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Heredia is a university town in Costa Rica in the San Jose metro area. The town itself is unexceptional but friendly.

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]

You can easily walk most places in Heredia, or take a cab ride which will cost less than 1,000 Colones. In the middle of Heredia downtown there is the central park.

See[edit][add listing]

The town's central square (parque central) is adorable and charming, and contains most of the city's landmarks. Many shops and restaurants line this square, as well as many college students and romantics.

  • The Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción, built in 1797, is the focal point.
  • To the north, El Fortín is the last remaining tower of a Spanish fortress and the symbol of Heredia, though it is closed to the public. It was built in 1876 by the then president Tomas Guardia. In 1974 this monument was declared a National Symbol and property of the Heredia town.
  • The old Post Office,Palacio Municipal, and Argentine School give a glimpse of how the city looked back in its heyday.
  • The historic Casa de la Culture, once home of Costa Rican president Alfredo Gonzáles Flores, give periodic rotations of art and music.
  • To the east, the freestanding facade of a demolished building stands in front of what is apparently a parking lot.
  • A block south-east of the park is the Iglesia del Carmen.

Do[edit][add listing]

Buses from Heredia go out to all sorts of small nearby mountain towns. In particular there is a bus to the town of Barva, ten minutes north. Barva is small and cute, but it has a river with gorgeous waterfalls and swimming holes. The bus route to Barva ends at the central plaza facing the church. If you face the church you will see one street running directly in front of the church. Walk to the left of the church and follow the first road to the left after the one that runs in front of the church. Follow this road for a quarter of mile and you will run into a playground, to the left of it there will be a trail going down to the river, follow this trail upstream for half a mile and you will find a eight foot waterfall with a nice swimming hole and rocks that get great sun. There are more waterfalls and beautiful swimming holes further up the river, but the trail only goes so far. Enjoy


  • Cariari Country Club, Cuidad Cariari (Between the airport and San Jose and next to Real Cariari mall.), [1].  edit

Learn Spanish[edit]

  • Tico Lingo Spanish School (Tico Lingo Spanish School in Heredia Costa Rica), 50 Meters West of Casaque Gas Station (From Heredia Central go West on the principal street, pass the gas station on your right, and walk 50 meters. The school is on your left behind a black gate), [2]. The school offers custom Spanish immersion classes at affordable rates. In addition to Spanish classes, they offer a Homestay program where students live in the homes with nearby families and share two meals a day with them. Additional activities include Latin dance classes, yoga, cooking classes, culture tours, adventure tours, and memberships to our conversational club with English students.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Mercado Florense
  • Mercado Central

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Galeria Octagono, Los Angeles de San Rafael de Heredia (Road to Monte de la Cruz), 2267-6325, [3]. 10 to 6. Handmade textile art and handicrafts. Natural wood furniture, clocks and lamps. Art classes.  edit


  • Caribbean Food, 200 Meters from Casa de la Cultura Downtown Heredia.

Costa Rican[edit]


  • Bistro de Chamonix, at Hotel Chalet Tirol 6 km north of San Rafael, Ph#506 22676222.


  • Sushi Home
  • Sushi Nippon
  • Ichiban
  • Saisaki

Middle Eastern[edit]

  • Mr. Grill
  • Restaurante Libanés Cedro
  • Shawarma Hassan, Calle 9, Avenidas 4 y 6. Shawarma, falafel and other libanese dishes. ₡3000.  edit


  • Costumbres Argentinas
  • Cubito
  • Fiesta Mexicana
  • La Parrillita de Pepe

Pizza and Pastas[edit]

  • Pizza Mangiare
  • Pizza TASTY
  • La Pentola D'Oro
  • L'Antica Roma, Calle 7, Avenida 7 (Across from the Hotel Valladolid), 2262 9073. Good Italian food at a decent price. ₡5,000.  edit


  • El Banco de los Mariscos

Steak and Beef[edit]

  • La Candelaria, also crepes.
  • Oky

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Cosechas
  • Soda cerca de la escuela de AGRARIAS en la UNA

  • Complejo Turistico Sherekan. Bar, pool tables, karaoke, restaurant, in San Rafael de Heredia.
  • Green Dragon Pub & Grill, at Hotel Chalet Tirol. 6 km north of San Rafael de Heredia, ph (506)22676222.
  • Boulevar. Very popular with university students. This place will be packed almost every Friday and Saturday night. Beers, bar food, pool tables, foosball tables, two floors.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Heredia offers hotels at several different price levels including the backpacker variety. Local buses ply the route between Heredia and San Jose, taking about twenty minutes to reach San Jose's main tourist areas.

  • ...La Condesa Hotel..., atop the mountains of Heredia offers a great view of the city and the central valley, aprox. 30 minutes from airport or center of San Jose.
  • Hotel Chalet Tirol, San Rafael de Heredia 6 km north, Ph# (506)22676222.
  • ...Hotel Heredia...One of the cheapest hotels with adequate interior. Close to "parque central" (about 3 blocks west and 2 blocks north)
  • Hotel America. Probably the most comfortable place in downtown Heredia. It is located half a block from Parque Central.  edit
  • Quality Hotel (Monte Campana), Birri, Santa Barbara (1.8 km in Barrio Jesus there is sign turn left, toward Birri. Turn Left again at traffic signal in Birri. Make the next 2 left turns and you will come to the hotel), 50622698724, [4]. Many types of rooms, hostel to cabins with private kitchen and bathroom. The property has the Diligencia restaurant, and a swimming pool with slide and jacuzzi. 35$.  edit
  • Galeria Octagono B&B, Los Angeles de San Rafael de Heredia (Road to Monte de la Cruz), 2267-6325, [5]. Alternative tourism in cute mountain cabin. Free guiding to our guests. $50.  edit
  • Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn, 506-2269-9392, [6]. World class inn with 13 uniquely decorated rooms. Surrounded by lush and colorful gardens. 20 minutes from San Jose. Restaurant, pool, and Jacuzzi. Winner of numerous sustainability awards. [email protected] From $260.  edit

Get out[edit]

To the North it is possible to go to San Rafael and Barva, to the East, is the small town of San Pablo, to the West it is possible to reach the province of Alajuela and the Airport. To the south is the Capital, San José.

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