Paraiso Tropical

by Alex on May.16, 2009, under Blog

Hotel Paraiso Tropical – six blocks north of parque central, Alajuela
Phone: (506) 8355 0614 or (506) 2441 4882

  • $15 per person per night, including breakfast (from 8 am) and airport transfer, deals are available for longer stays and in low season
  • 10 minutes from San Jose’s international airport (Juan Santamaria)
  • Large, tastefully decorated rooms with two double beds, private bathroom, fridge, cable TV and free wifi
  • Beautiful grounds with many trees and wandering peacock and rabbits – a very relaxing atmosphere
  • Lunch and dinner available
  • Click here for map

    Paraiso Tropical is an oasis. Large gardens with peacocks and rabbits wandering amongst its many trees makes for a tranquility that you’ll not find a few blocks south in the city of Alajuela. I’m actually being checked out by a peacock as I write. With a drive of less than ten minutes to Costa Rica’s international airport, and the fact that Carlos (who runs the hotel) offers free airport transfers, this is the ideal place to spend your last day or two before flying on to your next destination, and a great alternative over San Jose for the start of your trip if you fly in to Costa Rica. Having said that, I’d bill this place as a destination in itself. The rooms are large, very clean and well-appointed with a fridge, cable TV, two double beds and décor more tasteful than you’d normally find in places so reasonably priced as this. A hearty breakfast is included in the cost of the room and there is free wifi and a well-priced laundry service. On top of that, Carlos is one of the most helpful people I’ve met in over 13 months of traveling Latin America.

    Alajuela’s central park and cathedral are six blocks away, less than a ten mintute walk, and although I’ve not spend much time in town, I like its vibe. It seems very un-touristy which makes for quite a refreshing change over the gringo-packed beach towns and popular mountain desinations. I find it hard to find any semblance of Costa Rican culture in such places and understandably so what with such a high proportion of the population being transient and foreign. Often those places are full of people actively trying to take advantage of ‘rich’ tourists and whilst the attempts of some are so laughably transparent, there are those who are very skilled at gaining your trust and then taking advantage of that, either by coercing money from you or actually stealing from you. I’ve been burned a few times and would certainly not put myself in the ‘gullible tourist’ category…

    I don’t think that you’d find that issue here in Alajuela, rather the opportunity to meet interested Ticos and experience propper Tico culture. I’ve not explored the town that much but have found a very cool bar called Alcielo about 6 blocks or 1 dollar in a cab from the central park. They serve very good food too!

    If you’re thinking of taking Lonely Planet’s advice and are about to head to Heredia then come here instead. Alajuela is more picturesque and Paraiso Tropical is definitely the place to stay,


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