Known as La Ciudad de las Flores (The City of the Flowers), the capital City, also called Heredia was, in the 19th century, home to aristocrats who had made their fortunes exporting Costa Rica’s much desired coffee blends. The historic center still retains this air of nobility with a Spanish-style leafy main square, cathedral and colonial architecture. Local culture is best sampled in Parque Central (Central Park) under the shade of the mango trees which line it.
Practically everything that Costa Rica offers is found in this small province province, from historic towns and lush, mountainous countryside, incredible volcanoes, coffee plantations and extensive outdoor amenities and recreational facilities.
One of the most scenic landscapes in the country, and easily accessible as the highway runs through it, is the Braulio Carillo National Park. Home to the Barva Volcano and lagoon, it is one of the most visited sites in the country. It is 9,534 feet high and spans more than 62 square miles and is home to a diverse array of wildlife, birds, forest and weather conditions. This massive volcano is inactive, and was believed to have b een active over 3,000 years ago.
The town of Barva dates back to the 16th century and boasts unique, colonial architecture. The Basilica de Barva is one of the most popular attractions in the area, and the most famous coffee roaster in Costa Rica, Café Britt Finca, is headquartered only 1 km south of Barva, offering 90 minute tours and coffee tasting – naturally.
A beautiful region to explore in its own right, like most places in Costa Rica, it is only a couple of hours away to get to one or other of Costa Rica’s coasts – either the Caribbean or Pacific, if you want a change of scenery and some beach time.
Dental patients will find the pace of life as sedate or adrenaline-fuelled as they like and there are plenty of different options depending on how you are feeling after your dental work.
Heredia is 6 miles (around 10 kilometers) to the north of San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital city.
For many dental patients from the US and Canada looking at affordable dental options abroad, Costa Rica ticks many boxes because of its proximity. If you need multiple trips, for example if you are having a dental implant, this may be an important consideration.
In common with other countries providing high-quality medical and dental tourism, the industry here is self-perpetuating. If dentists were not providing good services, international patients would stop coming and very soon the dentist would be out of business. So, it is in their interests to make sure they provide the very best services, which means there is a high degree of healthy competition among dentists and clinics, which can only be good for patients.
Global travel and cross-border training has also made it easier for dentists to obtain qualifications and memberships anywhere in the world and so it isn’t unusual for dentists from Central and South America to train in the US, and obtain American Dental Association membership. This means they adhere to the same rules and regulations of the professional organization in that country, which for American patients is good news as they know the standards will be the same.
If you are looking to combine your dental care with a holiday then Heredia offers you lots of options, and you will find, of course, that the prices are substantially less than they are in North America.
Here’s a look at the average prices for some of our popular procedures in Heredia:
• Average cost of a single dental crown in the US $1,200, At a Heredia dentist as little as $350• Average cost of root canal, post and crown in the US$2,200, At a Heredia dentist only $600• Average cost of dental implant and crown in the US$3,900, At a Heredia dentist around $1,500
(Image by: Donna Reiskoffer)
Find an array of accommodation options in Heredia city center, or perhaps something in the countryside is more your style with hotels set among lush, tropical gardens, or fabulous volcano views?
Many offer free wi-fi and other services including bikes to get around and see some of the sites on – and there are prices to suit all budgets.
Yes – there are no US governmental advisory warnings for the whole of Costa Rica so it is a very safe place to visit.
Yes, of course, provided you entrust your care to a reliable dentist. But how do you find a reliable dentist in another country? Well – before the internet it wasn’t that easy, but now it is considerably easier as there is a lot of stuff out there on the information superhighway.
It’s still not that easy to work out what is reliable information and what isn’t – which is where Dental Departures comes in. We were in the same boat as you only a few years ago – needing to find a good dentist abroad, and discovering that the information we wanted to see just wasn’t there. So we decided to find it for ourselves, and this is how Dental Departures came into being.
We background check all our dentists, so you don’t have to. We do legal and criminal checks, verify qualifications and let you see these, as well as clinic photos, virtual tours and real patient reviews. You can then make your own mind up as to whether a particular dentist or clinic is right for you – and of course our customer care team are always on hand to chat to.
Costa Rica has JCI accredited hospitals, one of the most prestigious international health accreditations on the planet, and Costa Rica’s dentists undergo rigorous training, just like dentists in more developed countries such as the US. So, yes – the quality of your dental care here is just as good as back home.
Yes – all of our clinics provide warranties or guarantees on their work – both the work the dentist carries out, as well as on the materials used in the work (eg. On your dentures, crowns, veneers etc). They are usually for a minimum of one year, but often for much longer.
Warranties vary from clinic to clinic, and also from procedure to procedure, so make sure you check this out if it is important to you.
Should there be a problem with your dental treatment in Heredia, your dentist will remedy it free-of-charge. You should be aware that this does not cover additional air or accommodation charges you may incur if you have to go back so it is worth taking out insurance cover with one of our low-cost providers just to give yourself total peace of mind.
