San José is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica. Located in the Central Valley, the city is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of this Central American nation.
Founded in 1738 by order of Cabildo de León, San José is one of the youngest capital cities in Latin America by year of conception, though it was not named capital until 1823. Today it is a modern city with bustling commerce, brisk expressions of art and architecture, and spurred by the country’s improved tourism industry, it is a significant destination and stopover for foreign visitors. The population of San José Canton is 365,799. There is a quiet but thriving gay community here with several hotels, bars and clubs.