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TEFL Training In Costa Rica | Updated: 10/19/2022

What Malls are Close to our School in Barva, Heredia?

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

Many English teachers in Costa Rica work split-shifts, which means they probably have a big chunk of time in the afternoons to fill.  It's also hard to commit to going to the coast every weekend, especially during the rainy season.  However, there are number of malls in the Central Valley that offer a variety of entertainment and dining experiences.  Check out the malls closest to our school in Barva, Heredia!                                                                        


Just minutes from our school in Barva, Oxigeno is the newest and probably the most unique mall in Costa Rica.  The idea behind the creation of Oxigeno was a "Human Playground," and it is intended on being so much more than shopping.  There is a climbing wall, ropes course and ziplining inside the mall, so you can still do these activities even if it's raining.  There are also many green areas outside the mall and a track for running or walking.  Oxigeno is pet-friendly and has a really entertaining area just for kids.  Of course there are plenty of stores for shopping, a very nice movie theater and a number of fast food restaurants and other good restaurants for varying budgets.  Oxigeno puts on regular events, like concerts and seasonal activities, so follow them on social media to find out what's going on! 

Oxigeno is located in San Francisco, Heredia.  To get there from Barva, it's easiest to take a taxi or Uber.  However, by bus, you'll need to take a bus to Heredia and then take any bus heading north, like Merecedes Norte or the Belen buses. 

Paseo de las Flores  

Paseo de las Flores was the first and only mall in Heredia for a long while, and it is still very popular.  There are a number of stores for clothing and shoe shopping, a movie theater and a fairly large food court.  Honestly, I get lost in this mall! 

There is a Starbucks for those of you that have been missing it, and there is a Mac store and an Office Depot for your technology needs.  There is also a bookstore, Libreria Internacional, that normally has a decent amount of books in English.  Also, right outside of Paseo de las Flores, there is a store called Almacen Rey.  They have everything from school supplies to party decorations to cheap household items like sheets, curtains, and kitchenware.  This is where we buy a lot of our teaching supplies and affordable items for the school. 

Paseo de las Flores is located south of Heredia, right in front of the Universidad Latina, on your way to San Jose.  To get to the mall from Barva, take a bus to Heredia and then take the Busetas Heredianas ("Las Amaraillas"). 

City Mall  

Famous for being the largest mall in all of Central America, City Mall offers a large selection of shopping and dining for all budgets.  Nearly every bank in Costa Rica has a branch here as well as all of the cell service companies.  There is a very nice movie theater and a very large arcade, even with an outdoor Ferris wheel!  There is a large communal area on the first floor that is often hosting festivals, fairs, seasonal events or temporary activities like climbing walls or bouncy houses for kids. 

City Mall is located in Alajuela, just north of the airport.  To get to City Mall by bus, take a bus to Heredia and wait for the Tuasa (red) bus that goes to Alajuela.  Once you get to Alajuela, get off the bus at the Tropicana gas station.  At this point, it would be faster and easier to take a taxi or an Uber.  Or, you can walk about 6 blocks to the Central Autobusera Del Norte (Radial Francisco Orlich) bus terminal and wait for the bus going to Palmares.  You'll only be on this bus for only one stop and then will need to walk about 4 more blocks to arrive at the mall.  

Plaza Real 

Although Plaza Real is not known for shopping, it is a beautiful, outdoor mall with a nice movie theater and plenty of great restaurants.  Some of our favorites are Soda Tapia, a 50's themed diner, Hamburguesía, where you can custom build your gourmet burgers, Lizarran, for decadent Spanish food, Matsuri, which serves tasty Japanese cuisine, and Hooligan's, when in the mood for wings.  And don't skip dessert!  You can find gelato and a number of ice cream places, including Dos Pino's La Estacion, where you can get ice cream sushi and tacos! 

Plaza Real is also in Alajuela, but would be a fairly quick taxi or Uber ride as they take back roads.  To get there by bus, take a bus to Heredia and wait for the Tuasa (red) in front of the Liceo de Costa Rica that goes to Alajuela.  Once in Alajuela, get off at the Tropicana gas station and walk about 4 blocks northeast.  You'll see the mall on your right. 

These are not the only options for malls in Costa Rica, of course, but they are the closest and easiest to get to from our TEFL school in Barva, Heredia.  Check out Terrazas in Lindora for an affordable VIP movie theater experience or good food.  Or hit up Multiplaza Escazu or Lincoln Plaza in Moravia to feel like you stepped right back in the States.  

Ready to start your life of teaching English in Costa Rica?  Contact us today about saving your seat in one of our 4-week TEFL courses

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