San José (literally meaning "Saint Joseph") is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica. Located in the mid-west of the Central Valley, 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 was 288,054 in 2011, and San José’s municipal land area measures 44.2 square kilometers (17.2 square miles), and an estimated 333,980 residents in 2015. The metropolitan area stretches beyond the canton limits and has an estimated population of over 2 million in 2017. The city 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. According to studies on Latin America, San José is 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.