Located just south of the University of Costa Rica, the two-block San Pedro district of San Juan Costa Rica remains a favorite of students, teens, professors, punks, hipsters, and alternative lifestyle fans of every color and stripe. Also known as Le Calle de Amalgura, or “street of bitterness”, the San Pedro district bumps and throbs nightly with loud music, boisterous camaraderie, and urban adventure.
To get to the San Pedro district, head east on Avenida 2 in San Juan Costa Rica and follow the traffic. After passing through the Los Yoses neighborhood of San Juan, you’ll see a traffic circle with a large fountain in the center. Drive around the circle and exit onto the street that continues opposite Avenida 2.
Four blocks past the circle stands the Church of San Pedro, the San Pedro district’s central landmark. Visitors who don’t want to deal with San Juan Costa Rica traffic can also take a bus to and from the San Pedro district.
Wandering through the San Pedro district without a destination and exploring what looks interesting is a fine way to go about your exploration. Bars, coffee shops, bookstores, and copy shops line the streets and are always packed.
Some of the favorite spots are known for specific groups of fans.
El Yos and The Sand Bar attract heavy metal fans, hard rockers, ravers, and punk rockers and can be really rowdy. Expect live music of the loudest variety, or DJs and more of the same.
The Jazz Café features wrought iron chairs, sculptured busts of famous Jazz artists, and creative lighting. Most nights the live music goes on until 2 AM, but the low ceilings and poor circulation make the place a challenge for non-smokers. Even so, The Jazz Café is consistently cited as one of the most cutting edge clubs in the San Pedro district and is worth a visit.
Mosaikos is known for techno and trance-style music and a young, lively crowd, but some nights you’ll also find rap, ska, or reggae. Long and narrow and almost always packed, Mosaikos is not for the claustrophobic, but it has an energetic vibe that can quickly become addictive to regulars.
Planet Mall, located on the fourth floor of the Mall San Pedro, is the go-to spot in the San Pedro district for dancing. Featuring live music, neon lights, and a young crowd, Planet Mall offers a huge dance floor and an opportunity to burn off major calories into the wee hours of the night.
Finally Terra U, located on a busy corner in the heart of the university district, offers an inviting outdoor patio and the chance the meet an eclectic, international crowd while enjoying a drink or two or three. Fast becoming the hottest spot in the San Pedro district, Terra U capitalizes on its broad appeal.
Wherever you go in the San Pedro district, whatever you discover there, you’ll take home memories of a rocking good time.
Plan to sleep in the day after!