Alajuela Getting Around
Alajuela on Foot:
Though packed with honking cars, Alajuela is easy to navigate on foot; visitors can walk the entire downtown area in less than 45 minutes. The town center is framed by Calle Ancha (wide street) which runs the perimeter of the city much like a large box. The heart of Alajuela is central park and the Catholic Church, both commonly used as landmarks when giving directions. Avenidas (avenues) run east/west and Calles (streets) run north/south. However, Alajuela has few street signs and Calles and Avenidas are rarely used in directions.
Taxis are plentiful and visitors will find taxi stands along Alajuela’s main parks and behind the Mall Internacional. They are a convenient way of getting around town but can be pricey for long hauls. All official red taxis have meters that calculate fares based on distance and travel time. Official Red Taxi Tel: 2443-3535, 2443-3030
Sample taxi fares from Alajuela to nearby destinations:
- Juan Santamaria International Airport $5-$7
- San Jose - $15-20
- Heredia - $15
- Zoo Ave (in La Garita) - $8
- Atenas - $16 - $20
- Doka Estate Coffee Plantation - $15-$20
- La Paz Waterfall Gardens - $45-$60
Alajuela has an extensive and reliable public transportation system. From the main bus terminal, TUASA buses depart daily for San Jose, Heredia and Poas Volcano National Park.
Buses depart Alajuela every five to ten minutes beginning at 4 a.m. with the last bus at 10 p.m. The trip lasts from 45 minutes to one hour and costs 60 cents. Some buses are marked direct while others make a few stops along the way, including the airport.
Buses depart every eight minutes for Heredia starting at 4 a.m. until 10 p.m. The trip lasts from 40 minutes to an hour and costs 60 cents. Direct buses do not pass by the international airport.
Poas Volcano National Park
Buses depart from San Jose and pass by Alajuela’s TUASA station at 9:15 a.m. Cost is $3 roundtrip. The bus departs Poas at 2:30 p.m. and returns to Alajuela by 3:30 p.m.
For destinations including La Garita, Sarchi, Atenas, Grecia and other small towns, buses leave from the El Pacifico bus station, just a half a block south of the TUASA terminal.