Adjacent to Braulio Carrillo National Park, the privately-owned Rainforest Aerial Tram reserve offers an hour-long aerial tram ride, canopy tour, frog pond, butterfly garden and serpentarium. On-site cabins provide a glimpse into nightlife in the rainforest, complete with chirping crickets and shy wildlife. $55 adults, $27.50 students and children under 12. Tel: 2257-5961
Braulio Carrillo National Park offers superb birdwatching, especially near its north-Caribbean border. Located in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, about an hour and a half from Heredia, La Selva Biological Station, the Tirimbina Rainforest Center and the Centro Neotropico Sarapiqui are a visitor’s best bets, offering hundreds of bird species and special birdwatching tours.
Located just a few miles north of Heredia, Monte de Barva, a 1,400-acre farm in San Jose de la Montana, offers a treetop canopy tour and three guided hikes ranging from 3.1 miles (two hours) to 10 miles (8 hours). The private reserve also has hiking tours, ranging from a two-hour moderate hike to an eight-hour excursion within primary cloud forest. $40 adults, $35 students and children under 10. Tel: 2266-0782
Watch as a red coffee cherry, or ripe bean, makes its journey from the bush into your cup on this humorous Cafe Britt coffee tour, led by a well-practiced theater troupe. Coffee tasting and typical meals are also available at the award-winning Cafe Britt. Reservations are required. $20 tour / $37 tour with lunch. Tel: 2277-1600
Braulio Carrillo National Park is home to Barva Volcano, thought to be Costa Rica's oldest volcano. Hikes to the summit are moderately difficult, and take about three hours round-trip. In addition to Barva Volcano’s miles of hiking trails, this 119,000-acre national park offers incredible hiking, beautiful scenery, superb wildlife watching and rustic camping at its Carrillo (Quebrada Gonzalez) entrance. $10 entrance fee. Tel: 2608-1037
Medicinal Plants Tour
Secreted away in Santa Barbara de Heredia, just a few miles northwest of downtown Heredia, the Ark Herb Farm offers an ethno-botanical garden. Home to organic herbs and export-quality medicinal herbs and plants, the farm's two-hour tours are customized to guests' interests. Reservations are required. $10 per person; minimum two people. Tel: 2269-4849
Myriad vendors peddle their wares at Heredia’s famed Central Market. Get out your pocket dictionary and prepare to haggle – fantastic deals can be found here. Don’t forget to order a typical dish known as a "casado" – a delicious meal of rice, beans, salad, plantain and meat– to round out your visit to the market.
They say that you can’t throw a brick in Heredia without hitting a language school, and they’re almost right – some of Costa Rica’s most popular and prestigious Spanish-language institutes are located in the downtown area. Enjoy classes and a chance to live in the beautiful City of Flowers, coupled with a central location that is convenient to trips throughout the country.