Costa Rica Expat City Guide

Alajuela, Costa Rica

Alajuela, Costa Rica, also known as the “City of Mangos”, is a vibrant city located in the Central Valley and is part of the Greater Metropolitan Area. While many tourists know it as a transportation hub due to its proximity to the international airport and to San José, the city offers much more than just a quick stopover. Alajuela’s top industries include agriculture (including the mango), manufacturing, and tourism, which have contributed significantly to its robust economic growth.

The city also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with historic landmarks and museums such as the Juan Santamaria Museum and the Alajuela Cathedral, a beautiful neo-gothic structure. There are also several universities in the area, such as the Universidad Técnica Nacional and the Universidad Estatal a Distancia. It is the natural beauty of the region, however that draws the most visitors. Poás Volcano National Park, one of the top tourist sites in the area, is located just a short drive from the city center. The park features an impressive active volcano, which offers visitors the opportunity to witness a live eruption. In addition to the volcano, the park is also home to several hiking trails, waterfalls, and other natural wonders that are sure to leave visitors awestruck. Poás is one of five stratovolcanic complexes that make up the Cordillera Central range (Platanar, Poás, Barva, Irazú, and Turrialba). Thanks to its proximity to the international airport, excellent healthcare facilities, and a wide range of recreational activities, Alajuela is an attractive destination for retirees, digital nomads, and families looking to relocate.

Alajuela Location

Map of Costa Rica

Alajuela Climate

Climate Type: Tropical Monsoon

Alajuela experiences temperatures similar to those of the Central Valley as a whole, with an average range of 18°C to 29°C (65°F to 85°F) throughout the year. It is uncommon for temperatures to drop below 17°C (62°F) or rise above 31°C (88°F), however high humidity throughtout much of the year makes the temperatures feel much warmer and muggier.

Alajuela Weather

Alajuela, CR
8:57 am
weather icon 24°C | °F
L: 23° H: 24°
clear sky
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 5:17 am
Sunset: 6:00 pm

At a Glance

Population: 302,074 (2017 data)

Popular Expat Neighborhoods: Centro, Desamparados, Juan Santamaria, La Ceiba, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Lagunillas, Montecillos, Poas, Rio Segundo, San Isidro, Tacacori

Largest Regional City: Alajuela

Vibe: city, urban, shopping hub, commercial

Distance to Nearest International Airport: Juan Santamaria International Airport – 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) – approx. 10 minutes without heavy traffic


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