Almost every guide/blog/vlog I’d looked up about Costa Rica all said the same thing: skip San Jose.
But I had 2 free days prior to my tour starting due to flights and tour dates not lining up, so I wasn’t about to leave and come back. Plus, I preferred to explore and make my own mind up about it.
I was fascinated by the sheer number of people sitting around setting these weird little pieces of paper. Turns out it’s some kind of lottery. Maybe for Christmas or maybe that’s the way they do it there. But seriously, how could this be anything other than 100% scam and profit for all of these randos standing on the corner?
The central market was insanely busy. My tour guide (I did a food & art walking tour) said it was because everyone was rushing to get supplies to make tamales for Christmas. I did not purchase a tamale, but I did get something wrapped in a banana leaf. Tortilla with gallo pinto and a big ol’ slab of cheese on top. Hot damn was it ugly, but sooo tasty.
Just outside the market I had a near-miss with an avocado. A couple of street vendors, one of whom was quite pregnant, got into a fight with “putas” and produce a-flying. It felt like an authentic San Jose experience.