Traveling with your four-footed companion is not always an easy task, and cities usually prove more difficult than out of the way locations. The warmth that Ticos have towards canine companions, however, helps make San José one of the most dog friendly cities in Latin America.
Although the actual dog parks leave something to be desired, there are many parks and sports fields where your dog can run, as well as cafés and restaurants that are happy to host your well behaved dog along with you.
The Feria Verde was easily our top pick for dog friendly places in San Jose. From 7AM - 12:30PM every Saturday, a whole punch of people who like kids, dogs, natural products, healthy food and good music get together to hang out and enjoy these things. You can walk around with your dog and explore the for stalls - where you both can get free samples. Afterwards, sit down to have a coffee or lunch, then take fido for jog around the track or into the football field to run around and play with the other dogs. The Feria Verde is a Saturday morning must for all downtown dog owners.
Barrio Aranjuez - Street 19 and Av 15
More info: 8884-1694; feriaverde.org
Best Dog Parks
Parque La Sabana is the biggest park in San José, meaning it easily has the most space for your dog to run. What's lacking is closed off areas, so La Sabana is best for dogs who are well behaved off leash. However, it's still a great option for going on runs or walks with your furry companion.
Smack in downtown is a lovely green space where many local dog owners come to walk their pups. Although it is not an official off leash area, you’ll see more than a few off leash dogs, especially in the morning when the park is relatively quiet.
The field where the Feria Verde is held on Saturdays is the easy winner for best dog friendly run downtown. The football (soccer) field is fenced in, so many dog owners take their dogs here to play off the leash. It is the only real fenced off field that we found anywhere near the downtown area. The football field is also encircled by an asphalted track, making it perfect for owner+dog runs.
San Pedro Dog Park
I have to include the dog park because someone will inevitably google "Dog Park San José." They will see this park, and they will get excited. If your dog is small and likes running dog agility courses, stay excited! If your dog is big and would rather run around and play with other dogs who are not small, then perhaps skip this one. The park itself is pretty small (not ideal for long legged dogs to run), and unfortunately most of the (little) dog owners that frequent here were not keen on their pups playing with our very big dog.
Have you ever wanted more from your guidebook?
Less hotel/restaurant info and instead better maps, more detailed directions that can truly take you off the beaten path to unique adventures??? Us too!
We are really excited about this 4th guidebook released by award-winning James Kaiser, his first on Costa Rica. Kaiser spent the last five years living in and exploring Costa Rica. Fortunately he found us along the way and found our city walking tours worthy enough to mention in his San Jose chapter!
We saw the book in person this past weekend and it's the best Costa Rican guide we've seen, sincerely. We'll be buying it on Amazon here for only $14, it's a ridiculously good price for the content in the book. We also recommend it for those that have lived here for some time, there are many new adventures waiting for you to discover.
To see more proof of how stellar Jame's research is, check out his recent Huffington Post guest piece, 16 'Secret' Costa Rican Beaches.
By Stacey Auch.
Stacey is the founder of Barrio Bird Walking Tours and an original advocate of San Jose's revitalization. She has opened 4 businesses all with a focus on sharing San Jose secrets and tips with locals and visitors.
You'll want to subscribe to this blog above if you want to enjoy the best of San Jose, and you'll definitely want to book a walking tour!
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