How to Get to La Sabana Park San Jose, Costa Rica
How to Get to La Sabana Park San Jose, Costa Rica

How to Get to La Sabana Park San Jose, Costa Rica

La Sabana Park San Jose (Parque de La Sabana) is a green gem within a built-up metropolis. It’s a calm escape from the city’s noisy streets and concrete blocks, and is close to several other attractions.

I stayed in a hostel around the corner from La Sabana and spent a good amount of time checking out the park and its surroundings. Read on to learn how to get to Parque La Sabana and what you can do there.

How do you get to La Sabana Park?

You can easily get to La Sabana from San Jose International Airport or from San Jose city centre. If taking a bus, then the only thing is not to rely on Google Maps as it does not give accurate bus routes in San Jose. Use my guidance to get to the park as currently Google Maps will send you on a long and unnecessary route. 

From San Jose International Airport

When you exit Juan Santamaria International Airport, head left and up to the main road. At the main road, immediately head right and you’ll see bus stops along the wall.

A red bud alongside a bus stop on a main road.

The bus to La Sabana Park leaves from one of the first bus stops. It is a red bus and it will be for San Jose. The journey costs 750 CRC ($1.5 US) and takes roughly 25 minutes to cover the 15 km. You need to get off at Crowne Plaza bus stop. The Crowne Plaza is a tall hotel just down the hill from the park.

A large grey building. A sign on the building says 'Crown Plaza".

Walk up the hill from Crowne Plaza to the junction. On the other side of the main road, you will see a green space with trees. This is the northern edge of La Sabana Park San Jose.

From downtown San Jose

In my opinion, the easiest way to get to La Sabana Park from downtown San José is to walk. The grid layout of the city means that you usually only have to walk along a couple of straight roads to reach the park.

From the central market, for example, you only need to join the Carretera Interamericana (the main road leading in/out of the city centre). This road will take you all the way to the park and the walk takes around 25 minutes.

You can also catch a bus from Carratera Interamerica. There are bus stops all along the road. The bus ride should take no more than 15 minutes from the city centre.

What is there to do in La Sabana Park?

La Sabana park is the largest green space in the capital of Costa Rica and there are plenty of activities to do there.                                

Walk

If you’re looking for a beautiful place to stretch your legs or get familiar with the area, then go for a stroll in La Sabana Park San Jose. This was the first thing I did after arriving in the city and it helped me to orientate myself. The park is the perfect place to go for a run too as there are running trails marked throughout.

A man walking in a park.

See the national stadium

The national stadium is the home of Costa Rican football and houses over 35,000 seats. The park encapsulates the stadium and you can walk around the outside of the building to admire its architecture.

You can buy tickets to watch the national team online through SpecialTicket. There are also authorised sales outlets, such as the Hard Rock Cafe, Grupo Mutual branches, AM/PM and Supermarkets.

Play football on the sports fields

You’ll find plenty of football pitches in La Sabana. On the weekends the park is full with locals and you can usually watch a serious game or 2. You might even be able to join in and have a kick about with less serious players if you don’t mind asking.

Footballers wearing red kit try to score a goal past a diving goalkeeper.

There is also a rollerblading track and an inline hockey rink in the park. Given the climate, hockey is the last sport you’d expect to see played in Costa Rica! It’s a tell-tale sign of the big influence the US has here.

People playing roller hockey in a park.

Play tennis

La Sabana is a sporting hub within San Jose. Along with the hockey rink and football pitches, there are tennis courts in the south-eastern corner of the park and you can reserve one on the Federacion Costarricense de Tenis website.

Watch wildlife

La Sabana isn’t exactly a haven for wildlife, but you can see a host of typical park critters including brave squirrels and songful birds. You’ll be surprised by how loud some of these can squawk.

Museum of Costa Rican Art

The Museum of Costa Rican Art (Museo de Arte Costarricense) sits on the eastern edge of the park. The art museum is a great place to learn about Costa Rica’s artistic local culture.

It’s open every day from 9:00 – 16:00 except Mondays and public holidays. At the moment, the museum is free of charge. Check the website before you visit though as this can change.

The building itself is nice to look at so take a second to admire it before entering.

A white building with a tower. The architecture in Spanish colonial.

Eat a picnic

La Sabana Park San Jose is a nice place to have a bite to eat. The locals know this all too well and on the weekends the air is filled with the smell of BBQ.

You might not have a BBQ, but you can still eat there. Soda Tapia (a cheapish restaurant) is on the opposite side of the road from the eastern edge of the park. I recommend grabbing yourself a meal to go (para llevar) from Soda Tapia and taking it to the park to enjoy.

Watch the sunset from the Hilton

There are condo towers dotted around the perimeter of La Sabana, which no doubt have the best views of the park. But you don’t need to sneak into one of these towers to enjoy the same views.

The Hilton hotel has a terrace bar which you can visit. The terrace is a nice spot to watch the sunset over the park and is where I took these next pictures from.

What makes things even better is that if you don’t stay too long you don’t have to buy anything at the bar. Just avoid sitting down at a table otherwise a waiter will come to take your order.

When should you go to La Sabana Park San Jose?

If you want to meet locals and experience a busy atmosphere at the park, then go on a weekend. But if you want a quiet escape from the city, then go during the week. Sunny days are usually the best, but tropical grey skies can create some interesting, moody scenes.

Is La Sabana Park San Jose safe at night?

The park is generally a safe area. However, it’s better to be cautious and avoid it at night if you’re alone. You just don’t know who might be lurking.

Where to stay near La Sabana Park San Jose

Gaudy’s Hostel

I recommend Hostel Gaudy’s. It’s a comfortable and affordable hostel with shared dorms and private rooms. The family running the place are friendly and breakfast is included in the price.

A sign on the side of a pink building reads 'Hotel Gaudy's".

Nativus Art Hostel

Next door to Hotel Gaudy’s is Nativus Art Hostel. This is a more chic hostel which is reflected in the higher price. Breakfast can be included here and the hostel has strong reviews on Booking.com

A small hotel with coloured lights turned on.

More travel advice on A World Over

Enjoy your visit to la Sabana Park San Jose. I highly recommend staying in this area and using it as a base for your time in the Costa Rican capital.

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