What To Do
About the City of Alajuela
Founded in 1782, and also called the city of mangoes, Alajuela is the second largest city in Costa Rica, just 25 Km away from the capital city of San José. The city maintains a rural character with nearby coffee and sugar cane plantations.
If you wish to stay with us for a few days to relax and get to know the
Central Valley, we can assist in organizing local activities. There are some amazing places to see! We are more than happy to provide free advice on how to enjoy your day.
Please note that if you wish to join an organized tour, advanced bookings are highly recommended. Most tours start early in the morning.
One Day Tours & Local Activities from Hotel Villa Dolce
All information provided on this page is indicative and offered for our clients’ information. Opening hours and rates may vary. Feel free to call us to confirm details, if you have any questions or if interested in booking a tour.
Poás Volcano National Park
A unique and very special ecological attraction in Alajuela, at just a 30 / 45 minutes drive from the hotel. Not to be missed. Walk in the national park to appreciate the Volcano, the lagoon and the museum. It is a unique experience, as you can look directly into the crater. On your way, you can join a tour at Doka Coffee Estate or/and visit la Paz Waterfall Garden. It is possible to visit Poás by bus, taxi, car or organized tour. Open daily 8am to 3:30pm.
We recommend you visit in the morning.
Secure parking available.
For information visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Po%C3%A1s_Volcano
La Paz Waterfall Garden
La Paz Garden is an ecological attraction on the road to Poas Volcano. With 70 acres (28 hectares) of land, visitors can enjoy waterfalls, jungle cats, hummingbirds, monkeys, hiking trails with viewing platforms, a serpentarium, a butterfly observatory, a ranarium and the aviary. Buffet lunch available on site at the Colibries Restaurant.
Adults: $74 Children: $65
For information visit: http://www.waterfallgardens.com/la_paz_waterfall_gardens.php
Doka Coffee Tour; A “must” in Costa Rica!
Doka Estate is an over 112 years old award winning coffee producer. Guided by an expert, visitors will receive extensive information, which will make this coffee tour an incomparable experience. The price includes the entry to the Doka Estate, guide, entry to the butterfly farm, and visit to a sugar cane plantation and chocolate, coffee and liquors tasting. Tour starting time: Monday to Friday 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Sat. & Sun. last tour 2:30pm.
Adults; $20. Children up to 12: $10.
Buffet lunch available at a cost.
Information website: http://www.dokaestate.com/coffee_tour/tour_coffee.html
Doka, La Paz Waterfall Garden & Poas Volcano Combo Tour
A lovely all day tour that we highly recommend. So that you can make the most of your day, it starts early morning, around 6:30 am, and it includes the guided tour, transportation, breakfast, entrance fees, lunch and entrance to the Doka Coffee Estate, La Paz Waterfall Gardena and Poas Volcano. Starting our tour we will have a stop at Siempre Verde “Doka Estate”; here, we will enjoy a great breakfast and contemplate the beautiful and most famous Doka’s Coffee Plantations, over 112 years old. Then we will keep our journey through nice dairy farms and strawberry fields until we reach the Poas Volcano Nat. Park, over 9000 feet above sea level, and well known for its impressive world largest geyser. Afterwards you’ll be charmed by the beautiful scenery offer by route of the country’s most charming waterfall ”La Paz Waterfall”. Here at these natural park you’ll be able to see also the hemisphere’s largest butterfly garden, an spectacular aviary, and an awesome hummingbirds garden. Learn from expertise about habitat and life of the butterflies, walk through nice paths, while you relax and get prepare for a great lunch.
Starting time: around 6:30 am. $
96 per person (you get an awful lot for your money!)
Take a bus or a taxi and go and spend the day walking around the capital city of San Jose; visit the markets, National Theatre and Gold Museum. To avoid rush hour we recommend staying in San Jose between 10 am and 3:30 pm.
Else Kientzler Botanical Garden
This project started in 1998 in an old coffee plantation located near Sarchi’ in With time all the coffee plants have been slowly substituted for a variety of tropical plants. The process took 9 years of dedication. Now, it is a beautiful botanical garden where nature and plants lovers can enjoy a lovely, interesting day out immersed in nature.
Open daily, 8 am to 4 pm.
Adult: 6.600 Colones ($13.20), kids 0 to 5 years old free of charge, children 6 to 12 pay 1.300 Colones $2.60), guided tours available for 12.600 Colones ($25.20).
Information website: www.elsegarden.com
Britt Coffee Tour
The famous, gourmet coffee brand in Costa Rica offers The Classic Coffee Tour, The Coffee Lovers Tour, The Nature and Coffee Tour blended together and the Perfect Combination Tour combining the coffee tour with a visit to the Butterfly Garden. Open Monday to Saturday, 7 am to 7 pm. Sundays 7 am to 2 pm. Britt is located in the city of Herdia, which is located between Alajuela and San Jose.
