The province of Alajuela is marked by extraordinary natural beauty with a chain of volcanoes that form the Cordillera Central. One of the main attractions of Alajuela Costa Rica is the Arenal Volcano and the Poas volcano. Arenal Volcano is an active volcano that guarantees a nightly show! Arenal Volcano also has a lake, one of the best places for windsurfing! Lest we forget about La Fortuna waterfall, the top waterfall of Alajuela area. Alajuela is possibly the most easily reached destination in Costa Rica. It is home to the Juan Santamaria International Airport.
The City of Alajuela
Alajuela is a typical laid-back Costa Rica town and the second largest of the country. The lush and green Juan Santamaria Park is a daily hang-out for locals. In the outskirts of Alajuela, you can find shopping malls, fancy restaurants, bars, cinemas and more! During your stay, try to visit the Juan Santamaria Cultural Historical Museum, close to the Central Park. The museum exhibits Costa Rican artifacts, portraits and historical maps.
The Juan Santamaria Airport, Alajuela Costa Rica
The Juan Santamaria Airport is located just a few minutes away from the city of Alajuela and about 20 km San Jose. The airport is named after a Costa Rican hero, a drummer boy who died while defending his country against the US forces. This airport is a hub for Taca/Lacsa airline, and the domestic Sansa Airlines, as well as focus city airport for Copa Airlines of Panama. Juan Santamaria used to be the only International Airport in Costa Rica until another the International Airport of Liberia, Guanacaste was opened. The airports have direct flights to North and South America, and to Europe.
Size isn’t everything! This is very true for the small but fascinating city of San Ramon Costa Rica. Located in the stunning Central Valley mountain ranges, San Ramón will introduce you to the “real Costa Rica”. The relaxed and stress-free Pura Vida life combined with an intoxicating sense of community. Alongside the coffee plantations and even cigar factories, you will find a perhaps unexpected amount of culture. The square houses a stunning church. Additionally, San Ramón has been described as the city of presidents and poets. Some of the country’s most influential writers were born in San Ramón.
Grecia Costa Rica is the town that will surprise you. Essentially Grecia is no more than a farming community, but it has some major draws for tourists. The biggest one is no doubt World of Snakes, a museum known for its stunning collection. For those loving the more fragile creatures, there is the butterfly arena. There is also a surprising number of charming restaurants, cafes and markets.
This volcano has great accessibility with its paved road leading up to the spectacular views of the crater lake as well as the surrounding country side! The hydro-thermal activity continues at Poas Volcano. However, Poas Volcano National Park reopened its doors on August 31 2018. They were closed for more than 16 months due to volcanic activity. Now there is controlled access with 50 people being able to enter at a time. To manage this quota, tickets must be purchased online through this website: www.sinac.go.cr. Get there in time and keep yourself updated!
Arenal Volcano National Park is the most popular tourist destination in all of Costa Rica. You can come here to kayak the biggest human-made lake in the country, hike in the park and spot wildlife, fish, raft, visit the hanging bridges or just relax in the La Fortuna waterfall and natural hot springs!
Visit between December and May: This is the Costa Rica dry season and the best time to visit for dry weather and amazing views!
Register for your visit to Poas volcano: If you plan on visiting the Poas volcano, make sure to book your entry ticket up front.
Visit the farmers’ market on Saturdays: For fresh and local produce, visit the Saturday farmers’ markets!
Visit the small, nearby communities: For an introduction to the real Costa Rica and the Pura Vida vibe, make sure to visit the nearby communities in San Ramon and Grecia.
Where to stay
Among the fine Hotels in Alajuela, you will find the Hampton Inn, the Doubletree Cariari, and the Adventure Inn. These are close to the airport and the Cariari Golf Course. More specifically, they are luxury hotels, with pools, restaurants, and bars. They serve as extremely convenient for travelers due to their proximity to Alajuela, and San Jose.