Community and Lifestyle

Things to do in San Rafael, Costa Rica.

For animal lovers, San Rafael is home to Costa Rica's first animal shelter, AHPPA.  Once a sad but devoted attempt to help unwanted street dogs, AHPPA is now a well managed, full-service and non-profit facility, always in need of volunteers.  Many of the retired residents of this community take great pride in supporting this shelter.  In fact, a Dutch neighbor who initially offered her time as a volunteer upon retiring to Costa Rica eventually took the lead and became its successful director.  

Tourists and prospective Costa Rica real estate investors visiting San Rafael de Heredia will discover there is no shortage of lodging here in San Rafael.  One of the more picturesque and charming places is the Hotel Chalet Tirol. With its lushly groomed gardens and alpine-like setting, the hotel is comprised of ten chalets and thirteen suites, many with fireplaces, in a variety of configurations. After a day of hiking, bird watching, or property viewing, two of the best eating establishments in the area are offered at this romantic hotel.  First, the Irish Pub features gourmet fare with prime label liquors and an extensive beer list. Second, there is an international fusion of French cuisine in the hotel's cozy, fine dining room. Hotel Chalet Tirol provides full amenities, including room service.

Another popular destination is the La Condesa Hotel and Villas. A much larger property, consisting of 95 rooms with Mediterranean architectural detail, the hotel includes both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a full spa, meeting/business facilities, two restaurants, and two bars.  On weekends, live music draws Costa Rica's upper and middle-class locals for a night out. It is also a popular location with medical tourists as the hotel offers medical support services for guests recuperating post surgery.  

Popular restaurants in San Rafael include:

  • Baalbek, stunning views and unique ambience with Lebanese specialties, full bar
  • Marisco's, in town – seafood to steaks, bar, casual, friendly staff
  • Pizza La Finca – charming with really good pizza
  • Añoranzas – a typical Costa Rican eatery with good, fresh food