Barva: Heredia’s Pride

The city of Barva is known to be one of the oldest cities in the whole of Costa Rica and is located in the smallest province of the country–Heredia. It is situated in the fertile grounds of the Barva Volcano which is the neighbor of Poas Volcano.

Its name was taken from a chief named “Barvak” who used to rule the land before the Spanish conquistadores colonized this city in the year 1561.

The city of Barva is a must-see because of its quaint structures, unique dining experiences and of course because of the Barva Volcano–another one of Costa Rica’s volcanic prides.


Structures and Surroundings

Barva has been dubbed as possessing such divine architectural beauty which is evidently and predominantly influenced by Spanish design. Majority of the houses built in this city are made of adobe with interior consisting of thick walls and roof tiles.

In the heart of Barva, you’ll see the historical relic–the Municipal Building house of Mr. Cleto Gonzalez Viquez who was president of the country in two different periods. The Church of Barva, Heredia which was declared a National Heritage has been around for more than 116 years. Its quicklime and rock-fragmented walls as well as the neoclassical design are a charm for all tourists who see this breathtaking architectural and historical site.

In the year 1940, the Barva Central Park was established and opened to the public to witness events, significant political occasions as well as a home of outdoor activities. In the center of the park erects the bronze structure of Mr. Cleto Gonzalez Viquez which was made by the artist Luis Feron. Both the Church of Barva and the Central Park have been declared as National Monuments.

Located in one of the oldest adobe houses built in the 1880’s is the Popular Culture Museum which was established in the year 1994. Both the inside and outside are decorated with various types of objects and household items as well as tools used by the people back in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Around the city of Barva are also offices of the Instituto del Cafe de Costa Rica which advocates and promotes the coffee industry of the country.


The Barva Volcano

Located between the Irazu and Poas Volcanoes and near the Brauilo Carillo Park, the Barva Volcano is believed to be the oldest volcano of Costa Rica. Moreover, it is the only one out of the four volcanoes found in the Central Valley that has not spewed out any amount of ash or lava since the time of the Spanish colonization. It hasn’t been active since the year 1492 and many of its craters have been filled with cold and clear waters. Among these are the Danta Lake (1, 641 feet wide) and Barva Lake (2, 297 feet wide).

The Barva Volcano covers an entire area of 1,500 sq km and stands 9,500 feet above sea level. Known as Las Tres Marias because of its three peaks, this volcano can be seen in any part of the Central Valley. Within in its slopes are rich coffee farms and lush cloud forests great for tours and sight-seeing.


The city of Barva is indeed Heredia’s pride as it stands tall with its grotesque structures and surroundings as well as the famous Barva Volcano. When you’re in this province of Costa Rica, take trip to Barva and you’re sure to have more than a good time.




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