Barrio El Cerrito in San Jose [PHOTO]

San Jose Neighborhood Costa Rica

Typical Neighborhood in San Jose

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This is what a typical lower-class neighborhood looks like in Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose. I spent an hour wandering up Barrio El Cerrito’s steep streets practicing my Spanish by chatting with anyone I met. People were friendly, but somewhat guarded too. I don’t think they get many tourists here…

Matthew Karsten is the Expert Vagabond. Addicted to adventure travel and photography, he's on a mission to inspire your next journey with entertaining stories, beautiful images, and useful tips. Vagabonding around the world since 2010. Follow along! Email Updates | Facebook | Twitter |

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  • Kyle

    Funny how the same social class neighborhoods seem to look relatively similar in many Latin American countries!

    • Matthew Karsten

      They do. I saw this neighborhood while riding a city bus through it, and went back a few days later because it had so much character.

  • Ashley

    Love the colors in the photo! I know people are hard on San Jose, but I had a really great time there – We actually returned there a day early so we could spend more time exploring the city before we had to head home.

  • Kristina

    Striking photo. Thanks for sharing!!

  • The Curmudgeon

    That doesn’t look so bad. There’s no trash that I can see. No hypodermic needles, broken glass, Colt 45 beer cans. In 20 years it will be condos for retired Americans. Enjoy it while you can.

  • Andi of My Beautiful Adventures

    I wouldn’t mind living in the pink house!

    • Matthew Karsten

      It’s a very colorful neighborhood for sure. Would you give it a fresh coat of paint?

  • Pat

    Interesting barrio photo-they cetainly like colorful dwellings. Pat

  • jade

    Gorgeous colors! The blue is almost creepy!

  • Sergio Benach

    Is not Barrio Cordoba, is El Cerrito. Cordoba is near to El Cerrito.

    • Matthew Karsten

      Really? The guy I spoke with told me it was Cordoba.

    • Sergio Benach

      Yes, I live in barrio Cordoba . There are people who give wrong information in my country, you have no responsibility for it. If you remember seeing in google earth the location of photo will see it. Congratulations for sharing your interesting journey.

  • Phil

    Love your photos!! That blue really pops and I like the interesting perspective you chose.

  • Giselle Vella

    Thank you sharing, I use to live up the hill when I was a child with mt family. Brought back happy thoughts