It is worth bearing in mind that a very small percentage of our patients have had a problem (less than 0.01%) and these have all been minor.
English is spoken widely throughout Costa Rica, and you will find that all of our dentists are fully conversant in English.
(Image by: Dirk van der Made)
US cash is universally accepted by our dentists, but you can check out the clinic listing on our website for each clinic to check out the full range of payment methods accepted, including personal and traveler checks, bank transfers and debit/credit cards. Please note that debit card payments may be subject to a small processing fee of 3-4%.
Dentists in Heredia are not usually likely to be able to accept Canadian or US dental insurance, but check with your insurance provider to see if they will let you claim for ‘out-of-network’ expenses. If so, you will have to pay for your costs in Costa Rica, but can claim them back when you return home.
Make sure to obtain the appropriate paperwork from your insurance provider to bring with you when you travel.
Our dentists in Costa Rica are open all year round and so you can travel when you want, taking advantage of out-of-season or off-peak rates on accommodation and flights to save even more money.
You can visit our dentists at any time as they are open all year round.
Not everywhere is wheelchair-friendly, although many of the newer hotels certainly are. Costa Rican people, or Tico’s, are very helpful and friendly, and if you do find yourself in a spot of difficulty there will always be someone willing to lend a hand.
Our dentists are wheelchair accessible, with many offering complimentary pick-up services from your hotel. If you are worried about accessibility just give our Customer Care team a call and they will do all they can to get you to one of our great dentists.
Insect bites are likely to be a hazard wherever you are in the country so make sure you take insect repellent (preferably containing DEET) and also something that will take the itch out if you do get bitten.
Also, if you are embarking on a trip into the wilderness, make sure you are prepared. Don’t embark on a 20 km trip when the most you do at home is walk from the kitchen to the sofa – there are plenty of short trails for 3 km for beginners.
(Image by: Axxis 10)
The area around Heredia is ripe for exploration, with characteristically Tico towns and villages providing interesting diversions to the region’s countryside pursuits.
Costa Rica’s famous crafts center, Sarchi, is home to more than 200 artisans who produce the hand-painted wood and leather goods that the region is renowned for. If you have the time to spare it is possible to meet with the artisans and order your own custom-made creations.
Orosi is famed for its coffee and mountain views, with the additional attraction of hot springs.
One of the biggest festivals in the country is Las Fiestas de Palmares which takes place over 10 days in mid-January. This boozy spectacle features parades, carnival rides, bands, dancers, fireworks and crowds of inebriated Tico’s, after which Palmares returns to its more sedate state for the next 355 days.
The Poas Volcano National Park has trails leading through cloud forest that have been twisted and stunted by the high altitude, volcanic emissions and the cold winds. At one end of the trail, Lake Botos now fills an extinct crater providing a habitat for many species of birds, including robins, hummingbirds and the quetzal, the area’s most famous inhabitant.
A great way of getting down Poas is by bike – it’s an exhilarating downhill ride – so you could go up by bus with your bike, spend the morning seeing the park and the afternoon coasting down.
The Irazu Volcano, though still active, is quiet at the moment and hiking around the summit is safer than you think. On a clear day it offers views across the country from the Pacific to the Caribbean coasts.
White water rafting is one of the most popular activities in the area with plenty of operators in Turrialba providing trips on the two major rivers here – the Rio Reventazon and the Rio Pacuare. The former can be pretty hardcore and is not for the faint-hearted, whereas the Pacuare is arguably the most scenic as you descend down magnificent canyons cloaked in rainforest.
Photographic opportunities are abundant with the scenery in the area, but one of the most photogenic are La Paz Waterfall Gardens which boasts not only the most famous waterfalls in the country, but a wildlife reserve, a lake where you can catch your own supper and a butterfly garden.
The nearest international airport is Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaria (SJO), just north of San Jose in Alajeula.
Cruise ships stop on the Pacific side at Caldera, near Puntarenas, and on the Caribbean side at Puerto Limon.
You’ll find most major car rental agencies in San Jose. Driving in Costa Rica is pretty safe and it’s a great way to see the country in your own time and at your own place.
One of the best ways to get around and you can travel cheaply to anywhere in the country. If the journey is longer than 4 hours there are rest stops because there are no toilets on board.
In the cities the taxis are metered even if the driver doesn’t necessarily put it on. You can ask for them to do so because it is the law. Rural taxis are more likely not to have meters and you will need to negotiate your fare before you set off.
• Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaria: 6 miles (10 kms), 16 mins• San Jose: 6 miles (10 kms), 18 mins• Barva: 3 miles (4 kms), 9 mins• Sarchi: 25 miles (41 kms), 45 mins• Orosi: 36 miles (58 kms), 1 hr 20 mins• Turrialba: 46 miles (75 kms), 1 hr 45 mins
Call our toll-free numbers and speak with our Customer Care Team, or book your appointment with one of our dentists online. We’ll help you find a good quality dentist in Heredia for the best prices.
(Main image by: Dirk van der Made)