Where to Stay
Stay at Hostel Pangea or Costa Rica Backpackers as they both have pools and bars. Don’t expect anything wild here though.
Where to Party
There are no big backpacker spots- if you are going to go out you will end up at an authentic local bar/club. Try to round up a crew drinking at the hostel and head out to a nightlife district such as El Pueblo or San Pedro. A lot of travellers enjoy the nightlife here because it is authentic and not touristy. It could be a great place to meet Costa Ricans and they are typically nice to foreigners. Talk to the hostel staff about where to go, as some places are rumoured to be a little dangerous.
Lots of salsa!
During the Day
Most people use San Jose for its airport and as a stopover for Tamarindo, Jaco, La Fortuna, Puerto Viejo, etc. However, you can organize activities like hikes, white water rafting and tours at the hostel.