At the southern point of the province, only 11km north of San José, a quaint university city sits in the shadow of the dormant Volcán Barva. Established in 1706, Heredia is known as the ‘City of Flowers’ due to its verdant flora, which thrive in the area's temperate climate and sporadic rain showers. Dotted with colonial architecture, it’s a popular choice for those wanting to learn Spanish.
There's a mini tech industry in Heredia, and Intel opened two new business units in 2015, focusing on engineering, information security and product life cycle, yet the region's most notable industry is still coffee. Base yourself here for an easy gateway to one of Costa Rica’s largest swaths of highland forest, Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo.