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Alajuela basically is a suburb of San Jose and closer to Poas Volcano and has some nice small B&B's and hotels.
This is a good base for getting to the airports or to the rapid highway to the northern and central pacific coasts.
There are some small 'soda's' in which to get local meals.
The Pura Vida B&B whose owner Bernie is a great host, is a good place to stay.
|Alajuela Tropical Hostel||Calle nacional # 105 San Antonio de Escazu||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Arilapa Bed and Breakfast||Imas 2||Guesthouse||75|
|B&B Vista Atenas||Atenas Sabana Larga||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Coconut House||Alajuela, Urb. La Trinidad, Del Super La Trinidad 100 Sur y 350 oeste Frente del parque la Loma||Hostel||-|
|Hacienda El Bosque||Canton 4||Hotel||-|
|Hostel Trotamundos||Av 5, between street 2-4 One Block north and half block west from Juan Sant||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Cortez Azul||Avenida 5, btwn Calle 2 & 4 Del museo Jan Santamaria 100 mts norte y 75 oeste||HOTEL||76|
|Hotel Green Day Inn||From Taco Bell North||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Mi Tierra||350 m este del Costado Norte del Parque Juan Airport International Juan SantaMaria||Hotel||81|
|Hotel Santamaria||[email protected] [email protected]||Hotel||77|
|Hotel Villa Dolce||995 mtrs west of church-across from Rancho Maba El Coyol-Alajuela, San Jose||Hotel||83|
|Maleku Hostel||50 mts oeste del Hospital Nuevo Alajuela||Hostel||85|
|Villa Pacande||Itiquis de Alajuela||Guesthouse||76|
|Alajuela Backpackers||Alajuela right side of National Monument Juan Sant 4th Ave , 4th ST,infront of parque de los ninos||Hostel||74|
|Mangifera Hostel||Costado Norte del Parque Central de Grecia Grecia||Hostel||79|
|Hotel Chatelle Country Resort||La Garita s/n, La Garita||Hotel||-|
|The Sunset Bed and Breakfast||Supermercado La Trinidad 100m South y 300m to west La Trinidad||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel Aeropuerto||Km 4, Carretera Bernardo Soto||Hotel||-|
|Hotel II Millenium||Alajuela 600 metres from the international airport||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Totem Boruca||Oeste de Super La Trinidad||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Casa Tago||Del Antiguo Seguro Social 75 mts al Este||Hotel||88|
|Vista Linda Montana||Tambor Tuetal Notre 1,5 km oeste de la iglesia||Apartment||-|
|Cala B&B||Western side of Juan Santamaria Park||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel La Rosa de America||100 mts Sur y 75 Mts Este de La Mandarina Barrio San Jose de Alajuela||HOTEL||-|
|Planet Costa Rica Hostel||Alajuela´s Cementery, 300m N, 100m E, 50m N Repuestos Romel 50m Norte. Casa Esquinera mano Izq||HOSTEL||-|
|Hotel Eskalima||Avenida 3 (Btw C/Ismael Chaverri & C/10||Hotel||-|
|Airport Hotel Rio Segundo||Rio Segundo Aeropuerto Juan Santamaria||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Pacande||200 mtrs norte y 50 Oeste del Parque central de Al||HOTEL||80|
|Airport Hotel Berlor||Rio Segundo||HOTEL||-|
|Poas Lodge||4 kms South of Poas Volcano National Park Poasito||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Diamond Inn Hotel B&B||Erizo-Alajuela, from Invu Las High School, 300mts. East.||Guesthouse||-|
|Santa María Inn||Alajuela Río Segundo||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Guapinol Ecological Farm||San Pedro de Poas||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Sueno Dorado||La Fortuna San Carlos||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Cala Inn Alajuela||Frente al Parque Juan Santamaría||HOTEL||-|
|Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna||La Fortuna Arenal Volcano||HOSTEL||78|
|Siempre Joven B & B||Barrio Barroeta At th 15||GUESTHOUSE||-|
It's easy to find internet access, and although you can still can find a lot of internet cafes, wifi is growing fast in the country. The further away you get from San Jose, the slower and more expensive it becomes when you are using an internet cafe. Wifi is generally free of charge at most places though and apart from off the beaten track parks, jungles and mountains, the connection generally is ok. Some internet cafés also offer international calls via either phone or IP using services like Skype.
See also: International Telephone Calls
There are plenty of phone booths around and you will get the best rate using a pre-paid international card (can often be purchased in internet cafés and other small stores). There is usually a connection fee making short calls extra expensive. International calls are fairly expensive. The cheapest way to make them is over the internet using a service such as Skype at an Internet café. But making short calls using the domestic calling cards (you can make international calls using these but the denominations of the calling cards are quite small so your call will be short!) or the international calling cards available within Costa Rica (all from the government phone monopoly ICE) is the next best deal.
Those travelling with a mobile phone and willing to pay the roaming costs should ensure it supports 1,800 MHz GSM network. Note that the GSM phone systems in the United States and Canada use different frequencies and that travelers from there will need a "world" handset, such as a tri-band or quad-band phone, if you want to use your existing cell phone. If you want to use a local Costa Rica number, you can rent cell phone service, and of course anyone can buy a cell phone. If you have an unlocked cell phone (either one from home or bought in Costa Rica - all cell phones sold in Costa Rica must be unlocked), prepaid (prepago) SIM cards can provide a local number and service can be purchased throughout the country by anyone with a passport from any country. Try using companies like Grupo ICE under the Kölbi brand, TuYo Movil, Movistar and Claro.
Correos de Costa Rica (website in Spanish only) is the national postal services of Costa Rica. You can find post offices (correos) in almost any city and town and they are generally open from 7:30am to 5:30pm or 6:00pm Monday to Friday and 7:30am to noon on Saturdays. There are not that many mailboxes, so it's best to ask your hotel or go directly to the post offices. Services tend to be slow but generally reliable and on the whole cheap regarding letters and postcards. It costs about US$0.20 to the USA and Canada (taking about 1 week to 10 days), US$0.25 to Europe (about 2 weeks) and US$0.30 to Asia and Australia (3 weeks or even more). All in all, if you can try and arrange your mail from the capital San José as it's generally quicker from there. Small packages are also no problem, though take them to the post offices unpacked for inspection first! Otherwise, arrange things through private international courier services like UPS, FedEx, DHL or TNT.
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