International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

Culture Corner

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Heredia is filled with green parks and recreation spaces and offers big-city amenities in a more relaxed, college-town type of environment.

Tiny Travel Story: Costa Rica

What is Heredia Like?

Heredia is the capital city of the Heredia Province, one of the most beautiful provinces of Costa Rica. Nestled in the foothills of the dormant Barva Volcano, Heredia is surrounded by lush green hills dotted with coffee plantations, tropical forests, and national parks. Heredia offers ISA students the ideal location for exploring the region's natural beauty. Only 11 kilometers (less than 7 miles) from San José, the capital city of Costa Rica, students also have easy access to all the city has to offer.

Founded in 1705, Heredia is filled with well-preserved examples of colonial architecture. The most famous and majestic example is the church of La Inmaculada Concepción, one of the oldest churches in the country. The church is located in Heredia's Central Park, in the heart of the city, and is surrounded by lively plazas, restaurants, and stores. The charming center of Heredia is the perfect place to people-watch, meet with friends, or chat with local Heredianos.

With several notable universities, the student population of Heredia is quite significant, and both international and local students alike bring a unique personality to the town. ISA students in Heredia enjoy many of the advantages of a big city, including excellent cafés, patisseries, ice cream parlors, vegetarian and health food, and several options for nightlife, while also retaining the more relaxed pace of a smaller city.

Of course, the bustling city of San José is nearby and conveniently-reached using public transportation. Day or night, an affordable and quick 40-minute bus ride brings students to the capital and cultural center of Costa Rica. Museums, theater, live music, diverse cuisine, and exciting nightlife are readily available in San José, a vibrant and entertaining Latin American capital.

Region and Population

Heredia, population 50,000, is the capital of the Heredia Province. Heredia is located in the tropical foothills of the dormant Barva Volcano, just 11 kilometers (approximately 7 miles) north of the country's capital, San José.

Heredia's sizeable student population includes many international students and creates a unique personality, offering the many cultural advantages of a diverse university town. Students in Heredia enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of a smaller city with convenient access to the bustling capital of San José.

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The temperature in Heredia is generally mild and pleasant year-round. Costa Rica has two seasons: the rainy season (winter) lasts from May to mid-November; the dry season (summer) lasts from mid-November to April.

During the rainy season, days often start out sunny with rain falling in the afternoons and evenings. Be prepared for rain and cooler temperatures most afternoons during this season. This plentiful rain is what creates the lush green tropical flora and fauna that is so characteristic of Costa Rica. The dry season, because of its lack of rain, tends to be Costa Rica's high season for tourism, so prices all over the country are elevated during this season.

Temperatures in Costa Rica vary primarily with elevation, not with seasons. On the coasts, it is hot all year, while in the mountains it can be cool at night any time of year. The Central Valley is in a constant spring-like season, where weather varies and temperatures fluctuate.

Average monthly highs and lows (ºF) and rainfall (inches) in Heredia:

Avg. Rainfall0.