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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||89|
|Travel Hostel Dreamplace||Two and half blocks East from the Central Park Her||Hostel||-|
|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||77|
|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||-|
It's easy to find internet access, and although you can still can find a lot of internet cafes, wifi is growing fast in the country. The further away you get from San Jose, the slower and more expensive it becomes when you are using an internet cafe. Wifi is generally free of charge at most places though and apart from off the beaten track parks, jungles and mountains, the connection generally is ok. Some internet cafés also offer international calls via either phone or IP using services like Skype.
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. International calls are fairly expensive. The cheapest way to make them is over the internet using a service such as Skype at an Internet café. But making short calls using the domestic calling cards (you can make international calls using these but the denominations of the calling cards are quite small so your call will be short!) or the international calling cards available within Costa Rica (all from the government phone monopoly ICE) is the next best deal.
Those travelling with a mobile phone and willing to pay the roaming costs should ensure it supports 1,800 MHz GSM network. Note that the GSM phone systems in the United States and Canada use different frequencies and that travelers from there will need a "world" handset, such as a tri-band or quad-band phone, if you want to use your existing cell phone. If you want to use a local Costa Rica number, you can rent cell phone service, and of course anyone can buy a cell phone. If you have an unlocked cell phone (either one from home or bought in Costa Rica - all cell phones sold in Costa Rica must be unlocked), prepaid (prepago) SIM cards can provide a local number and service can be purchased throughout the country by anyone with a passport from any country. Try using companies like Grupo ICE under the Kölbi brand, TuYo Movil, Movistar and Claro.
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, FedEx, DHL or TNT.
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