Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica

It is very well known that Costa Rica is famous for its rich nature! It seems like no matter wherever you turn, you’ll constantly discover amazing features such as waterfalls, rain forests, animals, beaches, volcanoes, and the list goes on! I was honestly overwhelmed with the amount of things I could see and do. Luckily, the amazing people over at Travel Excellence Costa Rica have made knowing exactly where to take visitors their profession.

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

They helped to arrange two days of tours throughout Costa Rica but both days beginning with a hotel pickup in San Jose. Instead of following some sort of pre-planned itinerary, they took my interests into account and formulated a plan that suited me like a glove. It was even adjusted along the way as I discovered what exactly I wanted. I’ve never had such a personalized tour, it was truly something special!

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

The first day started with a prompt hotel pick up at 7am. We were headed to a famous volcano! Along the way I had a lovely chat with my first tour guide, Oscar. He was sure to bring me to a very local coffee shop on the way. Not long after we were up to the Poas Volcano where we were briefed on safety. This was the first time I had ever seen a volcano crater and it was truly something special! Smells like rotten eggs.

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

We moved on to viewing some waterfalls that were not too far away. These were enveloped in some of the most luscious landscapes I have ever seen in my life. It was truly a delight to see that Costa Rica takes so much pride in conserving their beautiful nature. I got my drone up and flew around to capture several waterfalls in the area.

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

It was almost lunch time and luckily next up was a stop at Corso Farms. Corso Farms specializes in raising cattle, strawberries, and blueberries. The farm has an incredible restaurant where you can taste foods made directly from the land. First we toured their fruit plantation and then stopped in their restaurant for lunch, where my mind was blown! Out of my extended trip in Costa Rica, this turned out to be my favorite meal of the whole visit! Chef Arturo Mora put together a small tasting menu which simply was perfect. It was comprised of the farms strawberries, cheese, and beef. The way that chef Arturo balanced the flavors was just amazing and made me want to keep eating. He could easily work in any of the top restaurants in the world! The farm’s beef was also much more tender than I ever would’ve imagined. We finish with a cup of coffee and were on our way back to San Jose.

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

I had a chance to rest for a bit and then knowing that I loved gastronomy, Travel Excellence organized a fine dining meal at Restaurante Silvestre. Restaurante Silvestre focuses on providing modern Costa Rican food in a beautiful space. The interior of the restaurant was just magnificent and I got to meet the owner and chef. Some of the dishes I enjoyed were the ceviche and the incredible dessert!

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Day one was over and it was time to get started again after resting for a day or two. The second day started at 8am and I’m happy that I didn’t eat breakfast because we got to stop for local Costa Rican breakfast at a lovely restaurant. Not long after and it was time to see the first beach but not before spotting a few Scarlet Macaws along the roadside and a crocodile! The birds looked like they came right out of National Geographic!

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

The volcanic sand beach was the one that struck me the most. The dark black sand was something truly unique that I had never seen before in my life.

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Just near the beach we stopped at El Patio Restaurant and Bar. This was a fairly modern yet casual restaurant. I went for the red snapper that was super freshly caught, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. This meal was absolutely incredible! Nothing like fresh fish.

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

I really appreciate the fact that Travel Excellence focuses on conservation of the beautiful nature we have on our planet. In keeping with this theme, they even provide biodegradable water bottles during their tours. It’s not all about the money folks!

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

The evening was coming to a close but not before we made a quick stop at Villa Caletas Hotel which is located on top of a cliff overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Nicoya. We toured a variety of the rooms and then stopped by for a drink. The views from this property were stupendous! Can’t wait to come back and stay here.

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

I was very impressed with Travel Excellence Costa Rica from the beginning to end. I started with not knowing much about the country and finished with feeling like I know a lot thanks to their lovely tour guides. They did a lovely job of explaining more than just the surface level of Costa Rican history and culture and gave me a much better impression of the inner workings of the country. I am very thankful for such lovely experience! Without a doubt, I highly recommend Travel Excellence Costa Rica!

