The Heredia Province is the smallest province of Costa Rica, which capital is a city with the same name and better known as “The City of Flowers”. This province is located to the North of San Jose just about 15km from its Downtown, it also borders with Nicaragua and the provinces of Alajuela and Limon. Heredia is known for many things, education, employment, tourism and one of Costa Rica’s biggest passions… soccer.
Heredia is called the city of flowers because in past centuries this area was known countrywide because of its beautiful women, referred to the men of those days as “the flowers”. Nowadays that name can be given too because of the massive cultivation of ornamental flowers grown in this area, of which about 80% are for exportation purposes. This lovely province is also known for being the home to many foreign companies that come to do business in Costa Rica at the “Free Zones”, these are basically large business parks where companies reside and pay little to no taxes in exchange of encouragement of economic activity. As an example, some of these companies that can be found operating in the Heredia Province are or DHL, Hewlett Packard, Amazon, Boston Scientific, Dell/Alienware, Intel, City Bank Corporate Centers and many more. A lot of people from across the central valley come to work in Heredia.
Speaking of people coming from other parts of the country to the Heredia Province, the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica (UNA) or National University of Costa Rica is one of the most important and prestigious colleges in all Costa Rica, where lots of people from all over the country come to study. This University is very important to all the population too because it is the home of the Volcanic and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI); thanks to them we are up to speed in research and news about seismic activity and Volcanic Activity in Costa Rica. Another reason is that this university is known for accepting many foreign students who want to come and study in Costa Rica.
In terms of sports, the “Club Sport Herediano” soccer team is the heart and soul of this city. Costa Rica is very big in the sport of , but the love for the sport and the team in this city is incredible, statistics state that the city of Heredia has the most loyal fans above all other teams in Costa Rica. So you are more than likely to see the team colors (Yellow and Red) in random parts of Heredia, whether it’s on cars decals, soccer jerseys or propaganda.
Speaking of tourism, there are many things to do for the visitors in the Heredia Province. Here is the name of a few places that you can visit while in the Heredia Province:
Sarapiqui: This is still an unexplored part of the country where tourism is starting to take off, especially now with the new road that connects this region with the , the most visited place in Costa Rica. Many activities are done in Sarapiqui, but the most popular are , which is actually the best class II-III rafting trip in all Costa Rica. This area also offers nature hikes and adventure tours, such as horseback riding and zip lining. There are not lots of hotels in this area, but the number of them is growing in the past years with the introduction of tourism. Some of the most important accommodation options are the Sarapiqui Rainforest Lodge, the Selva Verde Lodge, the Tirimbina Lodge and the La Quinta Hotel.
Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui: The Puerto Viejo area is famous for the boat tours offered on the Sarapiqui River, there are actually many docks where the tourists board the boats to go on nature safaris to observe . There are not too many options for lodging here, just a few very modest cabins.
: This is a research center where nature hikes of many kinds are offered, as well as their signature chocolate tour, where a full explanation about cocoa is provided, including the history of its origins until the uses in modern times. This reserve also features a modest lodge where the visitors can stay.
: This is a park where the visitors can hike all the way to the main crater of this volcano, but unfortunately the access is difficult because of its road in bad condition and the hike from the entrance to the crater is very intense. The views of the nature are amazing, especially the main crater that is now a deep-green lagoon completely surrounded by Cloud Forest.
Braulio Carrillo National Park: This is one of the biggest national parks in Costa Rica, where many different habitats can be observed around its trails. There is also a huge amount of wildlife in this park, but most of the times are difficult to see it because of the huge extension of the park, where the animals can easily disperse.
La Selva Biological Station: This is another research center dedicated to conservation, where guided and self-guided hikes are offered.
Heredia City: This is a town where the visitors can learn about the history of the province, as well as the traditions of this particular part of the country.
Heredia is a small providence on a map, but there are numerous amounts of things to do and learn from this place.