Heredia, Costa Rica
Just 11kmls northwest of San Jose is the pretty city of Heredia, nicknamed the City of the Flowers. Founded in 1706, COsta Rica fourth-largest city was first known by its Huetar indian name, Cubujuqui, but that was soon changed to Heredia in honor of a Guatemalan preseident, Fernandez de Heredia. There are good raod signs into town from highway next to the airport.
The town`s central park is filled with trees and is a great place to stroll of sit on bench and watch people go by. To the east of it is the impressive Church of the Inmaculate Conception, whcih took 30 years to build (1769-1797. The wait was worth it - its massive towers and walls proved stronger that earthquakes that have rocked the country since it was built. It has stained glass from Europe and church bells from Cuzo, Peru. Nearby is another imposing fixture, El Fortin, a brick fort with peepholes built backwards.Good thing it never saw action.
The Casa de la Cultura, just north of the park is the 1843 home of expresident Alfredo Gonzalez. It re-creates the life and home of a coffee baron, the life peasants during that time, and it also presents local art shows. Another architecturally insteresting building here is the 1915 neoclassical, Post Office.
Heredia doesn ´t have a thriving flower market as its nickname suggests, but does have a wonderful fruit and vegetable mercado. It also boasts a number of Spanich-Language Schools and the University Nacional.