Lonely Planet review
One of the nicest of San José’s green spaces is the Parque Nacional, a shady spot where retirees read newspapers and young couples smooch coyly on concrete benches. At its center is the Monumento Nacional, a dramatic statue (erected in 1953) that depicts the Central American nations driving out American filibuster William Walker. The park is dotted with myriad monuments devoted to key figures in Latin American history, including Cuban poet, essayist and revolutionary José Martí, Mexican independence figure Miguel Hidalgo and 18th-century Venezuelan poet and thinker Andrés Bello.
Across the street, to the south, stands the Asamblea Legislativa (Legislative Assembly), which also bears an important statue: this one a depiction of Juan Santamaría – the young man who helped kick the pesky Walker out of Costa Rica – in full flame-throwing action.