Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Could It Be? Real Labeled Addresses in San Jose, Costa Rica??

The city of San Jose, Costa Rica has just announced important news that over time will greatly help tourists and expats alike--the use of numerically labeled street addresses. While there are the occasional references to street numbers and street signs visible, the historic manner of giving addresses and directions is based off of markers.

Such as, '100 meters west and 200 meters south of Edificio de los Correos'. This is difficult for those unfamiliar with the markers, especially if the marker doesn't exist anymore except in the memory of Ticos. These new signs will begin to be installed in December of this year, and homes and businesses will be assigned a number. This is to happen throughout all of the city districts. The project is being funded by Banco Nacional and Bank of Costa Rica.

I have personally come to love the current method of addresses/directions, but understand the significance to tourism especially of a numbered system. Until then however, and especially until Ticos begin to use and acknowledge the numbered system, make sure you ask several Ticos for directions, because another cultural nuiance -- their desire to not only reference a marker, but to give you directions even if they don't actually know. It's all about being nice, wanting to save face and not say they don't know, which could send you in the opposite direction. So, do your direction gathering by consensus. I suggest a best of 3. Full article La Nacion.
Barrio Bird offers walking tours of San Jose. If you are a visitor or have lived here for some time, there is always a new way to see the city. View tours or make a reservation by emailing barriobird@gmail.com or calling 8926-9867


  1. That is absolutely great news. Your totally right about asking directions. Its such a pain. I hate when I get lost in Costa Rica. It usually takes me hours to get from point A to point B. I hope ticos can adapt to the new system. It about time, really!

  2. Awesome! This would much appreciated. I hope it happens.

  3. wow, is about time a city without street number you can get lost in a heart beat..

  4. Sweet! no more days of wandering around looking up and down and all around for places. I just hope they don't become 'pura vida' with it, and take forever to get it going. This can't be the first time someones tried to get this done.