Alajuela Costa Rica is the second most prominent city in Costa Rica and is the hub of the province by the same name. Much like San José, it is located in the Central Valley and has a moderate climate year round. It is in close proximity to the international airport (which is actually in Alajuela – not San José) and is full of amenities such as shopping centers, theaters, and just about anything else contained in a modern city. Despite its urban setting and large population, Alajuela is known particularly for its small town feel. Locals hang out on their front porches to greet people passing through, and come mango season, the town erupts in a festival to honor the ready to eat, sweet as candy fruit.
Typically, urban areas away from beaches are not major tourist attractions. However, Alajuela Costa Rica has quite a bit to offer! Because of easy access to transportation and cheap lodging (hostels, hotels, rental, etc.), many adventure tours are based out of the area, drawing a good amount of tourists and passersby. On the outskirts of the city are coffee plantations, a popular visiting place for non-locals. With other various crops nearby, Alajuela has become a common meeting ground for people to trade and sell their goods! Every Saturday at the crack of dawn, locals set up shop for one of the Costa Rica’s largest farmers markets.
As mentioned earlier, Alajuela is an extremely welcoming city. For people looking to relocate to Costa Rica and prefer a moderate climate, as to opposed to heat near the coast, Alajuela is certainly a place to consider. It has a great park right in the center of town, which is perfect for playing children, people watching, and enjoying the company of fellow people living the Pura Vida life! Homes and condos are available across price ranges, so the city can accommodate the budgets for those who are interested.
The Alajuela province holds one of the most magnificent features of Costa Rica – the Arenal Volcano. The wondrous volcano is still active, and on nights where conditions are perfect, a clear view has the potential for a luminous show of glowing lava dripping down the side of the mountain. Witnessing this firsthand is otherworldly!
The city of Alajuela Costa Rica was originally founded as a location for practicing Catholics and is named after its original pastor: La Juela. It even served as the capital of Costa Rica for a brief period in the mid 1800s, before San José. Alajuela is also well-known for being the hometown of Costa Rican hero Juan Santamaria. Santamaria will always be fondly remembered for serving as a martyr for independence, sacrificing his life in 1856. Every year, festivities occur in town on April 11th to celebrate his life.
Whether it be the practicality of the area, the great weather, easy access to trips, or for its cultural heritage, Alajuela Costa Rica is both a great place to vacation or to consider settling down!