San José/ Central Valley
San José is the capital of Costa Rica, head of the province of San José, and the nation’s largest city. Located in the Central Valley, San José is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of this Central American nation.
The population of San José Canton is 288,054, though the metropolitan area stretches beyond the canton limits and comprises a third of the country’s population. It is named in honor of Joseph of Nazareth. Though few people live in the city center, it is the most important working area of the country, which brings in more than a million people daily. Despite its problems, according to studies in Latin America, San José is still one of the safest and least violent cities in the region. In 2006, the city was appointed Ibero-American Capital of Culture.
San José is the sixth most important destination in Latin America, according to The MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index 2012. San José ranked 15th in the world’s fastest growing destination cities by visitor cross-border spending. San José has many beautiful theatres, many with European-inspired architecture. These buildings serve as the city’s main tourist attractions; not only because of the architectural beauty, but because of the numerous cultural, musical, and artistic presentations and activities, which include traditional and modern Costa Rican and San José culture.
Poas is a stratovolcano that soars 2,708 meters above sea level. It is one of the most spectacular volcanoes in Costa Rica, with breathtaking scenery. It has also produced excellent soil for cultivation and has considerable potential for producing energy from hydrological and geothermal resources.