Local Attractions

Local Attractions in Alajeula Costa Rica

Alajuela is a major city and offers a variety of cinemas, malls, coffee shops, restaurants, drug stores, hospitals, grocery stores, and retail shops.  There is a weekly public market on Saturdays where locals and visitors can purchase fresh produce, purchase souvenirs, and appreciate  the local music. 

The Central Cathedral, in the heart of Alajuela, features a park where one can appreciate the surrounding colonial Spanish architecture.  Located a few blocks away from the Cathedral lies the Agonia Church, an ornate, Baroque-style church built in 1941. 

Also located in the capital of Alajuela is the monument to Juan Santamaría, Costa Rica’s national hero.  In the mid 1800’s a group of Americans, lead by vigilante William Walker, attempted to enter Costa Rica with intentions to colonize the country and form a private slave-holding empire.  According to legend, several Costa Rican soldiers attempted to set fire to the hostel that housed Walker’s men.  Each soldier who attempted to advance and set the fire was killed before reaching it.  Juan Santamaría volunteered for the next attempt on the condition that, if he were killed, someone would look after this mother.   Juan Santamaría successfully set the hostel ablaze, although he was fatally wounded in the process.  His heroic actions are celebrated every April in Alajuela with parades and lively entertainment.

One of the main attractions near Alajuela is the Poás Volcano, which features some of the most amazing views one will find in Costa Rica.  Unlike other volcanoes, Poás Volcano’s crater is accessible via car and, once there, it is common to see gas and water emanations from the crate. The Poás Volcano is only 20 minutes from Alajuela.

Located just 10 minutes away from Alajuela is Zoo Ave, a private institution dedicated to protecting flora and fauna, and which focuses on native birds.  Zoo Ave provides lasting entertainment for adults and families.

Approximately 50 kilometers away from Alejuela lies the Arenal Volcano.  One of Costa Rica’s major tourist attractions, Arenal has an abundance of hot springs, luxury hotels, and exquisite restaurants.