Hotel Grano de Oro

In Costa Rica, the term “Grano de Oro” is used to refer to the coffee bean, their “Grain of Gold”. The founders of this boutique hotel fell in love with the idea that such a small fruit could be so valuable. The original tropical Victorian home, which is now known as the Grano de Oro, was a private family residence belonging to the Pozuelo family, built at the turn of the 20th century. The Hotel Grano de Oro opened its doors in 1991, with 21 guest rooms, a gift shop and a modest café. Quickly gaining recognition from local and international agencies for its unique personality and great service, the hotel became a landmark within the city.

In 1994, after acquiring another Pozuelo family home, behind the first, the number of guest rooms was increased to a total of 34 and a Jacuzzi terrace was added. The signature suite, The Vista de Oro was introduced with its spectacular view of the city lights.

The Restaurant also expanded with this renovation and began to take on its own identity with the hiring of a new French Chef, Francis Canal Bardot, who is still with us today. Hand in hand with the owners, Francis worked on new dishes and menus bringing a new point of view to the traditional offerings that were so common in San Jose. Over the next 10 years the hotel continued to stand strong as one of the best lodging options in San José, and the fame of its restaurant made it impossible to serve all of the customers who wanted to come to eat, especially the large number of local customers. the Hotel Grano de Oro is a must stay for travelers to Costa Rica with a variety of rooms to suit your style.

Standard Rooms

Experience a cozy guest bedroom in a turn of the century mansion, with the luxuries of a fine hotel. The standard rooms offer one queen bed with fine luxury linens and all the amenities needed to make your stay comfortable.

Superior Rooms

The Superior rooms are slightly larger than the standard rooms, with the same cozy turn of the century feel. Offering one queen bed with fine luxury linens and all the amenities needed to make your stay comfortable.

Deluxe Patio

A charming turn of the century guest room with a lush tropical, private patio – perfect for enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine at the end of the day. These rooms offer one queen bed with fine luxury linens as well as all the amenities needed to make your stay comfortable.

Deluxe King or Twin Rooms

The most popular room category, these spacious room offers our luxurious king size mattresses or 2 twins, fine luxury linens and all the amenities needed to make your stay comfortable.

Family Suite

A perfect choice for a family or two couples traveling together. This two room suite with an adjoining shared bath comfortably accommodates up to 5 people. The main room contains one Queen and one Twin bed. The adjoining room has one Queen bed. Each room has its own flat screen TV.

Garden Suite

As you enter through the arched doorway of this luxurious suite you are immediately taken back in time. Once the original living room of this converted mansion, it offers a beautiful tropical private garden, spacious seating area, two flat screen TVs and a king sized bed.

Vista de Oro Suite

The signature suite, reached by a private staircase, the Vista de Oro lives up to its name commanding a breathtaking view of the Central Valley skyline. The suite reflects the turn of the century style of the original home with handmade tiles, complemented by rich wood paneling. The suite is stylishly furnished with exquisite antiques and a luxurious king sized bed.

Everyone’s stay comes with the following amenities:

Free wireless Internet throughout property

In room espresso maker

Silent mini bar fridge

Flat screen cable TV

In room electronic security box (fits most laptops)

Simmons Beauty Rest Pillow top mattresses

100% cotton linens

Feather and hypoallergenic synthetic pillows



Direct Access International calling

Air conditioning and ceiling fans

Guided & Self-Guided Walking City Tours

Bring your walking shoes! Urban AdventuresGreat ways to explore urban San José, immerse yourself into the life of the capital and to see city’s secret spots.  Contact our Reservations department to reserve your tour.

What to Bring: Comfortable walking shoes, camera, hat or umbrella depending on weather, money for souvenirs. Difficulty Level: Low

Guided Walking City Tours 1

San Jose Bites & Sights  (Duration 3 hours)

Discover a side of the city heard only from the mouths of locals, while indulging in typical cuisine and one of Costa Rica’s most delectable exports – coffee!  This San Jose walking tour takes you through busy streets, bustling markets and tranquil parks.

Guided Walking City Tours Small 1 - Costa Rica Pura Vida Experience (Duration 4 hours)

Experience the ultimate insiders view of Costa Rica’s local legends, the freshest food and sweetest snacks.  Finish your urban adventure by visiting a traditional handmade mask factory in a close suburb of San Jose.

The Costa Rican Art of Craft Beer (Duration 4 hours)

Enjoy an afternoon learning the basics on how beer is made and how beer influenced this little country’s history.  Finish it off sampling some of the wonderful craft beer produced in this country!  Children are not permitted on this tour.

