A short guide to the beautiful Alajuela

Hilliside in Alajuela Province, ©Christopher Gosselin/Flickr

The second city of Costa Rica is Alajuela, however this status is possibly not right. In accumulation to having a prosperous colonial history, this city is an appealing place echoing warmness and welcoming vibe which is virtually missing from the capital. This modern city is very clean, the local people are hard-working, they do their jobs as seriously as they can.

Tourists are coming in Alajuela, but this is not a ‘destination’, though it’s a suitable place if you’re flying in or out, or if you just want to spend a only some days discovering the north valley. So, just take a walk, eat something or have an ice cream and some snack if the Liga Alajuelense local football team is playing.

Get in

Alajuela is located 3km from Juan Santamaria International Airport and it is cheaper to reach than San Jose.

Get around

Walk – Alajuela is not a big town, so you can just walk through. You need an afternoon to see the whole downtown.

Central Park of Alajuela, ©puroticorico/Flickr

Bus – You can find public busses that are going cross the city. TUASA and Station Wagon are the two major bus companies, that offer services connecting Alajuela and the capital, San Jose. It’s cheap to go by bus, not more than $1 US and run often. By bus, you can go to nearby towns as Heredia, Sarchi, Poas and San Ramon.

Taxi – The easiest and the cheapest way to visit the town is to get a taxi. Taxicabs are red. Many are standing scattered in the city. The orange taxies are airport taxies, you can pay for it only in US dollars but for the red ones you pay Costa Rican money. You should not let tip, it is not expected, if you want you can let the driver keep the change.


Hotel Aeropuerto is 5 minutes from the San Jose Airport. From this hotel you have free transportation to and from the airport.

Hotel Los Volcanes is in the city center.

Arenal Volcano at Alajuela, ©Cristian Haugen/Flickr

Hotel Pura Vida is just one kilometer from the city center and guarantee a relaxed atmosphere.

Hotel La Rosa de America is 15 minutes from the San Jose Airport. This is guarantee clean accommodation located around a swimming pool and a wonderful tropical garden.

Xandari Resort, this elegant Resort and Spa located in the central valley region, 20 minutes far from the airport. In the central valley is volcanoes, hillsides and blossoming plantations.

Christopher Panzer, the newest and modern B&Bs..Our motto is: sustainable development, and that surround everything from the design and built of the house to the meals are served, to everyday operations, that contain recycling and composting.

Vida Tropical, the cozy and fine managed B&B is near the airport. It takes just a close walk to the central Alajuela.

Hilliside in Alajuela Province, ©Christopher Gosselin


Leave a Reply