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 that stands out as a brilliant white landmark against the surrounding sea of green coffee farms. There's a level of tranquillity here that belies its proximity to the capital, a mere 15-minute drive away if the traffic gods smile upon you. The splendid, late-19th-century Basílica de Santo Domingo (east side of soccer field) is one of the country's only two basilicas, with two distinctive towers topped with gold domes. It's often a venue for classical music concerts throughout the year, including the July-to-August International Music Festival (masses are held from 5 to 7 pm). The older and simpler Iglesia del Rosario, built in the 1840s, faces the town's palm-shaded Parque Central (masses from 7 to 10 am).
Santo Domingo at a Glance
Elsewhere in Central Valley
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