Costa Rica’s second largest city in terms of size, Alajuela lies 20 km northwest of the capital San Jose in the beautiful Central Valley. This city has an important place in Costa Rica’s history, as it was an active supporter of independence from Spain. Known as Villahermosa and La Lajuela, Alajuela was even capital of Costa Rica for a brief period.

Celeste River

Celeste River

A laid back city with a friendly Tico population, Alajuela is definitely worth a visit. In the center of the city is a huge impressive red dome church that is a few minutes away from the Parque Central. This park is lush and green, and is the ideal place to hang out and mingle with the locals, who often come here in the afternoons. West of the park is Alajuela’s central market, which takes up an entire city block and is a great place to shop. Another tourist attraction in this city is the Juan Santamaria Cultural Historical Museum nearby Central Park. This museum houses many historical maps, artifacts and portraits from the battle of 1856.

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