Guided Walking City Tours 3 - Cartago Bicycle & Train Tour (Duration 5 hours)

Hop on a typical Costa Rican urban train and take a short trip to the former capital city of Cartago.  Discover every angle of this amazing city from a two wheel perspective – by bicycle!  Take the flavors of this old city in its Central Market.  Children must be 6 years old and up to go on this tour.Self-Guided San José

There are plenty of activities you can enjoy while staying in San José, this city offers an interesting mix of cultural and artistic highlights, the city is going through a revitalization process and there is history, culture and architecture everywhere. Walking from the hotel or with a 5 minutes ride in a taxi, you can visit the surrounding areas; we recommend the following 4 routes! Ask our receptionists for a city map.

Self Guided 1 - Art Museum & La Sabana Park

Just 8 blocks from the hotel you can walk to the Costa Rican Art museum and La Sabana Park. The Art Museum is set in a neoclassical style building, built in the late 30’s; this building was the first international airport in Costa Rica. The museum offers exhibitions of works by local and international artists related to the visual arts. La Sabana Park is the largest park in San José, spanning 72 hectares (including a man-made lake, the National Stadium, the Art Museum and the National Gym) it has a track for running, a roller skating rink and basketball courts.  Take advantage of a beautiful morning or a sunny afternoon to go check out these spots!

Self Guided Walking City Tours 1 - Pedestrian Boulevard & Central Market (Mercado Central)

Only a 15 minute walk from the hotel, is downtown San Jose’s main Pedestrian boulevard lined with all kind of stores including: shoe stores, department stores, clothing stores and fast food restaurants. This boulevard has been improved in recent years, with the addition of decorative lamps, trees and flowers and during the year cultural exhibitions take place here. The Central Market was built in 1880, and is a very crowded and popular market for locals and tourists alike.  Packed full with vendors booths selling a variety of products such as: handi-crafts, flowers, spices, candles, meat, fish, produce – here you can find almost anything you can imagine, visiting this market is a must.  Take care to note where you enter the market as it is a maze of windy passage ways and has more than a dozen exits.

Self Guided 3 - National Theater & Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

If you continue walking along the Pedestrian boulevard you will arrive at the Plaza de la Cultura, where both the National Theater and Gold Museum are located. The National Theater is considered one of the most appraised cultural jewels of the capital. Inspired by the Paris Opera House, this Neo-baroque style building was built to impress. The theater has fine finishes including, marble floors and pillars, 22.5-karat gold leaf and Belgian ironwork. The construction began in 1890. In order to pay for this expensive construction, a special tax was placed on each bag of coffee for export (Costa Rica’s main export at the time).  In 1897, the opening of the National Theater was a significant event for Costa Rican society. The gold museum is located underneath the Plaza; this museum offers archaeological, numismatic (coin) and pre-Columbian art collections. After visiting these two places we suggest you to stop and enjoy a famous Pops ice cream while wandering the Plaza.

Self Guided 2 - National Museum & Artisans Market

Once you arrive at the end of the pedestrian boulevard, if you continue two blocks east you will arrive at the National Museum.  The building was originally a military barracks, the Bellavista Fortress: the exterior walls still have many bullets lodged in them from the country’s 1948 civil war.  It is the last building of this type still standing in Costa Rica. The showrooms of this museum take you on a journey through the history of Costa Rica.  To the west of the National Museum sits the Artisan Market, this market consists of a narrow alleyway with booths where you can find almost every type of souvenir.

Day Tours & Activities

From San José you can take one of a number of daytrips to the rainforest, volcanoes or experience the thrill of white water rafting, to mention just a few. Here are our Top Recommended Tours.  For more information on these or other tours or to make a reservation please contact us!

Coffee tour

If you are a coffee lover and you want to learn about the history and process of the coffee in Costa Rica, this tour is the perfect option for you, you will learn all the secrets of that delicious cup of coffee.

What to Bring: Camera, Comfortable Clothes, Comfortable Shoes, Short pants, Sunblock Lotion.

(During rainy season sweater and long pants are recommended.)

Tour Duration: 1.5 hours.

Difficulty Level: Low.

Minimum Age: No restriction.

Includes: Bilingual tour guide, Round trip transportation and Lunch.

