The Complete Digital Nomad Guide To San Jose, Costa Rica

Sunsets & Digital Nomading In Costa Rica

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

  • 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.

Wifi Speed Tests

Type / DeviceNameUploadDownloadLatency
CafeCabra Negra69.224.6333
HotelHostel Finca23.921.3718
HotspotGoogle Fi17.811.05213
CafeEntre Nous15.122.7323
CafeStarbucks – Central Ave & Calle 359.393.9910

Where I Stayed

Hostel Finca Escalante

Digital Nomad Hostel / Hotel San Jose Costa Rica
Sunset shot of the front – Photo Credit – Trip Advisor
  • OVERALL4/5
  • 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
Hanging out at a cafe In San Jose, Costa Rica
My buddies Scott & Varun, Varun is probably the best Spanish speaking Brit I know

My Favorite Places To Work From

Digital Nomad Cafe - San Jose Costa Rica

Cabra Negra

  • OVERALL4/5 – 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.

I totally spaced taking any photos of these 🤦‍♀️
Photo Credit : Soda Visquez on TripAdvisor

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.

Want to stay fit & eat healthy while traveling? Check out my guide to diet fitness while traveling here!

What I Drank / Nightlife

Lots of cool, low key spots all around Escalante
Photo credit: Trip Advisor
  • 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

Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo
Los Tres Ojos – Picture Credit :

Want to stay fit & eat healthy while traveling? Check out my guide to diet fitness while traveling here!


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.

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