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How to become a travel agent in San Jose

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With the right foundation and a passion for travel, you can turn your love of travel into a rewarding career as a travel agent in San Jose. The key is finding a supportive host agency, like Vincent Vacations, that provides the training, tools, and resources you need to build a successful leisure travel business.

In most cases, an independent travel agent in San Jose will work with a host agency. A host agency provides resources to San Jose travel agents, including access to booking systems & partner programs, marketing support and training. A host agency also provides agents with an IATA number, allowing them to earn commission on the travel they book. Some host agencies like Vincent Vacations, offer comprehensive training programs and ongoing support.

Join our award winning travel agency in San Jose, where we provide the tools, training, and support you need to succeed. Our team of expert travel agents is dedicated to creating unforgettable travel experiences for our clients, and we are looking for motivated individuals to join us. Whether you are an experienced travel professional or new to the industry, we welcome you to explore the exciting opportunities we offer.

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Why Join Our Travel Agency?

Comprehensive Training and Support

At our San Jose, based travel agency, we believe in empowering our travel agents with the knowledge and skills needed to excel. We provide comprehensive training programs that cover everything from industry basics to advanced booking systems and marketing strategies. Our ongoing support ensures you are never alone in your journey to success.

Access to Exclusive Deals and Resources

As part of our team, you'll have access to exclusive deals, industry resources, and cutting-edge technology. Our strong relationships with top travel suppliers mean you can offer your clients the best rates and packages available. Plus, our robust booking platform simplifies the process, allowing you to focus on what you do best – creating memorable travel experiences.

Flexible Work Environment

We understand the importance of work-life balance, which is why we offer flexible working arrangements. Whether you prefer to work from our San Jose office or remotely, we provide the tools and support to help you succeed. Our collaborative and inclusive work culture ensures you feel valued and motivated every day.

Local Expertise and Community Connections

Being based in San Jose, gives us a unique advantage in understanding the local market. We pride ourselves on our deep connections within the community and our ability to provide personalized service to our clients. As a local travel agent, you’ll have the opportunity to leverage your knowledge of the San Jose area to build a loyal client base and make a meaningful impact.

How to Get Started as a Travel Agent in San Jose

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Submit your application through our online portal. We are looking for individuals who are passionate, driven, and excited about the travel industry. Be sure to highlight your relevant experience and any unique skills that set you apart.

Join Our Team

Once your application is reviewed, we will invite you for an interview. Successful candidates will join our dynamic team of travel professionals and embark on a rewarding career path with endless possibilities.

Don’t miss the chance to join a leading travel agency in San Jose, where your passion for travel can transform into a successful career. Our supportive environment, extensive resources, and local expertise make us the perfect choice for aspiring travel agents. Apply today and start your journey with us!

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Become a Travel Agent in San Jose

San Jose, Costa Rica is often used as a stepping stone to other cities in Costa Rica. But the capital city is actually a very worthwhile destination, not just one to pass through

Categories: Central America > Costa Rica

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San Jose

San Jose, Costa Rica, is the country's social, political and commercial center, and it's more cosmopolitan and prosperous than many other cities in Central America. San Jose is a pleasant place to visit, although it has comparatively few colonial structures, and most travelers use it as a stepping stone to somewhere else in the country. Volcanoes and mountains ring the city's barrios and suburbs; cloud forests, beaches, raging rivers and rain forests lie within a few hours' drive.

San Jose has its own attractions worth exploring, however, and these are on the increase. The capital has entered a revitalization period—condos are going up to attract urban dwellers, cultural events are thriving, and older areas have revived thanks to the boom in tourism. Because of a traditional lack of urban planning, San Jose's architecture is a mishmash of historic structures, glass high-rises and run-down buildings. In many ways, this is part of its charm. However, the city's streets are plagued by congestion and pollution in a country renowned for its environmental prowess, though this is thankfully beginning to change.

Amid it all, the city is blessed with high-quality restaurants, excellent art galleries, museums and boutique-hotels. San Jose's delightful springlike climate is never too hot and never too cold because of the city's location in the Central Valley. The Ticos, as locals are known, provide excellent hospitality, and San Jose, often referred to locally as chepe, is the ideal starting point.

