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Hotels in Alajuela, Costa Rica

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Best hotels in Alajuela

Alajuela Hotels

Just north of the capital of San José, the smaller city of Alajuela provides a less touristy alternative when exploring the area. This modern and lively city has a wide selection of attractions, whether it's exploring the busy downtown streets, or hiking in the nearby rainforest and listening to the hisses, howls, and tweets.

Things to see

Central Park is at the heart of the city, and a peaceful spot to relax or meet friends. The park is full of the mango trees that Alajuela is famous for, as well as giant palms helping create shade from the hot sun. There are acres of beautifully manicured parkland, sculpted shrubs, and fountains which make up this charming park. Zoo Ave‎ is one of the largest animal rescues in Costa Rica, and is dedicated to rescuing rare species from the surrounding rainforest areas. You'll be able to spot brightly colored parrots, watch monkeys swinging from vines, and see alligators lazing in the mud. The center rescues and rehabilitates animals before releasing them back into the wild, and you can learn about the work that their animal experts do. The Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto is a modern stadium that's home of the local and national soccer teams, and it's worth booking a ticket for one of the exciting games. You may also find the stadium turned into a concert venue, with many world class acts having played here.

Hotels in Alajuela

Those looking for cheap hotels in Alajuela will be impressed by the selection of hostels, guesthouses, and affordable accommodation in the city. For a low nightly rate you'll enjoy extras such as free breakfasts, free WiFi, and complimentary parking to make your stay easier, as well as daily housekeeping and laundry services. Many hotels have apartments to stay in, allowing you to enjoy the comforts of home. On the outskirts of the city there are more upmarket hotels, offering outdoor pools, private gardens, and roof terraces. Here you'll enjoy facilities such as bars and restaurants, cable television, and assistance with booking tours and tickets.

Where to stay

Alajuela's downtown is mostly modern, with utilitarian buildings covered in advertising signs, and packed close together. The streets are always busy, with motorbikes weaving their way through the traffic, and people hanging out on the terraces of bars and watching the world go by. You'll find many charming local restaurants hidden away, serving cheap and delicious traditional rice dishes. Desamparados to the east is a more historic area, dating back to pre-Columbian times, with grand Catholic churches full of sculptures and impressive paintings. It was also known as the 'city of monks', with many large monasteries built in the area that can still be explored.

How to get to Alajuela

Juan Santamaria International Airport in San José less than a 15 minute drive south of Alajuela, and you'll find flights arriving from across the USA, South America, and Europe. You can pick up a licensed taxi easily, or there's the cheaper option of taking the local bus, although it's not always suitable for those with lots of luggage. Costa Rica has an excellent bus network, allowing you to get around Alajuela with ease, or hop on a long distance service to another city.