Alajuela is suburb on the north western side of San Jose. Many expats chose to live here because of its small town atmosphere and proximity to both the airport and downtown San Jose. Even though it is the second largest municipality in Costa Rica, it’s size has not prevented it from keep its tranquil relaxing atmosphere where locals can be seen sitting on their porches greeting all that pass by. There are many things to see and do in Alajuela and although most people only pass through it, the town is worth staying in for at least a night or two.
The city of Alajuela has its own mall, Movie Theater and plenty of shopping opportunities. The central park is a very important part of the city where locals gather to socialize and listen to live concerts. On Saturday mornings, Alajuela hosts one of the largest outdoor farmer’s markets in the country where tourists can gaze upon hundreds of stalls selling flowers, fresh produce, handicrafts and much more. Alajuela is also very close to many top tourist attractions. The La Paz Waterfall Gardens located in the same province is only 45 minutes outside of the city. Here, travelers can tour the extensive grounds to see wildlife and breathtaking waterfalls. The Poas Volcano National Park is also great to visit since travelers can walk through the park and visit the craters. This attraction is about 50 minutes outside of the city. Coffee tours and Spanish language programs are also popular in this town and the surrounding areas.
The best time to visit Alajuela is in April when the town celebrates the man it was named after with a huge parade and carnival. Juan Santamaria was a drummer boy in the battle against William Walker in 1856 who turned into a national hero after he sacrificed his own life to preserve this Central American country’s independence. The rest of the year however has enjoyable weather and the town is active all year long.
Hotels Alajuela Costa Rica
There are many small hotels in the center including many backpacker’s places. The Alajuela Backpackers Boutique Hotel is one of the most economical with shared areas to socialize and clean private rooms. The rooftop bar gives guests a great view of the Central Valley as well. If you are looking for something more comfortable, there are also various luxury hotels in the surrounding area. Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose is one of the top hotels in the area with excellent accommodations. They have a special Hello, Goodbye deal with two nights on arrival and one night before departure. Xandari Resort & Spa is also a great option for a secluded vacation with all of the important amenities.
Modern Convenience with Agrarian Roots
Costa Rica is full of things to do and see and Alajuela is a great home base for exploring. Once a small agricultural town, the locals have kept the small village vibe while opening their doors to tourists who visit this Central American country. Alajuela gives travelers a glimpse of rural life with all of the comforts of a contemporary city.