San José

Located in the centre of Costa Rica in the plateau between volcanoes known as the Valle Central, San Jose’s more than 1.4 million inhabitants make it the country’s most populous, while it is the fourth-largest in size terms.

Situated at 1,170m above sea level, San Jose is Costa Rica’s political, economic and social centre. It was definitively made capital in 1842, with this status having been rotated periodically in previous years. Since that date, all governmental offices and embassies were set up in San Jose, as well as the offices of a host of international companies.

The city was named in honour of Joseph of Nazareth (José de Nazaret in Spanish), and its architectural flavour has been strongly influenced by trends from Europe, in particular Spain and France. Its wide variety of theatre and museum attractions make San Jose an intriguing cultural destination, while visits to its appealing parks are not to be missed.

The surrounding province, like the city it contains, is a key hub in the country’s communication network, boasting the very latest infrastructure and offering a wide range of services.

Football
San Jose currently has four teams in Costa Rica’s top flight: Deportivo Saprissa (see Tibas entry), Municipal de Perez Zeledon, Uruguay de Coronado and La Universidad de Costa Rica.

El Municipal de Perez Zeledon, who regularly battle it out in the upper reaches of the table, are based in the southern area of the city and their best finish was a runners-up spot in 2004. La Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), founded in 1941, lifted their only national championship crown just two years later. After spending years in the second tier, punctuated by promotions in 1973 and 2007, UCR are back in the Primera Division in time for the 2013/14 campaign.

El Club Sport Uruguay de Coronado, for their part, have managed to stay in the top division for the past few seasons. Their current owner is renowned former Tico international striker Paulo Cesar Wanchope.