New bus firm will carry tourists around the city

Tourism and cultural officials will be debuting a new downtown bus service for tourists today. A new, private firm, Costa Rica City Square Tour, S.R.L., now operates what it calls a hop-on, hop-off service.

For $25 a tourist can spend time at eight locations, ranging from the Museo Calderón Guardia in Barrio Escalante to Parque la Sabana and the  Museo de Arte Costarricense. Every 45 minutes the visitors will have the option of hopping back on a bus for another stop.

All the major tourism, historic and cultural locations are included, including the museums, Teatro Nacional and the Parque Bolíver zoo. The ticket is good from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.,  said the firm on it Web site.

The company, founded this year, is being supported by the Municipalidad de San José, the Cámara Nacional de Turismo and the Asociación Costarricense de Operadores de Turismo, said the Museo Nacional, which figures in the tour stops.

The firm said that each bus will carry a bilingual tourism guide with substantial knowledge of the city.  Costa Rica City Square Tour says it will donate a portion of its profits to social, cultural and environmental programs.

The hop-on, hop-off concept is similar to what visitors find during evenings of City Art Tour when many major cultural sites are open free to visitors. There is a bus service that allows toiur101414visitors to reach some of the more distant locations without delay.

There have been several firms that offered walking tours in the downtown. There also is a train-like vehicle that carries tourists around the city mostly on weekend.

A typical stop on the  Costa Rica City Square Tour might include the Mercado Central, the main Correos de Costa Rica building, Banco Central, Banco Nacional and the monument to Juan Mora Porras, said the firm.

Another might include the  Museo de Arte Costarricense at Parque la Sabana, the Estadio Nacional, the León Cortés Castro monument and the monument to Braulio Carrillo and Parque Braulio Carrillo, it added.

Of course to get to these locations, the tourists would also see much of the city.

Not all the museums and cultural facilities  are open even day, and many have their own admissions. The firm did not say if the daily fee covers the admissions.

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