Between Heredia and San José, the pretty town of Santo Domingo de Heredia, established in the early 19th century, has wide streets and fine examples of traditional, tile-roof houses, and a monumental church, the Basílica de Santo Domingo, that stands out as a brilliant white landmark against the surrounding sea of green coffee farms. There's a level of tranquility here that belies its proximity to the capital, a mere 30-minute drive away if the traffic gods smile upon you.
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