La Sabana Metropolitan Park, to give it its full name, is located on the Western side of San Jose, at the entrance of the San Jose-Caldera road, the gateway to the Pacific Coast. Known as the Lungs of the capital, this pleasant park was for a time the location of the first international airport of San Jose; ironically, it did start off as a large green area, however in 1930 it was decided that it provided an ideal location for the international airport, and it served this purpose for many decades!
The airport was eventually moved to its current location in Alajuela; La Sabana had become far too small and besides, the area was becoming very populated. It was officially inaugurated a Metropolitan Park in 1977 and many trees were planted.
Today, it is recognized that the plantation of imported trees was a huge mistake; it is mainly covered with Australian Eucalyptus trees that are not attractive to the local birds and small mammals and as a result, the park is empty of wild life! There are plans today to give it a huge face lift, and that includes replanting local trees. After all, it is not as if Costa Rica was short of them!
Recently, the New National Stadium, offered and built by China, was inaugurated in the park, with a series of matches and concerts, including Shakira and Milla Cyrus. It always attract lots of people, especially on Sundays, for picnics, jogging, skating, riding bikes and horses, and walking dogs, in short many sporting activities thanks to its sports fields, running and skating tracks and it even has a shooting range! It welcomes many fairs and art festivals, with lots of foods and live music. An artificial lake was created and it is indeed very pleasant to sit by the water to take a break.
On the Eastern visit the Museo de Arte Costaricense, or the Costa Rican Art Museum, that features awesome architecture and a great collection of art by famous Costa Rican artists; as well as displaying permanent collection, this museum also has changing exhibits of various Costa Rican sculptures and painters, of which Jose Sancho, Max Jimenez, Francisco Zuniga and Jorge Jimenez Deredia to name just a few.
The area of La Sabana is now a very sought after location. The houses, condominiums and apartments are for the most elegant and the whole area is quite airy and clean. It has a direct access to the Autopista del Sol and is only 45 minutes away from Jaco Beach, 10 minutes away from Multiplaza, the flashy shopping mall of Escazu, and 10 minutes away from the Cima Hospital. It is on the edge of the capital, starting with Paseo Colon with its elegant houses, bars, discos and restaurants such as Lebnon, Vertigo and Rhapsody. An excellent choice for an elegant and safe urban life!