Must See or Do

Sights—The European-style Teatro Nacional; the elevated square in Parque Central; the variety of goods and lively activity at the Mercado Calle Nacional; the Estadio Nacional in Parque la Sabana.

Museums—Exhibits of pre-Hispanic cultures and colonial artifacts, and exhibits on 19th- and 20th-century history and culture at the Museo Nacional; pre-Columbian gold sculpture, jewelry and other artifacts at the Museo de Oro Precolumbino; pre-Columbian jade figurines and jewelry at the Museo del Jade; contemporary art at the Museo de Arte Costarricense.

Memorable Meals—A romantic dinner at Restaurante Grano de Oro; the sample platter at Lubnan; parilla at La Esquina de Buenos Aires; delicious ceviche and Peruvian seafood at Machu Picchu.

Late Night—Live bands and a hip crowd at El Cuartel de la Boca del Monte; live jazz at the Jazz Cafe in San Pedro or Escazu; DJs and live house music at Club Vertigo.

Walks—Exploring the galleries, cafes and stately mansions of barrios Amon and Otoya; strolling the pedestrian precincts along Avenida Central and Avenida 4; walking leafy Parque Nacional; a walking tour of downtown San Jose.

Especially for Kids—The hands-on science exhibits at Museo de los Ninos; a day trip to La Paz Waterfall Gardens with its aviary, butterfly farm, hummingbird garden and jungle cats exhibits.


Sitting in the middle of the fertile Valle Central (Central Valley), with volcanoes to the north and a rugged tectonic mountain chain to the south, San Jose has grown awkwardly into a metropolitan area of nearly 2 million residents. Its jumble of potholed streets confounds visitors.

Many main roads eventually lead to the intersection of Avenida Central and Calle Central in the heart of downtown. Several of Costa Rica's most famous landmarks lie within a few blocks of this intersection and are clustered around a series of plazas and parks. The congested downtown should be seen on foot, or by one of the many red taxis.

Finding your destination in San Jose can be particularly difficult, as there are almost no street signs, and street numbers are even rarer. Addresses are referred to by the nearest street junction (for example, Avenida 2 between Calle 3 and Calle 5, expressed in shorthand as A2, C3/5). And to make things even more confusing, residents usually give directions by referring to distances and compass directions from common landmarks (some of which no longer exist). Many Ticos don't even know the name or number of the street they live on.

Several upscale neighborhoods circle the center of downtown. Affluent Escazu and Santa Ana are perched on a hillside and are popular areas for retired expats. The 19th-century barrios Amon and Otoya to the north are both gentrified, and several turn-of-the-20th-century mansions have been converted into hotels and restaurants. San Pedro to the east is home to the University of Costa Rica, along with trendy cafes and nightspots. The western edge of downtown, the La Sabana district, surrounds the largest metropolitan park and extends west to Rohrmoser, home to foreign embassies.

The international airport is in Alajuela, a separate town about 12 mi/19 km west of San Jose. Between the two, the area of Ciudad Colon has several modern hotels that cater to leisure, business and convention travelers. Many hotels, ranging from luxury to budget, are in this area.


When Spanish conquistadors arrived in Costa Rica in the early 16th century, there were some 400,000 indigenous people inhabiting the region. Their cultures were not as sophisticated as those of the ancient Maya and Aztecs to the north, but they had developed agriculture, metallurgy, animistic religious beliefs and a hierarchical system of government.

By 1564, when the Spanish established their colonial capital at Cartago, near present-day San Jose, there were only about 120,000 indigenous people left in Costa Rica. This population decline was a result of diseases and forced labor inflicted by the Spanish. By 1611, that number had shrunk to 10,000.

Attracted by the Central Valley's rich soil and temperate climate, Spanish settlers founded San Jose in 1737. By the time the competing city factions that fought for Costa Rica's independence designated the city as the capital in 1823, the coffee industry was prospering and bringing wealth to what had been a dusty little town. San Jose became the commercial center for the booming coffee-export business in the mid-1800s, and coffee barons built handsome mansions featuring European designs and furnishings.

The city's cultural elite also funded construction of the neoclassic Teatro Nacional, which opened in 1897 as an opera house. Early-20th-century San Jose was a cosmopolitan city and one of the first electrified cities in the world, with electric trolleys ferrying office workers and residents to well-ordered neighborhoods.