Tropical Rainforest & Chocolate Adventure

This San Jose tour will get you up close and personal to nature and noms, with a hike through the rainforest and a chocolate tour of the local cacao plantation. En route to this amazing place, we will make a stop at La Virgen del Socorro (a private reserve) and lunch at the local restaurant owned by Don Jose.

What to Bring: Camera, Comfortable Clothes, Comfortable walking Shoes, Short pants, Sunblock Lotion.

(During rainy season, May to October, raincoat and long pants are recommended.)

Tour Duration: 10 hours.

Difficulty Level: Low. Trails are approx. 3 hours long on cement or wood trails.

Minimum Age: No restriction. Please notify if children under 6 will be going.

Includes: Bilingual tour guide, Round trip transportation and Lunch.

Canopy San Luis

Set in the placid Costa Rican cloud forest, this tour is for those who enjoy the adrenaline of an adventure activity.  Experience the sensation of gliding through the forest canopy surrounded by beautiful landscapes.

Canopy with 12 different zip lines, 18 platforms, Tarzan Swing trails and Fly like Superman option.

What to Bring: Sweater, walking shoes, insect repellent.

Tour Duration: 8.5 hours

Difficulty Level: Medium, Must not have a fear of heights.

Minimum Age: 5 years old, may vary depending on tour.

Includes: Round trip transportation, Bilingual guide, Lunch

White Water Rafting – Pacuare 1 Day Trip

The rafting tour is once in a lifetime experience, you will enjoy the amazing nature of the rainforest via the river, while running Class III and IV rapids into the heart of the rainforest.

Other White Water Rafting trips with lower class rapids are also available.  Contact us for more information.

What to Bring: Rubber-soled shoes that can get wet (Tevas, tennis shoes, booties or similar), Swimsuit / swim trunks / t-shirt and shorts of a quick-drying material, Waterproof sunscreen lotion (SPF 15 or higher), Sun hat or bandana, Croakies or straps to secure glasses, Change of clothes including shoes for after your Tour, Towel.

Tour Duration: 10 hours.

Difficulty Level: Moderate.

Minimum Age: 14 years old.

Includes: Professional Bilingual guide, Round trip transportation, all the specialized gear needed for the activity, Breakfast and Lunch at Rios Tropicales Operations Center, Spacious change rooms and showers.

Tortuga Island

If you want to enjoy a day of relaxation, Tortuga Island is a great option.  This tour takes you to a beautiful island in the Gulf of Nicoya onboard a catamaran.  Onboard, you will enjoy live music, fresh tropical fruit and drinks, and beautiful landscapes.  Once you arrive at the white sand beach on the island you can opt for sun bathing and relaxation or choose from a variety of activities such as: snorkeling, a banana boat ride, volleyball, etc.

What to Bring: Casual, light, comfortable clothes, swimwear, sun block, camera, sun glasses, hat or cap (tight fitting so it won’t blow off), light weight long sleeved shirt, rubber sandals / tennis or boat shoes (high heels or hard sole shoes are not permitted), towels.

Tour duration: 14 hours

Difficulty Level: None

Minimum Age: No restriction

Includes: Air-Conditioned Bus Transportation, Bilingual Guide, Typical Costa Rican Breakfast, Gourmet Lunch, Fresh Juices and Fruits, Live Music.

Doka Estate Coffee Tour, Poas Volcano & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Visit a Volcano, Coffee Plantation and Waterfall Garden all in one day! First stop will be the Doka Coffee Estate for a delicious breakfast and coffee tour of an actual coffee plantation. After the coffee tour continue to the Poás Volcano where after a short walk you can admire the impressive main crater with its sulfur fumaroles.

Following the visit to the volcano we will continue to the La Paz Water Fall Garden for a scrumptious lunch and tour. As we arrive to La Paz, we will walk through a trail, leading to a spectacular waterfall in the middle of the rainforest. For those not wishing to hike to the waterfalls there are many other activities to keep busy with – inside the park you can visit the hummingbird gallery, the serpentarium, the bird house, the butterfly garden and the frog’s exhibit; fun to be enjoyed by those of all ages.

What to Bring: Hat, Jacket and/or Raincoat, Walking shoes, Insect repellent, Binoculars, Camera

Tour duration: 10 hours.

Difficulty Level: Medium.  (Low – if choosing not to hike to the waterfalls)

Minimum Age: No restriction.

Includes: Transportation, Bilingual guide, All necessary entrance fees, Breakfast and Lunch.

