Community and Lifestyle

Discovering Santa Domingo Heredia, Costa Rica.

Many tourists happen upon the town of Santo Domingo when visiting the Costa Rica's National Biodiversity Institute, INBioparque.  INBioparque is a five-acre scientific research and ecological park dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity. Attended by families, students, and researchers, INBioparque provides an interactive experience of Costa Rica's vast natural beauty. Well versed and experienced guides discuss the biodiversity found around the entire country while pointing out flora and fauna along several hiking trails, representing the different tropical forests. Wheelchair friendly, it’s a full day outing with a cafeteria and restaurant and plenty of secure parking.

Another popular destination in Santo Domingo is that of a Peruvian restaurant, Ceviche del Rey. For those unfamiliar with the cuisines of South America, this place is as good as it gets for both atmosphere and traditional fare from Peru.  Favorites include a wide variety of seafood items including: fire-red creamy chowder, seafood paella (5 stars!) and the house specialty ceviche del rey made with fresh octopus and shrimp. Both a romantic and family style eatery with a full bar, including Peruvian beer, Ceviche del Rey excels with fresh, quality food, attentive wait staff and very reasonable prices.

For non-Spanish speakers wanting to learn the language, one of the first language schools in Costa Rica is located in Santo Domingo, not far from INBioparque.  Established 1992, the Institute for Spanish Language Studies, ISLS for short, is a family business operated by American siblings.  ISLS offers Spanish lessons at eight locations throughout Costa Rica.  The Santo Domingo school is a lovely property for those who prefer something other than home-stays with local families. Choices include individual rooms (shared baths) or private apartments serving three meals per day with four hours of Spanish classes held daily. Additionally, total immersion includes cultural activities and interaction with an on-site, long time managing Costa Rican couple and teachers.  They must be doing something right; ISLS has served over 15,000 students and is now in seven other countries.

As for hotels, Located Hotel Bougainvillea is located in the Santo Domingo district of San Tomas and is one of Heredia's most charming and well appointed hotels.  Hotel Bougainvillea welcomes both visitors and locals with a stunning 10-acre garden, an Olympic size pool, lighted tennis courts, and full service amenities.  The hotel restaurant and bar serve fine foods to both its guests and local diners, as residents of the area tend to make it a destination for visiting family and friends.