It is very well known that Costa Rica is famous for its rich nature! It seems like no matter wherever you turn, you'll constantly discover amazing features such as waterfalls, rain forests, animals, beaches, volcanoes, and the list goes on! I was honestly overwhelmed with the amount of things I…

The Nitty Gritty

Taste - 9
Value - 9.3
Feng Shui - 9.8
Convenience - 10
Service - 9

9.4

Perfect!

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

9


 

Travel Excellence

Tour

San Jose, Costa Rica

Phone: +1-800-253-6591

 


Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Expert Guide: How to See the Best of Costa Rica Blog Central America Costa Rica San Jose Tours

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose

During my first visit to San Jose, Costa Rica I had a stay at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city or going outside to see the beautiful nature this country has to offer, Gran Hotel Costa Rica is a great place to start. The property is 90 years old and recently acquired by the Hilton brand which did an absolutely impressive upgrade to this landmark property.

 

Click HERE to get a special rate at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton!

 

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

The Gran Hotel Costa Rica’s lobby is actually located on the fifth floor. The space is very impressive with its tall ceilings and large amount of open area to move around in. Also on the fifth floor is the restaurant, bar, lobby lounge, and a beautiful view of the surrounding city including the National Theater. I was very excited to finally check out my room which was just one floor down, on the fourth floor.

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

For my stay I had a 1 King Bed Room with a view of a small atrium in the center of the hotel. From the moment I opened the door I noticed the incredibly sleek and modern design. Everywhere I looked in this gorgeous room I fell in love with details. The use of wood going from the headboard and across the ceiling was gorgeous. To top it off, there was a very soft rim light which set an intimate mood. It felt like home!

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

The bathroom was open to the rest of the room and included a single sink vanity, locally-produced toiletries, a separated shower stall, and separated toilet stall. It was a well-designed bathroom in addition to the lovely room.

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Down the hallway was the capsule coffee machine and tea facilities which included the famous Costa Rican coffee by Britt.

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

The Gran Hotel Costa Rica’s Restaurant was located on the fifth floor. Just like the room, the restaurant’s dining room had a great design and offered splendid views of the city of San Jose. My first dinner was very impressive as everything I ate was simply magical. I had a chance to try several dishes and honestly was delighted with the consistently delicious food. A large majority was just lovely! Some of my favorites included the burger, pecan pie, seabass tiradito, virgin bloody mary, and the seafood risotto.

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

In the evenings, guests who stay in specific room categories, including Superior and Suites will have access to canapes and alcoholic beverages in the lobby lounge for three hours. Some days these were much more than small days but more like a full dinner. Beverages included soft drinks, wine, beer, and spirits. I was also impressed as all cocktails are included during this period. This was a great period for relaxing after a long day of exploring Costa Rica!

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

The breakfast takes place in a large dining room behind the bar which includes both a buffet and à la carte options. Once again, like dinner, the breakfast was consistent with the level of quality food that was available. I was sure to try both the local and international options that were on offer. I especially liked the regional options and the selection of salsa that I could add to spice things up with!

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

On the same floor as the reception is the fitness center. The gym was on the smaller side but did include everything I needed and more for a quality work out. Inside were multiple cardio machines, weight machines, and free weights. There are no relaxation facilities such as pool, sauna, or steam room.

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

In 1963 The Gran Hotel Costa Rica did have John F. Kennedy as a guest! The original furniture used during his stay is on display in a lounge on the fourth floor. It felt quite interesting to sit where JFK probably sat nearly 60 years ago!

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

From start to finish the stay at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton was a delight. I loved the newly renovated property, especially all of the small details. Along with being such a beautiful property, the location, service, and food were also on-point. I would happily live there if the opportunity presented itself. Wink. Without a doubt, I can easily recommend the Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton!

Reserve YOUR room at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton
now!
During my first visit to San Jose, Costa Rica I had a stay at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton. Whether you're interested in exploring the city or going outside to see the beautiful nature this country has to offer, Gran Hotel Costa Rica is a great…

The Nitty Gritty

Taste - 9.3
Value - 8.9
Feng Shui - 9.2
Convenience - 9.8
Service - 8.5

9.1

Great!

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

9


 

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton

Hotel

2nd Avenue between streets 1 3
San Jose, CR

Phone: +506-2-1039000

 


Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton in the Center of San Jose Blog Central America Costa Rica Hotels San Jose