Alajuela
© LOC

Divided into 15 cantons, Alajuela is Costa Rica’s second-most populated province and is inhabited by a total of 848,146 people.

Also known as La ciudad de los mangos (The City of Mangoes), Alajuela stands out thanks to its excellence in the harvesting and sale of fruit, as well as being Costa Rica’s leading coffee producer. It is located in the Valle Central (Central Valley), some 23km to the west of the country’s capital San Jose.

Among the province’s many attractions are its huge biodiversity of flora and fauna and the presence of two active volcanoes: Poas and Arenal. The activities that prove most popular to both domestic and foreign tourists are bathing in hot springs and taking advantage of the variety of extreme sports on offer in the province’s rivers and woodland.

Football
Alajuela is home to two top-flight football clubs.

La Liga Deportiva Alajuelense (LDA) are among Costa Rica’s leading sides, with an honours list that includes 29 league titles and 20 times runners-up. The club also own the Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto, which was named after a former star of both LDA and the national team.

For their part, Asociacion Deportiva Carmelita are one of the Primera Division’s more modest outfits, though they too play their home games in LDA’s stadium.