San José (literally meaning “Saint Joseph”, pronounced: [saŋ xoˈse]) is the capital of Costa Rica and the nation’s largest city. Located in the Central Valley, in the western province of the country, San José is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of this Central American nation. The population of San José Canton is 288,054, through the metropolitan area stretches beyond the canton limits and comprises a third of the country’s population. It is named in honor of Joseph of Nazareth.
Though few people live in the city center, it is the most important working area of the country, which brings in more than a million people daily. Despite its problems, according to studies in Latin America, San José is still one of the safest and least violent cities in the region. In 2006, the city was appointed Ibero-American Capital of Culture.
San José is the sixth-most important destination in Latin America, according to The MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index 2012. San José ranked 15th in the world’s fastest-growing destination cities by visitor cross-border spending.
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