Alajuela, Costa Rica

Alajuela is the second largest city, after the capital of Costa Rica, San Jose. From1834 to 1835, it served as the country’s capital before it was relocated to San Jose. In the last few decades, Alajuela has grown a reputation as an agricultural hub, producing much of the country’s corn, beans, fruit, and vegetables. Alajuela is the second largest city in Costa Rica after the capital San Jose. An historical fact about this city is that it is the hometown of Juan Santamaria, the famous drummer boy who died fighting for Costa Rican independence during the battle of Hacienda Santa Rosa against William Walker. A national holiday in Costa Rica, Juan Santamaria Day, is held every April 11 to commemorate his death.  You can visit the History museum of Juan Santamaria, which is located in the Old Prison of Alajuela or the Juan Santamaria Park which features a statue of the town’s hero.

Alajuela, known as Villa Hermosa, or beautiful village, is known for its tropical, warm climate. Central Park is an excellent place to sit underneath shady mango trees and enjoy the weather. If you’re in town on Saturday, you will witness Central Park turn into one of the largest outdoor farmer’s markets in the country. Vendors selling flowers, fruits, food, and crafts, create a lively atmosphere in tune with local music drifting throughout the park.

Other places to visit include La Paz waterfall gardens, Poas Volcano National Park, the butterfly farm, and Zoo Avenue. This is an excellent place to get shopping done, as you can visit stores such as AutoMercado, Walmart and PriceSmart, which all carry imported items from the U.S.

Alajuela -Costa Rica