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Heredia is set along the flanks of the Barva Volcano. The city is part of the Central Valley cities located only 11 kilometres northwest of San José and only 10 kilometres from San José Airport. This pretty city with a population of 400,000 is nicknamed the City of the Flowers. Founded in 1706, Costa Rica fourth-largest city was first known by its Huetar indian name, Cubujuqui, but that was soon changed to Heredia in honor of a Guatemalan president, Fernandez de Heredia.
The town's central park is filled with trees and is a great place to stroll of sit on bench and watch people go by. To the east of it is the impressive Church of the Immaculate Conception inaugurated in 1769, which took 30 years to build (1769-1797. The wait was worth it - its massive towers and walls proved stronger that earthquakes that have rocked the country since it was built. It has stained glass from Europe and church bells from Cuzco, Peru. Nearby is another imposing fixture, El Fortin, a brick fort with peepholes built backwards. Good thing it never saw action.
Of all of the cities of the Meseta Central, Heredia has the most colonial feel to it - you ll still see adobe buildings with Spanish tile roofs along narrow streets. Here is also the site of the Universidad Nacional so you will find some nice coffee shops, night bars, and bookstores near the school.
The Casa de la Cultura, just north of the park is the 1843 home of ex president Alfredo Gonzalez. It re-creates the life and home of a coffee baron, the life peasants during that time, and it also presents local art shows. Another architecturally interesting building here is the 1915 neoclassical post office. The coffee that grows in the mountains is classified as top quality coffee and Heredia doesn't have a thriving flower market as its nickname suggests, but does have a wonderful fruit and vegetables market. It also boasts a number of Spanish language schools.
Heredia is located only 15 minutes from San José Airport, so it shares this airport with San Jose city as well.
Public buses run every day from 05:00am till midnight. You can take buses from Heredia to San José, Alajuela, San José Airport and local villages. This public service works very good and cheap.
|Casa Ciudadela Hostel||4 blocks North and 25 m East from Heredia Central 25 m East from Colegio Vocacional, Heredia||Hostel||-|
|El Portico Hotel||Calle Guacalillo San Jose De La Montana||Hotel||-|
|La Lora Hostel||25 metros oeste de la Casa de la Cultura, Belen||Guesthouse||-|
|San Lorenzo Inn||Residencial San Lorenzo San Lorenzo de Flores||Hostel||-|
|Tony s Hostel Boutique||100 mts Oeste y 400 mts Norte, del Hipermas Heredi||Hostel||91|
|Travel Hostel Dreamplace||Two and half blocks East from the Central Park Her||Hostel||84|
|BELEN SUITES||Calle Las Chilas||Hostel||-|
|HOTEL MONTE CAMPANA||Barrio Jesus Birri the Traffic Light 500mts North 100 West & 700mts South||Hotel||-|
|Costa Rica Love Hostel 2||Main Street number 5 San Vicente||HOSTEL||89|
|B&B Vista Los Volcanes||San Lorenzo de Flores||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel America 98||Calle Central, Avenidas 2 y 4 50mts south del Parque Central Heredia||HOTEL||-|
|Costa Rica Love Hostel 2||Santo Domingo de Heredia 1 block east from polideportiv San Jose, Santo Domingo||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Montecampana||5 km al norte de la Iglesia de Barva||Hotel||-|
|Cariari Bed and Breakfast||Ave. la Marina, Casa #12APDO#132--4006 Cariari||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|La Catalina Hotel & Suites||Beside Cedal La Catalina||Hotel||-|
See also: International Telephone Calls
There are plenty of phone booths around and you will get the best rate using a pre-paid international card (can often be purchased in internet cafés and other small stores). There is usually a connection fee making short calls extra expensive. Those travelling with a mobile phone and willing to pay the roaming costs should ensure it supports 1800 MHz GSM network. You cannot get a prepaid SIM card for Costa Rica.
Correos de Costa Rica (website in Spanish only) is the national postal services of Costa Rica. You can find post offices (correos) in almost any city and town and they are generally open from 7:30am to 5:30pm or 6:00pm Monday to Friday and 7:30am to noon on Saturdays. There are not that many mailboxes, so it's best to ask your hotel or go directly to the post offices. Services tend to be slow but generally reliable and on the whole cheap regarding letters and postcards. It costs about US$0.20 to the USA and Canada (taking about 1 week to 10 days), US$0.25 to Europe (about 2 weeks) and US$0.30 to Asia and Australia (3 weeks or even more). All in all, if you can try and arrange your mail from the capital San José as it's generally quicker from there. Small packages are also no problem, though take them to the post offices unpacked for inspection first! Otherwise, arrange things through private international courier services like UPS, DHL or TNT.
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