Country Charm and Central Valley Convenience Await in Heredia, Costa Rica
Heredia, Costa Rica has a unique combination of a rich historical past, relaxed country-style living, and the convenience of a Central Valley location. As one of the most desirable destinations for expats and investors in the country, Heredia has a great potential for return on initial investments with the amenities of a modern, developed community.
With so many options available, Costa Rica continues to be a prime expat destination. Heredia is one such location that can satisfy the desire for a less hectic existence without sacrificing modern conveniences.
Heredia’s Historical Roots
Long before the Spanish arrived, the area in what is now present-day Heredia was occupied by the indigenous Huetares led by a prominent chieftain, Garabito. Throughout much of middle 1500s, Garabito contested the area with the Spanish and today is viewed as one of the best known tribal leaders in Costa Rica.
In 1706, Spanish settlers established a church known locally as Alvillria. A decade later, this small settlement was moved north to a location known by the Huetare name of Cubujuqui. The community continued to grow and in 1763, was given the status of “villa” and renamed Heredia in honor of the president of the Audiencia of Guatemala, don Alonso Fernández de Heredia.
Following independence from Spain in 1821, Heredia along with Cartago decided to become part of the new Mexican government while the other two major cities, Alajuela and San Jose wanted to be independent. A short civil war resulted in a four year rotating capital city arrangement.
As a result, Heredia became Costa Rica’s capital in 1835 until the arrangement was rescinded some years later.
City of Flowers
Heredia’s nickname is the “City of Flowers.” The lush gardens and wide variety of stunning flora in the area are said to be the inspiration for the name.
There is a second version that states that the correct nickname is actually the “City of Flores” after a prominent political and social family who lived there in the 19th century. A third, and more romantic origin, is that the city’s name comes from the beauty of its women.
Heredia has become an important hub in the vibrant Costa Rican economy. A number of technology companies have made their home in the area, adding to the prospect of growth in the future.
Additionally, Heredia is also the location of the National University and several Spanish language institutes. The combination of instruction and immersion in Costa Rican culture holds tremendous potential for the future of the region and the country as a whole.
What Makes Heredia, Costa Rica a Great Investment
Heredia has some unique qualities that enhance its desirability as an investment location. Expats have long known that this Central Valley gem has an intrinsic value as well as a great potential for a positive return on their initial expenditures. Here are some of the highlights:
Reasonable Cost of Living
The cost of basic utilities in Heredia compares favorably with other Central Valley communities. The range for electricity, water, garbage, and internet/cable is a reasonable $104 to $120. Importantly, more moderate temperatures means not having to use air conditioning (a major factor in electricity costs) as much.
Being located just ten kilometers from San Jose, Heredia has a wide variety of properties for sale or rent. The choices can range from small “tico style” houses to modern condominiums to luxurious single family mansions.
The amount needed to rent or purchase is a direct reflection of the location (city center versus more rural), type of property (single family or multi-unit) and amenities included. Locations further away from the major metropolitan area are more economical than those closer to the major centers of Escazu and San Jose.
It’s All About Location
Heredia is, literally, in the heart of the action in the Central Valley. Close to the major metropolitan areas of San Jose, Escazu and Alajuela, shopping and entertainment are within easy reach.
Located in the foothills of the now-extinct Barva Volcano, Heredia still retains its essence as a quiet community whose pace of life is not as hectic as its larger neighbors.
Close and Convenient
The Juan Santamaria International Airport is less than a half an hour drive away, making Heredia an easy destination for travelers from the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Rental cars, private shuttles, and public buses are both inexpensive and plentiful.
Heredia is also close to several of the most popular tourist locations in the country. The Arenal and Poas National Parks are home to two of the most stunning and most visited volcanoes in Costa Rica.
There are several coffee plantations located in the Heredia area offering tours and tastings. Various celebrations and the weekend farmer’s markets provide a unique opportunity to experience life the “pura vida” way.
Though not close to the beach, Heredia’s proximity to the airport makes flying to one of the beachfront communities along the Pacific an easy option. Both Sansa Air and Nature Air offer domestic flights to beachfront destinations like Nosara and Tamarindo.
The weather in Heredia is one of its most desirable features. With temperatures in the 75-80 degree range, the need for constant air conditioning is greatly reduced; a real benefit on the budget as well.
Language Is Not a Barrier
One of the most attractive features of Heredia (and the Central Valley in general) is the large expat community that lives in the area. While having some knowledge of Spanish is always useful, there are abundant English speakers in the area, making daily living that much less of a challenge.
Making the Most of the Money
Heredia, Costa Rica holds a great potential as a source of rental income for those who aren’t quite ready to make Costa Rica their full-time residence. Tourists and vacationers will find the Central Valley location, ease of airport access, and proximity to modern amenities a desirable alternative to staying in a hotel. With the growing number of internet-based resources, gaining a strong return on the initial investment is easier than ever.
Map of Heredia, Costa Rica
Hererdia, Costa Rica Fast Facts
- Population: 13,500
- Typical temperature: 70 degrees Fahrenheit
- Nearest airport with U.S. flights: San Jose, Costa Rica
- Nearest U.S. consulate: San Jose, Costa Rica
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