Every Wednesday just a few blocks down the road at the Mall of San Pedro the theater offers brand new movies for only 1000 Colones ($2). Most weeks, especially when blockbusters come out, we grab whoever wants to see a movie on the cheap and take the five minute walk down to the mall. Not only are the movie prices a fraction of what you would pay in the U.S or Europe but the snacks are also pretty affordable. They also have a 3D movie option for only 3000 Colones ($6). We will even wait in the ticket line for you! So whether you want to have a nice quiet night or use the movie as a launching pad for the many bars nearby we hope you will join us for a night out at the theatre.
Roc Out At The Rink
Want to do something a little out of the ordinary during your stopover to the beach? Take a step back to the 1970s and visit Central America’s only indoor roller skating rink just a few hundred meters from Castle Tam Hostel. Almost every Tuesday and Thursday night one of our long term guests, a retired expat known simply as “Roc,” will take you out for an unforgettable night that you cannot get anywhere else in Costa Rica. Not too savvy with skates? They have roller blades for rent as well. First time on skates? No problem, Roc is more than willing to give you a one-on-one lesson. So for only 2000 Colones ($4), join Roc for a night of nostalgia on wheels.
Sunday Stroll to the Market
Whether you're in San Jose for a while or just want to take some fresh food to the beach the Sunday Market is the place to go. Come with us Sunday morning for a leisurely stroll to the market and indulge in the many fruits, vegetables and meats sold by local growers. While the prices are already lower than what you will find at the supermarket you can also negotiate for an even better deal. Most of the sellers will also let you sample the product before you buy. Don't need any food? There is also an assortment of fresh squeezed juices for very cheap. While we may walk to the market, you will probably need to take a taxi back to the hostel because you bought so much! Whether you grab an apple for the day or buy a week’s worth of food the experience is definitely worth the trip.
The beach is not the only place in Costa Rica where you can spend a day basking in the sun. On the western side of downtown is San Jose’s largest park, Parque Sabana, and is the premier place to lounge around or enjoy one of the many activities the park has to offer. If you are feeling guilty about those extra pounds/kilos you have picked up while backpacking then bring your running shoes and do a few laps on the track. If running sounds a little too intense then try a game of ultimate Frisbee with the other hostel patrons. Or, if you are really feeling lucky, challenge the locals to a game of football (soccer for you American types) on one of the park’s many fields. If sports are not what you are looking for then have a picnic, play a game of cards on one of the many tables or take a trip around the lake on the cheap in the paddle boats for hire. Parque Sabana is also home to the Estadio Nacional. The stadium, which houses Costa Rica’s national football team, hosted Argentina and Brazil during its first year of operation and has featured musical talent such as Shakira, the Jonas Brother and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. After a few hours of enjoying the outdoors we head back to San Pedro on San Jose’s very own commuter train which lets off at the University, only blocks from the hostel.
Downtown Walking Tour
Let’s be honest, most people do not come to Costa Rica to spend their days in San Jose. They come here to zip line through the Cloud Forest, to get pampered at the hot springs in the shadow of a volcano or to simply relax at one of the country’s many beach. San Jose is often considered a starting and ending point of the journey, a hub between the Pacific and Caribbean Coasts, a noisy crowded necessary evil that should be avoided if at all possible. While San Jose could hardly be considered the Jewel of Costa Rica, it is not as bad as the guidebooks make it out to be. Costa Rica’s capital city is full of beautiful parks, exquisite monuments and is a hidden treasure for those who wish to hunt for it. Whether you are in the city to take in the sights or are just waiting for the 6:00am bus to Puerto Viejo, since you are here anyways, take a walk with us around town and hopefully you will come to realize that San Jose is more than just meets the eye.