San Rafael de Heredia, Heredia

Known for its verdant hills and large farming communities, the province of Heredia is the ideal place for visitors to experience the real Costa Rica. The area is home to stunning scenery, friendly locals and a variety of exciting attractions just waiting to be explored. A short distance northeast of the town of Heredia, the town of San Rafael de Heredia is the perfect alternative for tourists who want to be close to the action without dealing with the hustle and bustle of the provincial capital.

Pura Vida

The town of San Rafael de Heredia is perhaps best known for its large church, which sits atop one of the tallest hills in town. This remarkably well-preserved church features impressive architecture and numerous traditional stained-glass windows.

Tourists who want to explore Heredia's rugged natural beauty can take Route 126 north from San Rafael de Heredia to reach Barva Volcano, one of the most impressive and ancient volcanoes in Central America. Part of the range known to Ticos as "Las Tres Marias," or The Three Marys, Barva has around a dozen eruptive craters at the summit, offering adventurous travelers ample opportunities to explore this mighty mountain on hiking expeditions.

Barva also boasts one of the largest crater lakes in the area, known as Barva Lagoon. There are multiple trails that wind around this volcanic lake, providing hikers with incredible views and a moderate workout.

Scenic Luxury

Although Heredia is primarily an agricultural province, there is no shortage of luxury hotels for visitors to enjoy during their stay. The Hotel la Condesa is one of the most impressive in the region, offering large swimming pools, a top-quality golf course, a full-service spa complete with many therapeutic treatments and a superb restaurant, making it an ideal place for tourists to enjoy a little rest and relaxation in the heart of the Costa Rican countryside.

For accommodations offering something a little different, the Hotel Chalet Tirol could be the perfect choice. Modeled on the chalets of ski resorts, this hotel provides guests with private cabins offering spectacular views of the rolling Heredia hills, in addition to the hiking trails and walking paths that wind through the foothills of the nearby mountains. Guests can also choose to explore the hotel's landscaped gardens, which feature a number of exotic plants and flowers - perfect for a lazy morning walk in the Costa Rica sunshine.

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