A sunset from Dominical a couple hours from San Jose
Table Of Contents
Disclaimer – This is largely a review of Barrio Escalante, as that’s mostly where I stayed while in San Jose.
- The 5 Quick Scores – An Overview Of The City
- Where I Stayed
- My Favorite Place To Work From
- What I Ate
- What I Drank / Nightlife
- Exercise / Outdoors
- Other Spots In Costa Rica I Would Recommend
The 5 Quick Scores
- Internet Speed – 3.5/5
- Avg. Download Speed = 18.6 MBPS
- Avg. Upload Speed = 4.1 MBPS
- Avg. Latency = 47 MS*
- Ease Of Connecting & Making Friends – 4.5/5
- There are plenty of other travelers around, and Costa Rican people are really easy to make friends with.
- Nightlife – 3.5/5
- Personally I liked this style of nightlife in Barrio Escalante, it was a bit more laid back not the loud, packed cluby vibe more of the wine bars & craft beer spots.
- Places To Work From – 3.5/5
- There are a decent amount of places to work from here, however many spots seemed to have weird hours, or closed super early More details on this below.
- Affordability – 2/5
- This spot is expensive, you can get hotels pretty cheap, but otherwise eating out and such is gonna cost you a bit, especially if you like drinking European wine.
Where I Stayed
- OVERALL – 4/5
- Affordability – 4/5 – Affordable, at the time of writing this, it’s ~$10 for a shared dorm room & ~$35 for a private room
- Wifi – 3.5/5 – The wifi near the lobby wasn’t too bad, I was able to have multiple video calls but needed to connect my ethernet cord to do so.
- Avg. Download Speed = 19.33 MBPS
- Avg. Upload Speed = 21.42 MBPS
- Avg. Latency = 23 MS
- Sense Of Community – 5/5 – The staff is super cool and there are a lot of other single / nomadic folks here that are easy to connect with, they have a bad ass area in the back where I actually shot one of my digital nomad interviews at.
- Location – 5/5 – Right in the heart of Barrio Escalante
- Cleanliness – 4/5 – Overall pretty damn clean
My Favorite Places To Work From
- OVERALL – 4/5 – Killer spot, and they had plenty of space and were totally cool with me working there for what ended up being about a 6 hour stretch haha.
- Wifi – 4/5 – This was the fastest wifi I got at any cafe in Dominican Republic
- Download Speed = 22.7 MBPS
- Upload Speed = 10.2 MBPS
- Avg. Latency = 58 MS
- Service & Friendliness – 5/5 – The staff was super attentive and friendly. They were also totally cool with me camping out and working from there. The owners were very nice too, and super well travelled.
- Location / Ambiance – 4.5/5 – The ambiance is killer, I do have to say the location isn’t as prime as Cafe Conde. But as I mentioned, I’m partial to colonial plazas, so take that into consideration haha.
- Getting There & Leaving
- Getting Around
- UBER – Although you may find that it takes you 3 or 4 drivers to actually get a ride, the drivers will regularly accept your ride, then cancel it.
- DiDi – Cheaper than UBER, but same problem as above
What I Ate
Not So Healthy Food – I loved the Dulce De Leche, not too tough to find at markets.
Casado Pescado – this is a traditional Costa Rican dish, with fish, beans, rice, salad and some fried plantains. Definitely my favorite Costa Rican food. If you’re in Dominical check out Su Raza.
What I Drank / Nightlife
- If you’re looking for nice, European wine, Restaurant Isolina is quite good. It’s pretty damn pricey though.
- I didn’t do a crazy amount of partying in Barrio Escalante, not going to lie to you so instead of Googling some place that looks cheap and fun I’ll just be honest. I don’t have any recommendations for cheap nightlife
- For drinks, Imperial is the beer everyone drinks. I did come across a couple of Costa Rican rums but even the more expensive ones were a far cry from the rums of Dominican Republic. Check out my guide to Santo Domingo, Dominincan Republic.
Exercise / Outdoors
There’s a lot of good mountain biking near San Jose, here’s a map of some trails nearby from AllTrails (my favorite app for hiking). Here’s a spot you can with some cool trails where you can even rent a bike.
I also drive through Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo, which was a super beautiful spot that I haven’t heard anyone talk about before though for some reason.
Other Spots I Recommend
Dominical – A cool, laidback surf town on the Pacific coast
Manuel Antonio – Another cool spot on the Pacific coast, it’s a little busier and has more resorts and such not quite as chill as Dominical, but still bad ass.
Monteverde – A really cool spot far up in the mountains, it’s quite cold and constantly in the clouds, but a great spot!
La Fortuna – Great hiking, Arenal Volcano, and a kickass hostel that I wish I would’ve stayed at longer, Poshpacker.
Santa Teresa – Unfortunately I was only there for a bit over 2 weeks so I wasn’t able to check this place out, but it’s definitely on my list for next time it looks awesome and I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about it from other digital nomads.