Nury San Jose Walking Tour Guide Outside National Theatre

Nury (walking tour guide), Michael Miller, and Paul Anthony

On my recent trip to San Jose, Costa Rica I had the great fortune to bump into Michael Miller, who is an ex-pat from the USA living in the city. As it happens he is also somewhat of a local expert on San Jose, and author of the book “The Real San Jose”, which can be bought from Amazon. His official site is here: therealsanjose.com.

That book in itself is a wonderful introduction to this somewhat overlooked capital city of Costa Rica.

There is, however, another option to explore what San Jose has to offer while on the ground! During our conversation, he told me that a friend of his offers a walking tour where we could experience the sights and sounds from a lifelong local resident.

A few minutes later after exchanging details, we arranged to meet a few days later, for what I’m calling the “Best Walking Tour of San Jose”.

Costa Rica National Theatre & Plaza de la Cultura from the Gran Hotel Costa Rica top floor

Costa Rica National Theatre and City Skyline

Custom Walking Tour of San Jose, Costa Rica

The main reason why I’ve dubbed this the best walking tour of San Jose, is that it is fully customizable to what you want to see.

Nury (our guide) is well aware from past experience that certain groups of people like different activities and sights. For example, many Europeans may not be overly interested in seeing multiple cathedrals, while Americans may be more so. Not forgetting to mention if groups include children.

When planning the tour, you can give Nury carte blanche, or she can help direct you towards attractions that most peak your interests.

I’m always a fan of both a nation’s foundation history and local markets, so we decided to focus on that.

Meeting The Walking Tour Guide – Nury

Nury and Michael Miller with Statue of John Lennon

Nury and Michael Miller

Nury, is a lifelong native of San Jose and is obviously very passionate about her city and country at large.

I was most surprised by just how many people knew her as we walked the streets.

Our tour took around 4 hours, but can be adapted shorter or longer depending on your itinerary and timeline. We decided to not explore museums together for example but I wanted to enjoy lunch together at the Central Market. Further, she offers museum tours, as well as, tours outside of the city for example Poas Volcano, Zip-lining through the canopy, coffee plantation tour, nearby rainforest tour (Braulio Carrillo National Park), and the Basilica of the Angels in Cartago, etc…

Where We Began & Our Plan Of Action

As you’d expect from a bespoke walking tour, Nury met me at my hotel, Selina (right around the corner from the Casa Amarilla – below). I was also delighted that Michael was also able to join us.

Casa Amarilla San Jose Costa Rica

Major Sights

There is so much to see, and most of the points are interests are in quite close proximity to each other.

Sights of San Jose Walking Tour

High-level points of interest from our route, the day of the tour:

  1. Starting point Selina Hotel
  2. Aranjuez & Amon neighborhoods
  3. Avenue Central
  4. Jade Museum
  5. National Museum
  6. Metropolitan Cathedral
  7. Plaza de la Cultura
  8. Gold Museum
  9. National Theatre
  10. Gran Hotel Costa Rica
  11. Post Office
  12. Central Market

This is a very short list indeed, there were many many more!

San Jose Sights From Walking Tour

You’ll have to take the tour, to explore them all.

Lunch Like a Local

One of the highlights of the tour for me personally we seeing the vibrant and active Central Market. It is still very much active for locals. Yes, there are some tourist shops around the edge, but you’ll be reward with many new sights and smells once you explore a little deeper. It was great to have a local there, who explained what the different spices, fruits, and the like were for.

I didn’t do too much shopping as still had a few more weeks and stops on the road but did pick up some local coffee. Which came highly recommended by Michael. Café Central Coffee - San Jose

We ended our tour by eating a local lunch at “Soda Tala”.

San Jose Central Market Lunch at Soda Tala

Parting Ways & Final Walking Tour Thoughts

After we had finished our full lunch of coffee, food, and ice cream we were sad to say goodbye to both Nury and Michael but felt ready to explore the city for the next two days.

How To Book The Tour & Cost

As you would expect there is no set price for this kind of customizable walking tour around San Jose and beyond. The best thing to do is contact Nury directly and get some ideas of the price, dates and options.

Note: tours typically start in the morning, with a higher chance of rain/storms in the afternoon. Further, no night/evening tours are offered.

My tour started at 9 am, lasted four hours, and was very reasonably priced.  I was more than happy to pay for the experience and service.

Nury Mora

Phone and Whatsapp number: +506 6063-9350
Email: [email protected]

Michael Miller

Phone and Whatsapp number: +506 6029-0568
Email: [email protected]
URL: TheRealSanJose.com

Is it Worth It?

Overall it was a really personal experience that I would gladly do again, and am recommending it to anyone who is reading this post and is intending to hit the ground running while in San Jose. Pura Vida!

National Museum of Costa Rica

The National Museum of Costa Rica is a wonderful way to spend half a day. It’s one of the best museums I’ve been to in recent memory. A must for anyone interested in Costa Rica!

About the Author:

Paul Anthony is the founder and creative director at Bespoke Unit. He has had a life long affair with design, watches, fragrance and clothing. Originally from England, he now lives in the USA splitting time between NYC & Philly. Favoring "British Style", but has an overall eclectic taste.

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