Heredia Tourist Attractions
A small city with a population of about 86,000, Heredia was founded in 1706. It is the capital of Heredia province, and retains more colonial charm than the other neighboring capitals. Heredia is also known as the "City of Flowers" because of its beautiful parks and mild climate.Heredia is the center of an important coffee-growing region; economic activities include coffee processing, livestock trading, and the manufacture of soap and matches. The town lies at an elevation of 1150m/3772ft above sea level. Heredia is also home to the National University, hence a sizeable student population resides in the city.
The Central Park is the best place to take in the older buildings in Heredia, some dating to the 18th C. The center of the park features a covered stage featuring occasional performances and concerts.
Former Costa Rican President Alfredo González Flores (1913-17) resided in this house. Today, it houses art and historical exhibits.
El Fortín (the small fortress) is a colonial tower and a national historic site.
The rural countryside of the region surrounding Heredia is a major center for growing coffee. Many of Costa Rica's famous coffee plantations surround Heredia and visitors to the area can spot ox-carts loaded with beans being pulled from the plantations.
Heredia Surroundings - Britt Coffee Farm Tours
The Café Britt farm "coffeetours" have combined an interesting tour and stage production to explain the coffee-growing process and highlight the importance of coffee to Costa Rica. The tour includes a visit to the coffee finca (farm) and the roasting plant where visitors can observe the coffee "cherry" transformed into a roasted bean.A live, bilingual (Spanish/English) presentation follows, using both actors and multimedia. The tour is completed with coffee-tasting sessions that are led by experienced tasters.
The town of Barva is one of the oldest settlements in all of Costa Rica. Barva was founded in 1561 and most of the town is a national historic monument. The colonial, red-tiled adobe buildings in the center of town were built in the 1700s. Barva offers a relaxing setting with plenty of old-world charm.
Museum of Popular Culture
San Jose de la Montana
This small village is found on the southern slopes of the Barva Volcano. It lies at an elevation of 1,550m/5,084ft, so the climate here can be rather chilly. The mountainous terrain, vistas, birding and pleasant walks are the biggest attractions for visitors.
Santo Domingo de Heredia
The town of Santo Domingo de Heredia was founded in 1848 and features two attractive colonial churches: the Iglesia de Rosario (built 1838-1844) and the Basílica de Santo Domingo de Guzmán (built 1856). There are several adobe colonial homes, some of which are in ruins but remain at the request of residents.
Created and run by the National Biodiversity Institute, INBio combines the features of a museum, educational center and nature park. Two large pavilions outline Costa Rica's natural wonders and biodiversity, and hiking trails re-create the ecosystems of tropical rain forest, dry forest, and premontane forest.
Useful tips: INBio Park can arrange round-trip transportation for an extra US$18 per person. Self-guided tour booklets are available. Guided walking tours: Friday through Sunday at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. (reservations highly recommended).
Guides: Audio-visual presentations available. Guided tour available as optional extra.
Facilities: Gift shop, Restaurant or food service
Typical Visit: 3 hours
Jewels of the Humid Tropics Museum
The "jewels" at this museum include about 50,000 specimens such as insects, crustaceans, spiders and centipedes. The exhibits make up a lifetime collection of a North American biologist now residing in Costa Rica.
Monte de la Cruz
The village of Monte de la Cruz offers excellent panoramic views of the entire Central Valley and beyond. Good hiking opportunities can be found throughout the area.