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A Local's Guide to San Jose, Costa Rica

Describe who you are in 3 sentences
My name is Valeria, you can find me moving and juggling between creative and challenging projects. Since I was a child I have had a soft spot for all types of arts. I am motivated by the human behavior towards design and trends, reason why I am currently working to expose 30 different artists & brand creators through my Concept Store, Tiempo Real, and its national and international Pop-Ups.

What is your relation to this city?
I was born and raised in Costa Rica. Have been living back in SJO since 2018 after my masters. And since 1992 visiting weekly our lovely beaches.

Best experience?
Watching the sunrise at any of our Beaches is a Magical Experience. Pro tip - if you are in Puerto Viejo you can actually see the sun rise.

Weirdest experience?
Sharing the streets with cars, cows and horses.

Your top 3 hangout spots?
- Tiempo Real, Santa Ana. We always have good music and good laughs
- Nosara. Buy yourself an acai, a fresh coconut and enjoy the sand.
- Santa Teresa. I am obssesed with drinking a wasabi Margarita at Katana.

Favourite restaurants?
- Brunch: Franco and Filippos
- Lunch: La Misticanza and Raw
- Dinner: Jaguar Negro and Isolina

Best date place?
I love TAPAS esxperience, great spanish food and live music is always a good idea

Best Sunday spot?
I am always trying to escape to Barrio Escalante on a Sunday, it is a cool fieldtrip idea, great coffee spots, shops, and restaurantes. Since in most places in Costa Rica you need a car for transportation. Barrio Escalante is a fresh air, since you are able to walk from place to place.

If you were to live in another place, where would that be and why?
Spain used to be my first answer to this question. But nowadays I'm very much into Mexico City.

Where is your escape place from this city?
My fastest and most calm escape would be to Faro Escondido. A secret and hidden beach. Always feel like home there, no matter the time of the year is my personal retreat.

Best 5 local advices?
1) Eat from every local and authentic spot you see in the mountains or the beachs. Its all made with love and fresh food.
2) You need a 4 wheel drive. Invest in one! And enjoy the off road.
3) Don't miss the carribbean (Puerto Viejo) in may or october! Visit Aguas Claras.
4) Visit every beach you can! And always protect your skin! The sun here is tricky!
5) Search for local hikes at every beach or place you visit! and enjoy true nature!

What’s your favorite This Way travel product?
The after sun gel. I am used to getting a shower after a long beach day. And this way, after sun gel is the best way to pamper myself.
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