The University of Costa Rica campus (tel. 506/2511-0000, www.ucr.ac.cr ), in San Pedro, about two kilometers east of downtown San José , is a fine place to take in Costa Rica’s youthful bohemianism.
The School of Music (Facultad de Artes Musicales) basement houses the Museo de Insectos (tel. 506/2207-5647, www.miucr.ucr.ac.cr , 1–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., $2 adults, $0.50 children), one of the largest collections of insects in the world. The Insect Museum features an immense variety of Costa Rican and Central American insects, including a spectacular display of butterflies. Knowledgeable guides are available, but call ahead.
The university planetarium (tel. 506/2511-2580, http://planetario.ucr.ac.cr ), or planetario, has three daily presentations on astronomy (in Spanish only, $3 adults, $2.50 students). English-language presentations can be requested in advance.