Carpe Chepe City Walk

Carpe Chepe! A Local’s Tour of San José: I was born and raised in San José, Costa Rica. For as long as I can remember, it’s never been hard to find something to do around here.

But I also grew up hearing that my hometown is ugly, dirty, unsafe and had nothing to offer, especially for tourists. This is a stereotype that my friends and I really find offensive. We’ve always known everything that is hot, new and trendy in San José, where we have never known a dull moment.

Every single traveler’s dream
is to have a local friend who
can unlock the hidden
jewels of any town.

Now I’m also in a position to speak from experience helping visitors make their own pleasantly surprising discoveries about San José. During my 12 years as a host on, a social network for offering or booking free overnight stays virtually anywhere in the world, I’ve been shaken by the impact of seeing my birthplace through the lens of a tourist. Anyone crashing on my couch during their visit here has left absolutely in love with “Chepe” — slang for downtown San José.

gourmet coffee tour Costa Rica

Carpe Café – gourmet coffee tour

Eventually, on trips to unfamiliar places myself, I came to realize that every single traveler’s dream is to have a local friend who can unlock the hidden jewels of any town. This helped me understand why so many San José tourists might have left with a negative impression of my beloved city without having the benefit of an authentic local experience.

I was not alone thinking all the trash talk about my home city was awful and needed to stop. Others who felt the same way suggested we try changing San José’s word-of-mouth reputation by sharing with visitors our favorite spots. That’s how Carpe Chepe was born five years ago.

craft_beer_tour_tasting Costa Rica

Carpe Craft Beer Tour

Inspiration came from the old Latin lines of verse: “Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero,” which translates to, “Seize the day, trust no tomorrow.” It’s that simple — we want locals and visitors alike to seize San José!

Even if it’s just for a brief one-night visit, we want people to have fun and beautiful memories of our city. So we developed all sorts of urban experiences to share our love for this place: from pub crawls and craft beer tours to Central Market and gastronomic tours to gourmet coffee tastings. For the last three years, we’ve been offering a free tour that runs from Monday to Saturday. The next time you visit San José, join us for a local’s tour of the city.

Far too many legendary spots go unnoticed in San José; I really could not pick only three if

I tried.  But rest assured, we do share all the cool and new places we visit in our social networks: • • TripAdvisor/Carpe Chepe

For more information, call 8347-6198, email: 

or visit 

Photos courtesy of Carpe Chepe