Iglesia Soledad is a pretty ocher-colored church fronting a tiny plaza at Avenida 4 and Calle 9, Paseo de los Estudiantes. Paseo runs south two kilometers to the Parque de la Paz (Peace Park), which is a favorite of Josefinos on weekends. It has a lake with boats, plus horseback rides, kite-flying, sports fields, and even horse-drawn carriage rides.
Desamparados, a working-class suburb on the southern outskirts of San José, has an impressive church that is a smaller copy of London’s St. Paul’s cathedral. On its north side, the Museo Nacional de la Carreta (Oxcart Museum, c/o tel. 506/2259-2905, 8 a.m.–noon and 2–6 p.m. Tues.–Sun., $1) is in a venerable adobe home displaying artifacts that profile the traditional peasant lifestyle, notably rustic oxcarts spanning the decades.
At Fossil Land (tel. 506/2276-6060, www.fossillandcr.com , 8 a.m.–7 p.m. daily), two kilometers east of Patarrá, about three kilometers southeast of Desamparados, visitors can witness a fossil dig in the midst of mountains, although the place is more geared to activities such as rappelling, spelunking, ATV tours, and mountain biking.