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San Jose    

A busy metropolis with a developing economy, San Jose is hectic but not without charm. Museums and parks, including the reforested airport La Sabana, offer respite from the hustle and bustle. Depending on how many suburbs you include, the city is home to 300,000 to 1 million Ticos, as Costa Ricans call themselves. Opportunities for fine dining and nightlife abound. The city stands in a fertile valley at an altitude of more than 3,000 ft. (1,200 meters), bordered to the southwest by the Cerros de Escazu and to the east by the dramatic Volcan Irazu, and to the north by the Volcan Barva. San Jose enjoys cool nights and pleasant days, and almost always has a breeze. The city was founded in 1723 and replaced nearby Cartago as the country's capital in 1823.

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