A short civil war in 1948 tore the city apart (bullet holes from the battles are visible in the walls of the Museo Nacional). The war led to the establishment of Costa Rica's constitution and the abolishment of the military in 1949. The country became an oasis of peace amid Central America's wars and revolutions, assisted by the government's commitment to, and guarantees in, health and education.

San Jose became an important financial and political hub for the entire country and benefited from a large influx of foreign investment, most recently in the tech and pharmaceutical industries. Major international companies such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola have built assembly plants outside of the city.

Costa Rica never entered into the military conflicts that plagued its neighbors, and its former president, Oscar Arias Sanchez, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for brokering peace among the Central American nations. In 2005, President Arias successfully lobbied for a repeal on the one-term restriction for presidents and the following year became the first Costa Rican president elected to a second term. Costa Rica's current president, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, is one of the youngest to serve the country in its history. He was elected at 38.


One of the city's principal landmarks is called "Coca-Cola" because a Coca-Cola bottling plant was located there many years ago, and there is leftover signage present today. A busy local bus terminal is now at that location, and it is an area to avoid, especially at night.

During the 19th century, Costa Rica's capital was rotated between four competing cities. San Jose was named the nation's capital after the three rival cities formed a league and attacked San Jose, which won the "War of the League."

Construction of the Teatro Nacional was financed by local coffee barons, who voted a tax on coffee after Europe's leading opera company refused to perform in theater-less Costa Rica while touring Central America.

The buying and selling of genuine pre-Columbian art in Costa Rica is strictly against the law. Many individuals and families who owned such treasures before it became illegal have donated them to such organizations as the Gold and Jade museums. Those who maintain possession of artifacts are strictly regulated in how they may handle and display them. Many hotels have custody of and display pre-Columbian artifacts.

Filibusters were North Americans who raised armies and attempted to overthrow small Central American countries in the mid-19th century. William Walker was a notorious—and unsuccessful—filibuster in Costa Rican history during the 1840s.

The guanacaste tree is the national tree of Costa Rica. It is a towering shade tree that is predominantly found in Guanacaste Province. It gets its name from the indigenous peoples names for tree (guana) and ear (caste), as the curled seed pods resemble a human ear. It was selected as the national tree in honor of Guanacaste Province's act of voting to leave Nicaragua and join Costa Rica in 1826.

It is considered good luck in Costa Rica to give someone a guanacaste seed, and for the recipient to pass it on to someone else to share the good luck. Many local artisans who sell jewelry on sidewalks use guanacaste seeds and other natural materials to create beautiful earrings and necklaces. Look for the jewelry on display by San Pedro mall in front of the taxi queue.

San Jose's 35,000-seat Estadio Nacional in Sabana Park was financed by the Chinese government and built by Chinese workers. It is considered a gift to Costa Rica.

T-shirts featuring Costa Rica's "army" by air, land and sea (native birds, leatherback turtles and fish) are a popular souvenir.


You will likely fly in or out of San Jose's Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) if your cruise ship begins or ends its journey at one of Costa Rica's ports—Puntarenas and the nearby container Puerto Caldera on the Pacific coast, or Puerto Limon and the nearby container Puerto Moin on the Caribbean side.

The road between Puntarenas and San Jose has cut the drive to the capital to just one hour. The road between San Jose and Limon is unpredictable weather-wise, so visitors on a tight schedule should consider booking a charter flight. A more affordable option is the public bus, which costs 5,000 CRC, or no more than US$11 one way, and runs daily every few hours.

Shore Excursions

Cruise lines do not generally offer side trips to San Jose, but many tour companies will design a tour for you. Day trips to San Jose are possible. The extra planning and effort are worthwhile. Although each area of Costa Rica is special and wonderful, a visit to San Jose—even a short one—is essential to really appreciate the full flavor of this unique country. Travelers who choose to add days to either end of a cruise will have plenty to see and do in San Jose and in the nearby countryside.

