San José city, located in the Central Valley with an area of 170 km² and a population of approximately 1, 500,000 inhabitants, including the floating population, and recognized as the center of the metropolitan area of Costa Rica, was named capital of Costa Rica since 1823.
San Jose was founded in 1737 and became the capital a century later. It was through coffee trade that San Jose achieved an excellent economic development to the mid-nineteenth century, as well as it helped to enter into new cultural trends and Europe customs.
At the same time, San Jose had a technological breakthrough in comparison to other provinces because it was the first to introduce electric lighting and public telephone service.
San Jose offers, like many other parts of the republic, sites of historical interest, which speak of the gradual, peaceful and democratic path that the Costa Rican people had been to, and indicate the national will to reach higher levels, starting with the best the world offers for each era.
Hence we find in the capital variety of architectural styles, ranging from colonial style to daring modern designs.
Residential areas have proliferated throughout the metropolitan area and its urban designs, as well as infrastructures and communications services, make many of them small towns in the capital.
San Jose, like most other provinces, is divided into streets and avenues crossed perpendicularly. Although almost none has a name, all have numbers. Starting from the 0 or Central Street, odd street numbers progressing towards the east and pairs to the west. Similarly, the avenues are from 0 or Central Avenue, and hence the pairs move to the south, and the odd to the north.