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Los Yoses, San Pedro & Curridabat

Upscale Los Yoses, east of San Jose, has fine dining and arguably the valley's hottest nightlife. San Pedro de Montes de Oca, farther east, is university town, with myriad bars and restaurants. Beyond San Pedro, Curridabat offers great shopping. 

From San Jose, drive east on Avenida 2 past National Museum; Los Yoses where road merges into Avenida Central. San Pedro is ahead, past the traffic circle at the La Hispanidad water fountain; Curridabat is further east. Buses leave regularly from downtown San Jose.

Non-profit Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center www.cccncr.com offers English/Spanish language courses, educational advising services, reference library. The Center's, Sophia Wanamaker Exhibit Gallery shows work of international artists; Eugene O'Neil Theater hosts music, drama, film, and dance performances; Mark Twain Library and Information Center guards Costa Rica's largest collection of English-language books and magazines, videos, CD-ROMs, on-line databases; closed Sun.

Mexican Cultural Center 250 m. south Auto Subaru, revolving art exhibits, closed weekends.

Inside towering Mall San Pedro is the  PK2 Bar, spacious Planet Mall  discotheque ($5/person) sprawls over fourth floor, features Star Pub inside. Also, CyberCity video games and five-screen Cine San Pedro  upstairs. across the road, Sand Rock Bar has loud rock music, younger crowd, live music Sun.  Raices reggae bar any Bob Marley fan would enjoy; closed Mon.  Daddy-X classy nightclub.

Libreria International  in Barrio Dent 300 m. west Taco Bell, books in English, French, German, Spanish.  D'Galah Spa health spa, pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, anti-stress treatments, aroma-therapy, mud baths, massage. Roller ring Salon de Patines Music, just east of La Hispanidad, daily 7-10 p.m., weekends 1-10 p.m.  La Casa del Habano  100 m east, 100 m north La Hispanidad, fine cigars, features El Habano museum, souvenirs. University of Costa Rica's sprawling green campus has more than 50 species of native and exotic trees; lots of birds, celebrates "University Week," last week of April, music concerts, parades. Teatro de Bellas Artes and Teatro Montes de Oca.

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