San Jose

San Jose, California, is more than just the unofficial capital of Silicon Valley, the place where the U.S. computer industry took off and created a high-technology world. Palm trees and luxury hotels line busy boulevards in lively downtown San Jose, and the city's trendy restaurants, classy shops and lively nightspots attract both visitors and locals, including many who work in the world of technology. Despite its sudden growth during the tech boom of the 1990s, San Jose retains its small-town charm.

Must See or Do

Sights—The strange and beautiful Winchester Mystery House; the historic Peralta Adobe and Fallon House; the Montalvo Arts Center.

Museums—The amazing interactive exhibits at The Tech Museum of Innovation; masterworks at the San Jose Museum of Art; the large collection of Egyptian artifacts at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium.

Memorable Meals—The enchanting ambience and French fare at La Foret Creekside Dining; the funky atmosphere of Henry's Hi-Life.

Late Night—Drinking and dancing at San Jose Bar and Grill; live music at JJ's Lounge.

Walks—A hike in nearby Alum Rock Park; Santa Cruz Mountains in Portola Redwoods State Park; a stroll along the boardwalk at Santa Cruz Beach; a rose-scented walk through Guadalupe River Park & Gardens; a hike in the hillside trails around the Montalvo Arts Center.

Especially for Kids—The Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose; Happy Hollow Park and Zoo.


San Jose is in the Santa Clara Valley, otherwise known as Silicon Valley. It is bordered by two mountain ranges, the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west and the Diablo Range to the east. Two rivers, the Coyote and the Guadalupe, run through the city. San Jose is at the southern end of the valley, about 50 mi/80 km south of San Francisco and about 40 mi/64 km south of Oakland.

Several neighboring Silicon Valley cities are close enough to visit for sightseeing, shopping or dinner. (Most sit 5-15 mi/8-24 km north or northwest of downtown.) These include Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Campbell, Mountain View, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Woodside. Morgan Hill-Saratoga and Los Gatos (a small historic town) lie south of San Jose. You'll hear locals refer to the entire area as the South Bay, part of the sweeping metropolitan Bay Area.


The Ohlone people inhabited the San Jose region for thousands of years before Spanish explorers entered the valley in 1769. The Spanish quickly established settlements, and on 20 November 1777, Lt. Don Jose Moraga founded El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe. With its name later shortened to San Jose, the city became the first civil settlement in what is now the state of California. San Jose came under Mexican rule briefly in 1821, during the Spanish American War. It became part of the United States in 1846. In December 1849—the year California's statehood was established—San Jose was designated the state's first capital. It was later replaced by Sacramento.

As the area around San Francisco Bay grew in the 1900s, so did San Jose in the South Bay—it earned the name Valley of Heart's Delight because of its acres/hectares of beautiful orchards. However, it wasn't until computer technology took off between 1960 and 1990 that San Jose experienced the "silicon rush."

Tech firms began cropping up along its freeways, and their workers started filling the city. Eventually, the area was nicknamed Silicon Valley, as it became home to many of the big names in the industry, including Intel, Sun Microsystems and Apple Computer. One of the major changes the high-tech boom brought to the valley was diversity. Walk along any trail or through the malls and you can hear people speaking in a variety of languages. Local entertainment in the area has also benefited from the ethnic diversity.

The influx of tech companies and their employees hasn't been without cost, however. Housing prices there are among the highest in the U.S. As the firms expanded, they turned pastoral fields and orchards into subdivisions, strip malls and parking lots.


Founded in 1777, and part of the former Spanish colony known as Alta California, San Jose is officially known as El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe.

U.S. Presidents Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have stayed at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose and so has the Dalai Lama. Clinton actually stopped at a McDonald's on San Carlos Street for french fries while out on his morning run—long before his bypass surgery.

Mercury pulled from San Jose mines was used to process gold during the California Gold Rush of the 1840s. One of the country's largest active mercury mines continues to operate on the outskirts of the city.

Scenes from Memoirs of a Geisha were filmed at the beautiful Hakone Gardens in nearby Saratoga.

The statue of Quetzalcoatl (a Mesoamerican god) in Plaza de Cesar E. Chavez is a controversial work of art. One man called it a giant dog dropping, and many have likened it to dinosaur excrement—not exactly in those words.

The Smothers Brothers comedy duo attended San Jose State University and began their career in small clubs in San Jose.

San Jose was the California state capital briefly, before it was moved to Sacramento.

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