We are leaving Tortuguero on 30 Aug and self driving back towards SJO. I’m not 100% sure how long the trip will be. We are flying out of SJO @ 17:30 the next day 31st. We will need to drop the rental car off next to the airport.
So I am looking for somewhere to stay for the night of the 30th that isn’t just a bland airport hotel. i.e. something that doesn’t leave these last 2 days feeling like we are just filling time.
I don’t think there is time for any real sightseeing. Do you have a suggestion of something to do and somewhere to stay that would be pleasant, relaxed, maybe scenic and not a massive drive from the airport? Something that makes the last night and morning have some purpose. I guess we need to stop somewhere east of Alajuela.
I’ve been struggling for inspiration so any suggestions are welcome 🙂
You can definitely do something fun with your last couple days near San Jose. If you want to focus on the Alajuela side of the city, we’d recommend staying a bit up in the hills. We really like Hotel Buena Vista, which has great views and feels secluded but is still only 15 or so minutes from the airport. They have some trails onsite and coffee growing but from there you could also easily visit Poas Volcano, the Los Chorros Waterfall, or go to Sarchi to see how the oxcarts are made/painted.
If you’d rather explore some of the museums and sights inside the city, we have a post about that too: How to spend 1 or 2 days in San Jose. In that post we recommend a couple hotels but we really enjoyed our stay at Hotel Aranjuez since it was a bit historic and in a quieter neighborhood.
Hope this helps give you some ideas, have a nice trip!