Rainforest Aerial Tram Atlantico

Experience the thrill of being in the middle of the rainforest and at the top of the canopy by taking an aerial tram tour; in this tour you will enjoy the scenic views of the rain forest from different points, get to see some plants and wildlife and learn about Costa Rica ecosystems.

What to Bring: Cool comfortable clothing, Walking shoes, Insect repellent, Rain poncho, Camera, Binoculars.

Tour durantion: 7 hours.

Difficulty Level: None.

Minimum Age: No age restriction, under 12 must be accompanied by an adult

Includes: Transportation, One meal (breakfast or lunch depending on departure time), Guided walking tour, Tram Ride accompanied by an experienced-bilingual guide.

Irazú Volcano, Lankaster Gardens & Orosi Valley

Irazu Volcano is one of the highest peaks in the country, 11,000 feet above sea level.  At the top the main craters can be seen and on a clear day it might be possible to see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans while walking the moon-like terrain of the crater.  Learn about the history of Costa Rica by visiting one of the most scenic regions of Costa Rica: Orosi Valley, a beautiful valley crossed by the Reventazón River. Here you will find the ruins of the oldest church in Costa Rica built in 1793.  Then move on to see the beauty of tropical orchids, collections of bromeliads, bamboos, epiphytes and other wonderful plants from various areas of Costa Rica at the Lankester Botanical Gardens.

What to Bring: Sweater, Camera, Binoculars, Comfortable walking shoes, Raincoat.

Tour duration: 8 hours.

Difficulty Level: Low. Wheelchair accesible.

Minimum Age: No restriction.

Includes: Transportation, Bilingual guide, All required Entrance fees.

Grecia & Sarchí

This relaxing and enjoyable tour begins with a drive through coffee and sugar cane plantations to reach the town of Grecia.  Here you will see the famous metal church of the Lady of Mercy and it’s beautiful architecture with high ceilings, ornate stained glass windows, and classical lines. Then the tour will take you to the handicraft capital of Costa Rica: Sarchí, where you will visit an oxcart factory.  Costa Rica’s oxcarts were once used to transport coffee beans over the mountains to the coast. The ornate carts come in various sizes and are splendidly decorated with intense colors, such as oranges and reds. This is a great place to find wonderful souvenirs of your trip.

What to Bring: Sweater, Camera, Binoculars, Comfortable shoes, Raincoat.

Tour duration: 6.5 hours.

Difficulty Level: None.

Minimum Age: No restriction.

Includes: Transportation, Bilingual guide and lunch.

Humble Beginnings

Many tourists visit Costa Rica to experience it´s natural beauty and flavorful culture – from San Jose to its many rainforests and beaches.  Eldon and Lori Cooke were no different.  However, they took it one step further when moving from Canada to Costa Rica over 20 years ago.

In 2002, the Cooke’s were awakened to the country-wide, ongoing epidemic of young adolescent women who are sexually abused and often forced into prostitution.  Eldon and Lori soon established the non-profit organization, Asociacion Reaccion en Cadena por Nuestra Ninez to address the existing and growing needs of this issue.  Through this association, Casa Luz (“House of Light”) provides a safe environment and the necessary monetary, emotional, and psychological support victims need in order to help stop the pervasive cycle of abuse.

The mission of Casa Luz is to break the intergenerational cycle of abuse and sexual exploitation of children in Costa Rica. This is accomplished by providing a safe, loving, Christian environment for at risk young mothers (age 15+) and their children. This environment provides the resources necessary to allow these families healthy and successful reintegration into society.

Many adolescent girls throughout Costa Rica experience situations of physical and sexual abuse; often the perpetrators are members of their own family.  Casa Luz provides a safe haven for these young girls that have children of their own or are pregnant.  Through the course of the program, it helps the young mothers realize that they can have healthy lives, positive social interactions and a nurturing relationship with their children.  The ultimate goal is to teach them the life skills needed to achieve a productive and independent future.

One Step at a Time

During Phase I, Casa Luz acts as a secure Christian home for up to 15 young mothers as well as their children.  This fully assisted living facility provides a loving family environment with a staff of support professionals to nurture and aid in the physical, mental and educational development of both the women and their children.

In Phase II, Casa Luz provides 10 single family independent living units for mothers who are 18 and have completed Phase I and demonstrated recognizable growth and maturity.  Continued support is offered through day care, counseling and other services that allow the young women to finish school or enter the workforce – further developing the skills needed for full independence.

Casa Luz is the only program in Costa Rica that offers continued individual support to young mothers after they have turned 18. To support this project, click HERE