Lonely Planet Experiences: San Jose Tapas and Escazu Tour

4.4 / 5

31 Reviews

Lonely Planet Experiences: San Jose Tapas and Escazu Tour

From US$ 65 per person

Discover some of San Jose's freshest food on a walking tour with food tastings. Visit Escazu to explore one of Costa Rica's oldest settlements. Enjoy a tapas lunch at an old inn. Feast on authentic local cuisine and visit a masquerade mask maker's home.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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COVID-19 precautions
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Duration 4 hours
Starting time 11:30 AM
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Live tour guide


  • Discover a tale of two cities, exploring the real Costa Rica in San Jose and Escazu, the “City of Witches"
  • Walk the spiritual route of churches and learn the rich local history of Catholicism
  • Experience the lively atmosphere of the Central Market, and ride like a local about public transport
  • Visit a legendary masquerade family, renowned for their traditional Costa Rican masks
  • Feast on authentic local cuisine in a 100-year-old restaurant
  • Enjoy a sample of traditional chicha as well as a coffee tasting
Full description
Experience the best travel stories for yourself! Join a local expert and uncover hidden gems on this Lonely Planet Experience. Setting off from the beautiful National Theatre building, you'll pass the many of the local historical buildings such as the Cathedral and Le Merced along what is known as 'Route of the Churces'. See graffiti that gives you a taste of the city's contemporary life. Go to Central Market to discover the typical food of Costa Rica. The century-old market is the perfect place to learn about local traditions such as herbal medicines. Grab a cup of freshly roasted coffee. Visit small shops and artisan stalls and experience the energy of the market.  Then, board transportation and make your way to Escazu - known as the "City of the Witches" - to discover one of Costa Rica's oldest settlements. On the way you'll see La Sabana Metropolitan Park. This used to be San Jose International Airport, where John F. Kennedy paid a visit in 1963. Next, experience the authentic cuisine of Costa Rica at an 80-year-old inn known for its traditional fare. Choose from a menu of over 20 different tapas at lunch. Continue your culinary adventure after lunch and taste some chicha (a traditional drink) before experiencing one of the coolest local traditions at a Costa Rican masks and masquerade show. Visit the home of a legendary local master, where 3 generations of the same family have made some of the country’s most beautiful masks for celebrations and special holidays.
  • Local, English-speaking guide
  • Local transportation
  • Masquerade show
  • Traditional Costa Rican tapas
  • Chicha drink
  • A cup of organic coffee
  • Transportation to and from the meeting point
  • Food and drink (other than specified above)
  • Souvenirs and items of a personal nature
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tips for the guide
COVID-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • Customers must keep distance in vehicles
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • Customers are required to bring and wear masks

Select participants and date



Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Main entrance of the National Theatre (Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica), at 2nd Avenue and 3rd Street, San José.

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Important information

Know before you go

  • Please note that the temperature drops in the late afternoon, so please bring a light jacket and/or long sleeved shirt
  • Please wear comfortable, casual clothing for walking, a hat and sunscreen
  •  Maximum group size is 12 people
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 31 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
    4.5 / 5
  • Value for money
    4 / 5
  • Service
    4.9 / 5
  • Organization
    4.7 / 5
Sort by

Great day , good variety of interesting places .

I was so lucky to have Gladys as my guide , In fact could hardly believe my luck . I was the only person booked on the tour , I’m an avid Birder on the last days of a mammoth Birding trip , Gladys is a biology student who’s also very interested in birds , naturally where ever you go there are birds , starting at our meeting point the National Theatre , after explaining the history of the theatre and the story behind the marble sculptures Gladys identifies the Parrakeets in The trees outside . And so it went on , such an informative tour , into a local bus up into the hills for a traditional Costa Rican lunch and a visit to the happy mask maker . A great day . Highly recommend this tour .

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June 30, 2019

Super fun last minute decision

Our Poas Volcano tour was cancelled due to volcanic activity, so we spur of the moment booked this walking tour. Our guide was Vinicio and we really enjoyed him. We learned so much about San Jose that we never would have known. We are actually glad we decided to stay in the city. It was only the three of us and it felt very authentic and personalized. Highly recommend!

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April 18, 2017

Outstanding introduction to San Jose

Day one of my first visit to Costa Rica, I had the most wonderful tour of San Jose with lovely Marion of Urban Adventures Americas. This tour company wants their clients to learn some history, hear some folk lore, experience their heritage and culture, and taste authentic Costa Rican foods in a small group tour. I had the pleasure of experiencing all this with Marion who is a wealth of information and an interesting, lovely young woman. I so enjoyed the history as we walked and talked. We took a city bus to Escazu for a delicious lunch and Urban Adventures was so accommodating transporting us to other stops (big thanks to Eric). The highlife of this day for me was visiting the man who makes the Masquerade Masks....what a treat to have him share his craft and we had such a fun show via his grandchildren! This was a wonderful, varied tour and I'm happy to say I easily found my way to the Museums, Cathedral, and Mercado thanks to Marion! Book this.... you will not be disappointed.

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January 26, 2017

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Product ID: 48685