Heredia and around

On the lower slopes of Volcán Barva just 11 km north of San José, Heredia (population 30,968, altitude 1200 m) enjoys a history entrenched in the growth of coffee throughout the Central Highlands. Founded in 1706, the town fought for dominance of the country alongside Cartago against Alajuela and the eventually victorious San José at the time of independence. Today, though, the quiet town is in danger of losing its position as the fourth city of the republic to more vibrant growth areas such as Liberia and Turrialba. However, Heredians don't seem to be too concerned - traces of colonial heritage and the youthful energy of the Universidad Nacional (National University) give the town a busy grace. This 'City of Flowers' has a quiet charm that seems to say San José is welcome to the spotlight.

In the town you can explore the few sights there are in a couple of hours but there are a few respected language schools in the area, so staying longer is also an option. The town offers the best access to Volcán Barva (2906 m), the main destination for trekkers and hikers in Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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