This is a way better place to stay than San Jose ... I stayed in Alajuela my first and last nights in Costa Rica and the close proximity to the airport makes it so much easier. It's not a bad city either.
Hey all travellers Alajuela is the best town in CR to spend a couple of nights before heading for the beach or the mountains. It's only five minutes away from the airport and a taxi ride to there is only like 2 bucks so it is a great deal, it is very clean and much more safer than San Jose, you should visit it.
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.
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