This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Alajuela. To help you make friends with Alajuela before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Most airport travelers know Alajuela, Costa Rica, as the entry point into the country with the biggest and oldest airport. However, Alajuela is also a province. Many come to the province of Alajuela and to Costa Rica to see the famous Arenal Volcano. The road from Alajuela to San Carlos passes through Grecia where the hills are covered with green coffee bushes. Also, growing in the Grecia are pineapple plants.
A couple of paved roads bring you into the town of Sarchi and then on to Poas Volcano National Park, another popular destination. At Poas Volcano there is a three-kilometer trail to the second-largest crater in the world. You would be advised to wear hiking shoes and sunscreen. Try to arrive before 10 a.m. to increase the chances of seeing this spectacular sight before clouds obstruct your view. There are many other well-marked trails taking you to some geysers, a lake, and other places of interest.
While in the Poas Volcano area, there is another popular destination called La Paz Waterfall Gardens. There are five huge waterfalls and one of the world’s largest butterfly and hummingbird gardens.
Alajuela is easily accessed from San Jose or from anywhere in the country by bus. This makes it an easy day trip. Saturdays are market days in most towns in Costa Rica, and Alajuela is no exception. Many fruits, vegetables, and meats go on sale. Multitudes of Costa Rican flowers also are for sale in the markets every Saturday.
As of about five years ago, Arenal Volcano became inactive. It is now in a resting phase with no lava flows visible. The Arenal area is full of other smaller volcanoes, too. So, with all the volcanic activity, the soil here is incredibly fertile. This fertile soil makes it conducive for growing Costa Rica’s famous coffee crop. Along with the province of Heredia, there are multiple coffee companies doing business in the province of Alajuela and many coffee tours given to visitors.
After sightseeing around the Arenal Volcano and its surrounding area, there are many places to stay in the La Fortuna area. For the less budget-minded, the Arenal Observatory Lodge has stunning views of the Arenal Volcano from all rooms. The area is famous for the volcanic mineral hot springs, where you can soak in extremely warm and relaxing hot springs and pools. Around Arenal Volcano, there are trails which take you to various waterfalls including the famous Fortuna Waterfalls.
Alajuela is a wonderful region with plenty of things to see and do, and your Alajuela, Costa Rica hostel should be able to help you make the most of your trip.
Written by local enthusiast for Alajuela hostelsdittoboy