- Costa Rica
San José is the capital of Costa Rica. A city of 288.054 in a metropolitan area of more than two million, it sits surrounded by mountains on a valley at 1300 msnm. Due to its height it has a temperate climate for the whole year. The rainy season in San José starts in May and runs through November. Occasional showers happen during the other months but they are usually dry.
The city is a bit chaotic, but also has its charms. In the landmarks section there are parks (La Sabana, Parque de la Paz), plazas (Plaza de la cultura, Plaza de la democracia), museums (Museo Nacional, Museo de Arte Costarricense, Museo de Oro, Museo de Jade), a new soccer stadium and a very beautiful National Theater. There are numerous theaters downtown that regularly show plays (in spanish). Movie theaters are mostly in the shopping malls in the suburbs, but there are a couple of them downtown that cater to a more eclectic audience (Sala Garbo and, closer to the venue, Cine Magaly).
Shopping is usually done downtown or in the malls that surround the city (Mall San Pedro is the closest to the venue but also the smallest, Multiplaza del Este, Lincoln Plaza, Multiplaza Escazú, Terramall, Metrocentro).
There are many options for dining, the San Pedro/Curridabat/Barrio Escalante area close to the UCR holds many offerings that range from traditional Costa Rican to a mix of foreign countries and includes a wide price range. The areas of Rohrmoser and Escazú/Santa Ana also offer great variety and quality. Also, a few very good restaurants call the downtown area their home.
The area around UCR is generally safe. The same goes for the tourist areas of downtown (around museums, the central boulevard, etc.). But there you will find more risky areas that are only a few blocks away. Please ask before wandering around.
You should be careful and aware of your surroundings even in areas considered to be safe.