As anyone that knows me knows, I spend about half my time in Costa Rica. Lately I’ve been around Heredia a lot because of a new work project with my friend Ana, who lives there. About a 5 minute bus ride from downtown Heredia is a new shopping mall that I felt was worth mentioning, for anyone heading to that area.
Shopping malls, at least in my opinion, are usually pretty boring. I know there are exceptions, but I’m not a fan of shopping in general, (except online sometimes) so I’m hard to impress. This place just opened up a couple of months ago however, and it’s quite remarkable! It’s called Oxígeno Human Playground. (Yes, that’s actually the name!)
The draw for me isn’t the stores or the shopping, but the overall design of the project. Check out this overhead conceptual view!
This is a mall that’s best features are on the outside! There are walking/ running tracks around the outside of the mall, and the open air area outside on the top offers some spectacular views of Heredia and San José, and the mountains all around!
The interior of the spaceship shaped center of the mall is cool also, with a skating rink, and food court.
Since cool architecture fascinates me, I was mesmerized by the giant steel arch at the entrance. I tried to take a photo that would show the absolute enormity of it, but it was really hard to do it justice.
The creators of this project were truly visionaries. I’m not easily impressed by shopping malls, but Oxígeno Human Playground is more than just a shopping mall, it’s a cool place to spend a couple hours!
Although Heredia in general is not a touristy place, this is worth the drive or Uber ride from San José, if you are spending any time in the capital. If you have kids, there are a ton of activities geared towards the young ones, so this might be a nice afternoon excursion to keep them busy.