Information website: www.coffeetour.com/coffee-tour-types
Visit la Feria – the fruit and vegetables market
Friday afternoon and Saturday morning why not enjoy a piece of Costa Rican life by visiting Alajuela’s official and largest fruit and vegetables market. You can easily take a bus, every 15 minutes, that passes right in front of the hotel and that will take you very close to the feria in no time. At the feria sellers will let you sample anything you want; fresh fruit and vegetables and local cheese. From the feria it is then easy to walk to the center of Alajuela to visit the city.
Amazing Zoo Ave!
An extensive park, conservation and rescue centre for wild animals. At Zoo Ave, you will be able to see so many species of birds and monkeys – a boa snake, turtles and much more… All the animals that can be observed here have been rescued and would have not survived in the wild, so it is not a zoo. It is a sanctuary with large, well kept cages and gardens. There are many good, typical Costa Rican restaurants in the area, so why not take the opportunity to sample some local food.
Very close to the hotel - open daily 9am to 5pm. Adults: $20 Children; reduced rate
Information website: http://www.zooavecostarica.org/
Botanical Orchid Garden
Located nearby, in the Garita, this is a unique garden where you will be able to appreciate a vast collection of and the life of orchids in completely natural surroundings. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Adults: $12. Children 0 to 5: $6.
Information website: www.orchidgardencr.com
Canopy Tour Colinas Del Poás
A 30 minutes drive from the hotel you can enjoy Colinas Del Poas. Here you will find the nicest, most secure and exciting canopy tour in the Central Valley. It also offers canoe rides, trout fishing, beautiful views of the Poas area and the cloud forest and the Tarzan swing. Colinas Del Poas offers very secure installations in agreement with International standards; they hold all the relevant permits to operate also recognized by the ICT, the Costa Rican Tourism Association.
4 daily tours available. They also offer combo tours that can be combined with La Paz Waterfall Garden, Poas Volcano, Doka Coffee Tour and a countryside style lunch. It is ideal for both adults and children.
Information website: www.colinasdelpoas.com
Terrarium Butterfly Garden
Located close to the hotel in the Garita, Terrarium is a new butterfly, frogs and bonsai garden.
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 8 am to 5 pm. Adults: $12 Children: $8
Information website: www.jardindemariposascr.com
National Theatre in San Jose
With its construction starting in 1891, the building is considered the finest historic building in the capital city of San Jose, and it is known for its exquisite interior which includes its lavish furnishings. It is a national asset and cultural patrimony worth visiting. Entrance at a cost.
Information website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Theatre_of_Costa_Rica
The Butterfly Farm
Visitors receive guided tours of about 2 hours. Tours start at 8:30 am, 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm.
Butterflies are more active in the morning when the sun is stronger. Tours starts with an introductory film to understand concepts and vocabulary.
Information website: www.butterflyfarm.co.cr
San Jose’s Gold Museum (Central Bank Museum)
A cultural and archeological patrimony offering a collection of pre-Columbian gold. Simultaneously, it offers a collection of numismatics and acquired national art works.
Open every day, 9:15 am to 5 pm. Adults: $11. Guided tours available with a 48 hours notice at a cost of $60 per person, 1 hour approximately.
Information website: www.museosdelbancocentral.org/eng/
San José City Tour
For an incredible price, this tour immerses you in the rich Costa Rican culture and history by experiencing the beautiful museums and historical sites of the capital city San José; the Sabana Park, tour of the historic National Theatre (a masterpiece in art and architecture) and entry to the Central Bank’s Gold Museum, where it is possible to appreciate nearly 2,000 artifacts dating from pre-Columbian times.
Price: $55 per person, offered twice daily.
The trip begins ascending the breathtaking summit of the Irazu Volcano for a view of the massive crater.
On a clear day, you can actually see the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans! Visit to the historical city of Cartago, to the ruins of the old Parish and view the beautiful Basilica of our "Virgen de los Angeles".
This is an half day tourlasting 5 hours.
Irazu Volcano, Orosi Valley and Lankaster Garden
With this excursion you will see an impressive volcano, visit important historical and cultural places in our country and also will have the opportunity to see beautiful plants.
Arenal Volcano & hot Springs
Visit one of the most active volcanoes in the Americas. During the evening, you will treat you to a splendid dinner and you can enjoy the volcano’s hot springs!
This is an organized tour lasting approximately 11 hours.
White Water Rafting
Experience the thrill of white water rafting! The scenery while rafting is marvelous. The equipment will be given, and a specialized guide will instruct you on how to manage yourself into the strong currents of the river. Rates depend on the level of difficulty and river available.
Tortuga Island Cruise
Particularly enchanting for its beauty, Tortuga Island is known for its immaculate beach and turquoise waters, a perfect stop for swimming, snorkeling. It is a lovely day out.
All day tour with rates starting from $119
Shopping & a stroll around the city of Alajuela
Get to know the city of Alajuela; visit the market and enjoy some local food. Alajuela is also the perfect spot for some last minute shopping and to catch a movie (in English too) at the mall. The Alajuela’s mall (shopping center) is called Mall International. Visit the central park, the cathedral, the Juan Santamaría museum (national hero) and the Juan Santamaría parkor . A local bus passes in front of the hotel every 15 minutes that will take you into Alajuela in about 15 / 20 minutes. The bus service is great, fun, inexpensive and fun!