Costa Rica, lush rain forests and amazing beaches are just two of the countries amazing qualities. If you add the people and the way of life you have perfection! Costa Rica has more American retires than anywhere else in the world and rightfully so. The unofficial motto is “Pura Vida” translated as the “Simple Life” and is used as a greeting or goodbye. It encapsulates Costa Rica perfectly as life really seems simple.
I had the pleasure of visiting Heredia and fell in love! From the old churches to the hospitality shown at the open market, my heart was at peace and I knew one day I would be back. Heredia is 10 km from the northern part of San Jose and easy to travel via SJO airport and a 30 minute drive via taxi. One of Costa Rica’s most historical cities, Heredia was founded in 1705 and has the nickname “City of Flowers”. Heredia is located in the central part of Costa Rica and surrounded by coffee plantations and greenery.
If you love old churches and Colonial Architecture is your happy place, I highly recommend a trip. In the heart of the city, surrounding the main square, which is a popular gathering place, is Heredia’s historic La Inmaculada Concepcion, a majestic church built in 1796, with bells imported all the way from Cuzco, Peru.
The stained glass paintings in the church are some of the oldest in the country. This church stands in Heredia’s Central Park, and has a variety of shops and restaurants neighboring it.
Also found in Parque Central is a music temple, as well as El Fortin, a wonderful colonial tower of an old Spanish fort.
If being adventurous is more your speed I highly recommend a full day zip line tour! We did a 3 hour tour complete with a Tarzan swing and I had the time of my life! We soared through the rain forest canopy with monkey’s and the views were astonishing! The tour ended with dinner and the food was equally amazing!
We stayed at the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen and I have never been so spoiled by a place as this! The coffee service daily was to die for! I drank so much coffee that my eyes were jittery but totally worth it! The resort in it’s entirety is beautiful and set within a coffee plantation. The spa is definitely worth checking out as the pool! The staff is top notch and we had zero complaints. This is not the only accommodation option, though. If you have time for a longer stay that lets you soak in the entire experience, Costa Rica Condo Rentals are an excellent choice.
We did venture out for dinner nightly and sadly the best dining establishment I visited is a locals spot and they asked not to be mentioned. Maybe if you are lucky you can get a local to take you! It is a hole in the wall and their menu is hand written on paper bags! The food was divine and I have attempted to recreate at home but failed miserably!
I would like to visit the coast of Costa Rica on our next trip and I am certain I will love that area as much as I do Heredia.