Heredia, Costa Rica is located only 7 miles (11 kilometers) from San Jose, but it feels a world away in landscape and culture from the rougher nature of the capital city. Nicknamed La Ciudad de las Flores (The City of Flowers), Heredia is a lush city with rich biodiversity and history. It is the most convenient rendezvous to explore Volcán Barva (Barva Volcano) and to take scenic tours through Braulio Carrillo National Park or the forests of Sarapiqui . The laidback Heredian lifestyle is a tranquil contrast to the hustle and bustle of San Jose, while only a fifteen-minute drive from the city. Keteka connects you with the best Heredia, Costa Rica tours, giving you an authentic experience of the landscapes and the culture. Click here to read more about the culture, what to do, what to eat, when to go, and where to stay in Heredia!
Heredia is one of Costa Rica’s most historic cities. It was founded in 1705 as a coffee plantation region and built with spectacular Spanish-colonial architecture. But, with Universidad Nacional in the heart of the city – surrounded by bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and stores – it gives the rich history of Heredia an avant-garde ambiance.
One of the most common phrases that you will hear in Heredia, Costa Rica, is pura vida, translated to “pure life”. Pura vida is used in an array of contexts, meaning anything from “thank you” to “I’m doing well” to “have a good day” and so on. It is also nearly as common to hear tranquilo, meaning, “No worries, all is well.” These two phrases completely embody the culture and attitude of Heredia. It is a laidback, no worries type of existence, a beautiful contrast to fast-moving, city-life.
Heredia, Costa Rica tours range from coffee tours, where you can learn about the rich history of the area that was colonized for coffee production, and how to make your very own coffee, to exhilarating whitewater rafting tours, navigating tumultuous rapids with adrenaline pumping through Costa Rica’s scenic landscapes.
There is no shortage of activities in Heredia. For more laid back experiences, you can hike through Braulio Carrillo National Park and take in the breathtaking biodiversity. Or go bird watching in Sarapiqui, a region home to 400 species, 54% of all of Costa Rica’s vibrant and diverse species of birds. There are also relaxing and tranquil canoe floats down the Puerto Viejo River in Sarapiqui, where you can observe wildlife such as howler monkeys, sloths, iguanas, toucans, sunbirds and more.
For those looking for a little more excitement when visiting Heredia, you can rappel down to or zip line hundreds of feet above the floor of the Sarapiqui forests. There are also numerous whitewater-rafting tours, with classes of rapids for everyone, from laidback beginners to experts seeking exhilaration. You could slow things down a bit by riding horseback through the mountains and taking in the panoramic views, or speed back up with guided mountain biking tours.
There is a wide range of delicious food and drink choices in Heredia. Heredia is a region that was colonized for coffee production, so not only is there an abundant history surrounding coffee; there is also a wide variety of fresh coffee grown right from the Heredia soil. You could satisfy your sweet tooth with chocolate tours from the cocoa also grown right there.
In the city of Heredia, there is an extensive selection of eateries from all over the world: from Chinese joints to creperies to nacho bars and more.
For those looking for a more authentic experience of local cuisine, Heredia has that to offer as well. You can find traditional dishes such as ceviche, seafood that is cooked not by heat, but by soaking for hours in lemon juice. Or try casado (translated to married man), a dish composed of rice, black beans, plantains, salad, a tortilla, and your choice of chicken, beef, pork, or fish.
Heredia, Costa Rica has an incredibly moderate climate, with average temperatures never dipping below 50˚F (10˚C). March, April, May, June, July, and August are the warmest months of the year in Heredia, with average temperatures between 68˚F to 86˚F (20˚C to 30˚F). Things start cooling off in September, with average temperatures at a comfortable 50˚F to 68˚F (10˚C to 20˚C) all the way through February.
The rainy season is from May to September, with average monthly rainfall ranging between 7.8 inches (200mm) to 15.4 inches (400mm). November, December, January, February, March, and April all have an average monthly rainfall below 5 inches (125mm).
If you’re looking for the time of year with the highest temperatures and the lowest rainfall, March and April are the best months to visit Heredia.
The options of housing in Heredia range from all-inclusive 5-star hotels, to hotspot hostels for the more adventurous looking to interact with fellow travelers.
Heredia is the perfect place to stay for those looking to experience all aspects of Costa Rica – with the fast moving life of San Jose just miles away, the pristine beaches of the Pacific within an hour drive, the rich and vibrant biodiversity of the Costa Rican rainforests, and the relaxed, pura vida lifestyle of the locals.