually means “creole sucker” in English. (In Costa Rica, every thing that’s criollo means it’s from there; every thing from outdoors of the nation is chino, aka Chinese language, even when it doesn’t truly come from China.)
The most effective espresso, empanadas, and different snacks
I didn’t count on to be fed so properly, however my information continued handy me one scrumptious deal with after one other. I had an incredible cup of espresso and a recent empanada in Mercado Borbón, then some fruits and coconut water in Mercado Central subsequent door. All of the whereas, I acquired the lowdown on the historic significance of each markets, in addition to the totally different cultural influences which have made an influence on them through the years.
Take this natural treatment stand, for instance:
Each a type of bundles of herbs has a unique use in native conventional treatments. Certain, I’d heard of utilizing aloe for sunburns and mint to make a relaxing tea, however there have been others that blew my thoughts. Take achiote, for instance. Previous to the tour, I believed its solely use was to provide taste to sure dishes, like they do within the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. No, no: in Costa Rica achiote is barely used for dying materials or giving a pink colour to meals.
All of the deets on historic monuments and landmarks
I seen how San José had an odd mixture of historic and new buildings. I puzzled aloud about them, and my information had a solution: many of the buildings had been destroyed throughout moments of turmoil. Those that stay from many years previous are few and much between, surrounded by skyscrapers, condominiums, and new development.
There have been additionally loads of different attention-grabbing landmarks that I might need missed if I had been to have explored San José by myself. Stopping at each gave me necessary context concerning the metropolis’s distinctive story, one thing I appreciated tremendously.
Is the San José Meals Tour Price It?
You got here to seek out out if the San José meals tour is price it or not, and if the reply isn’t already clear — sure! I positively thought it was price it. This tour is good for anyone who’s even remotely interested in gastronomy, historical past, and tradition in Costa Rica. And never solely does the tour have an superior information, however all of the snacks are included; mixed, they’re a meal’s price of meals.
I did the tour on my first full day in Costa Rica, and I like to recommend doing the identical. It set me as much as have extra cultural context throughout the remainder of my journey there. It additionally made me admire San José, making me excited to return there on the finish of my journey. Contemplating this metropolis isn’t precisely a crowd favourite amongst vacationers, I believe this tour might change lots of people’s views.
The tour can also be an incredible start line, as a result of it gave me so many concepts of the place to go and what to do in San José. I used to be in a position to ask my information about security and areas to keep away from as properly, which positively got here in helpful as a solo feminine traveler in Costa Rica.
Whether or not you’re simply passing via San José or plan to remain a number of days, don’t miss out on this San José meals tour. It was among the finest choices I made whereas placing collectively my Costa Rica itinerary.
Are you desirous about reserving the tour? Tell us if in case you have any questions!