It might be hard to imagine during the winter months in the North but beaches, constant sun, and hot weather are not for everyone.

Buyers who prefer a fresher early summer climate and need the very best infrastructure of Costa Rica choose San José or other nice spots in the Central Valley of Costa Rica to invest in and/or live.

Today’s article will provide you with 6 interesting areas of knowledge about San José and the Central Valley at one glance, that might be helpful in your decision-making process for investing in Costa Rica.

1) History and People

The Central Valley (Spanish: Valle Central) is a plateau and the geographic region of central Costa Rica.

The region is home to almost three-quarters of Costa Ricans and includes the capital and most populous city, San Jose.

Most visitors spend a very short time in the Central Valley (two days maximum) before moving on to the country’s more popular destinations.

The Spanish colonists were first attracted to the area’s fertile soil. Crops flourished and plantations prospered, helping farmers to achieve easy sustenance.

The inner land areas such as the Central Valley were colonialized later, during the 1560s.

In 1560, young attorney Juan de Cavallon was ordered by the administrator of Nicaragua to conquer this part of the country.

During the 17th century, the settlement of the whole Meseta Central began.

2) Weather and Climate

Temperatures vary between 15°C (59°F) and 30°C (86°F), mainly because of the area’s position with respect to the mountains, which can be a blessing in a country that can be very hot, especially during the summer months.

The altitude varies between 800 m and 1,500 m above sea level.

Just as in the rest of the country, with the exception of the Caribbean region, there are two clearly defined climate seasons, namely the wet season and the dry one.

The eastern part of the valley is influenced more by the Caribbean conditions, which are more volatile.

3) Economy

The Central Valley is the center of the commerce, industry, and service activities of Costa Rica.

The Juan Santamaria Airport in Alajuela and the port of Limon help these business activities.

Most retail stores can be found in the Central Valley.

The oldest and largest department stores are La Gloria, located mainly in Alajuela but with significant coverage in the whole Central Valley, and Llobet.

The largest coffee-growing areas can be found in the Central Valley (e.g. in the areas of San Jose, Alajuela, Heredia, and Cartago).

4) What to Do In the Central Valley

The Central Valley offers the most activities and nightlife options in Costa Rica.

I have listed a few of them below.


San Jose



5) Health Care

The best health care infrastructure is located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica. All the major hospitals and the majority of the private ones can be found here.

Health facilities in the Central Valley:

  • Hospital Calderon Guardia, San Jose (public)
  • Hospital San Juan de Dios, San Jose (public)
  • Hospital La Cima, Escazu (private)
  • Hospital Clinica Biblica, San Jose (private)
  • Clinica Catolica, San Jose (private)
  • Clinica de Estetica Bel – Viso, San Jośe (private)
  • Clinica Laser Visual, San Jose (privat)
  • Clinica San Angel – Dentistry, San Jose (private)
  • Hospital Clinica Santa Rita, San Jose (private)
  • Hospital Clinica UNIBE, San Jose Tibas (private)
  • Hospital Cristiano Jerusalem – San Jose, San Jose (private)
  • Hospital Mexico – San Jose, San Jose (public)
  • Hospital Nacional de Ninos – San Jose (public)
  • Hospital San Juan de Dios – San Jose (public)
  • Hospital Calderon Guardia – San Jose (public)
  • Hospital Nacional Psiquiatrico – San Jose (public)
  • Centro Nacional de Rehabilitacion – San Jose (public)
  • Hospital Geriatrico, Raul Blanco Cervantes – San Jose (public)
  • Hospital Max Peralta, Cartago (public)
  • Hospital William Allen, Turrialba, Cartago.(public)
  • Hospital de Alajuela, Alajuela (public)
  • Hospital de Heredia, Heredia (public)
  • Hospital de San Carlos, Alajuela (public)
  • Hospital Nacional de las Mujeres, San Jose (public)
  • Hospital de San Ramon, Alajuela (public)
  • Hospital San Francisco de Asis, Grecia, Alajuela (public)

6) Private Schools and Colleges

The highest density of private schools can be found in the Western area of San Jose (e.g. Escazu and Santa Ana).

Most of them are listed below:

As you can see from this information, you have several more options in the San José area and in the Central Valley than you do in the rural or beach areas.

However, the downside is that, unless you choose areas such as Grecia, Atenas, or Palmares, outside of the San José area, you will not necessarily live in a place with a lot of nature.

And paradisiac nature is usually the reason why people visit Costa Rica.