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3 week stay in san jose -- what neighborhoods are nice?

Boston...
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3 week stay in san jose -- what neighborhoods are nice?

My wife and I will be staying in San Jose for 3-4 weeks while she does some work there. What neighborhoods should we look for a short-term rental in? Which ones should we avoid? We're looking for a safe neighborhood within a 15 minute-or-so busride into the city center. Any advice would be really appreciated.

Boston...
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11. Re: 3 week stay in san jose -- what neighborhoods are nice?

Thanks a million, guys. Very helpful again. I´ll let you guys know where we end up. We´re enjoying a little vacation time in Punta Islita in Guanacaste for a few days, then are driving down to Montezuma, planning to roll into San Jose in late June. Thanks again for all of your advice.

Playa Hermosa...
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12. Re: 3 week stay in san jose -- what neighborhoods are nice?

I recommend Bello Horizonte, Trejos Montealegre, Monastere, and Los Laureles in Escazu. Rio Oro, Lindora, Valle del Sol, and Ciudad Colon in the Santa Ana Area. There are plenty of nice housing options in these areas with good nightlife, dinning, shopping, and services such as medical, dental, banking, and pharmaceutical. I would look for a place specifically in Valle del Sol since it even has an 18 hole golf course, great weather, 20 mins from the airport, and lots of shopping, restaurants, grocery stores, and nightlife around.

Avoid downtown San José, Tibás, Moravia, and San Pedro. A good choice on the east is Curridabat in a suburb called Pinares and Lomas de Ayarco. You are better off in the west as it is closer to the San Juan de Dios Hospital. I would rent your wife a car so she doesn´t have to ride the bus since the area around the hospital is not nice and could be dangerous at night. Comparable to walking in any major downtown area in the USA.

All in all I was born in Costa Rica 25 years ago and up to today I have never had any problems with crime, unlike my experience living in the USA for 5 years where I was robbed at gunpoint. and my car was stolen. All this in nice and safe San Antonio, Texas not Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta or Chicago.

Playa Hermosa...
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13. Re: 3 week stay in san jose -- what neighborhoods are nice?

Oh yeah...Calvin Ayrie the famous BODOG sporstbook owner and FORBES top 1000 most wealthy in the USA lives in Valle del Sol.

Tampa, FL
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for San Jose, Costa Rica
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14. Re: 3 week stay in san jose -- what neighborhoods are nice?

I don't want to be the contrarian, but what makes you think someone considering an apartment that goes for $375/mo and taking buses is going to want to spend the probably close to $1K or more that it would cost just for rental, gas, insurance and parking for a small car that's going to sit idle most of the day? Or pay the comparatively very high rents in a luxury community like Valle del Sol that I could only guess at (assuming they even do any SHORT-TERM FURNISHED rentals)? Calvin Ayrie may be able to afford that but not everyone else is so wealthy.

Also, since you know what it is like to have your car stolen (in the US) and what its like to drive in downtown SJ, how can you recommend renting a car for what you propose over taking a bus? Sure, taking the bus has its dangers, so take a cab. Unless you're commuting from someplace like Santa Ana even taking a cab twice a day would be cheaper than renting a car to leave parked all day long. And as long as you're talking about security issues is a car really all that much safer than a bus. What happens when she gets in an accident (which may or may not have been deliberate on the other persons part) or what happens to her car during the day when she's inside the hospital?

Your comments on safety in CR seem somewhat contradictory. At one point you say you've never been a victim and at another you say it is unsafe. Which is it? Personally, I've never been a victim on a bus in CR. Sure, things can and do happen. But there is an element of risk that one has to weight in whichever route they take and I personally don't think the rental car route is worth it when you add up all the other pros and cons for this particular scenario. YMMV.

And unless they have a car what makes you think someone looking for a commute within a 15 minute-or-so busride is going to want to come all the way out from Santa Ana or Ciudad Colon? It may be only 20 minutes from the airport as you say but when you're only spending 2 days traveling that route and the other 26 commuting into town I know which would matter more to me. Sure, that location would be great for MMM who'd be staying home during the day. I'm not so sure how good it would be for his wife that has to do the commute.

Finally, I'll grant you that Tibas is more iffy. I was waffling on that one myself. But I'm going to have to disagree with you on San Pedro. It may not be as swank as the more remote neighborhoods you mentioned or even not as "perfectly" safe late at night either, but I never had ANY problems there and found PLENTY of worthwhile places to see and go in that area. I'd say MMM found a nice place at Villa Lahksmi and barring any new info to the contrary maybe he should just go with his first instinct on that.

Tampa, FL
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15. Re: 3 week stay in san jose -- what neighborhoods are nice?

I've thought about it a little more and have a couple of small compromise suggestions. I still think renting your own car for all that time is a bad idea. However, if they'd prefer to live in a more upscale neighborhood than San Pedro such as Santa Ana or Ciudad Colon AND can find a ST rental AND its at a rent within their budget, they still might be able to deal with the commute if they contact the hospital ahead of time and see if there is co-worker from that area who she can hitch a ride from each day. That would be much safer than either taking a bus or driving herself.

I still think that San Pedro is plenty nice enough. However, catching a bus near the hospital and switching downtown does place her in the not-the-greatest neighborhoods in the early evening although the crowds would provide somewhat greater safety. An even safer approach would be to find a "wingperson" at work who travels in the same direction and commute with them by bus, shared cab or car if that co-worker has one.

Costa Rica
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16. Re: 3 week stay in san jose -- what neighborhoods are nice?

Enough has been said about Escazú, and definitively the best condo rental is Villas del Río, a little pricy but worth it...

http://www.villasdelrio.com/

Good luck!

Santa Cruz de Leon...
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17. Re: 3 week stay in san jose -- what neighborhoods are nice?

I would recommend Scotland Apartments, but be sure you get to see an apartments that is up to your standards. They have different types. I stayed there in May 2005, and the apartment I had was not very beautiful but I think they have others, more nice, available.

It is located in Barrio California which is an up and coming neighborhood.

Another "safe" neighborhood is either Rohrmosser or San Pedro. Both of these are close.

You might think outside the box and stay in a neighboring towns like Curridibat, Zapote, Heredia, Tibas or Moravia. These might give you a little higher quality of life, safety, less hubub and they are not far for San Jose commuters.

18. Re: 3 week stay in san jose -- what neighborhoods are nice?

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