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San José Meals Tour: Is It Value It?

For many visitors to Costa Rica, the capital city of San José isn’t at the top of their bucket lists. Even though staying in this centrally located city allows travelers to take all kinds of quick day trips, it can be somewhat of a turnoff compared to the lush jungles, pristine beaches, and dazzling waterfalls […]



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For a lot of guests to Costa Rica, the capital metropolis of San José isn’t on the prime of their bucket lists. Regardless that 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 beaches, and dazzling waterfalls elsewhere within the nation.

As a result of numerous the chatter on-line about San José was principally “meh,” I used to be up for a problem and interested by what town needed to provide. I booked a food and culture tour for my first day there, hoping to search out out what there was to love about San José — and boy, did I discover it.

The San José Meals Tour: What to Count on

san jose food tour worth it

I knew going into the tour that there could be a deal with meals, tradition, and historical past. However previous to my arrival in Costa Rica, I’d solely tried the traditional gallo pinto, i.e., rice and beans. If that doesn’t let you know that my data of Tico (Costa Rican) delicacies was restricted, I ought to say that I additionally had no thought concerning the number of vegetables and fruit 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 professional native information with all of the solutions

When my information arrived on the assembly level in entrance of the Nationwide Theater downtown, it was not possible 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 method too many questions.

We headed proper to Mercado Borbón, which my information defined was one of many largest open-air markets within the nation. I really like a great market, so we bought right down to making an attempt every part immediately. First, he confirmed me a few fruits that I’d by no means seen earlier than. One among them was known as mamón criollo, which made me giggle as a result of it actually means “creole sucker” in English. (In Costa Rica, every part that's criollo means it’s from there; every part from outdoors of the nation is chino, aka Chinese language, even when it doesn’t truly come from China.)

One of the best espresso, empanadas, and different snacks

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I didn’t anticipate to be fed so properly, however my information continued at hand me one scrumptious deal with after one other. I had a tremendous cup of espresso and a contemporary empanada in Mercado Borbón, then some fruits and coconut water in Mercado Central subsequent door. All of the whereas, I bought the lowdown on the historic significance of each markets, in addition to the totally different cultural influences which have made an impression on them through the years.

Take this natural treatment stand, for instance:

san jose food tour worth it

Each a kind of bundles of herbs has a distinct 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 assumed its solely use was to present taste to sure dishes, like they do within the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. No, no: in Costa Rica achiote is simply used for dying materials or giving a pink shade to meals.

All of the deets on historic monuments and landmarks

san jose food tour worth it

I observed how San José had a wierd mixture of historic and new buildings. I puzzled aloud about them, and my information had a solution: a lot of the buildings have been destroyed throughout moments of turmoil. Those that stay from a long time previous are few and much between, surrounded by skyscrapers, condominiums, and new building.

There have been additionally loads of different fascinating landmarks that I might need missed if I have been to have explored San José by myself. Stopping at every one gave me necessary context concerning the metropolis’s distinctive story, one thing I appreciated significantly.

Is the San José Meals Tour Value It?

san jose food tour worth it
A candy market cat chilling on some outdated vinyls

You got here to search out out if the San José food tour is value it or not, and if the reply isn’t already clear — sure! I undoubtedly thought it was value it. This tour is good for anyone who's even remotely interested by 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 value 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 may change lots of people’s views.

The tour can 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 undoubtedly got here in useful as a solo female traveler in Costa Rica.


Whether or not you’re simply passing by San José or plan to remain just a few days, don’t miss out on this San José food tour. It was among the best selections I made whereas placing collectively my Costa Rica itinerary.

Are you occupied with reserving the tour? Tell us when you've got any questions!

Support author of this article and visit his post, originally published HERE

This post is originally published at Be My Travel Muse blog and it's not owned by this site! Respect content authors!