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INTRODUCTION TO THE CENTRAL VALLEY

Alajuela, home to Naranjo, is one of the most extensive provinces of Costa Rica and is commonly referred to as the Central Valley. Known as “The Land of Mangoes,” its territory spreads to the north, reaching the boundary with Nicaragua.

Due to the higher altitude, weather in the Central Valley averages between 72 and 75 degrees year-round. December through March is considered the dry season while May through November is considered the rainy season which translates to a morning of sunshine followed by refreshing afternoon rain, maintaining the lush green forests.

At an elevation of 3,398 feet (1,036 meters), Naranjo, set at the base of the Espirito Santo Hills, is a fertile area surrounded by farms of coffee, corn, tapioca, plantains, rice, beans, sugar cane, tobacco and beef. The area is drained by three major rivers, Grande Colorado, Molino, Barranca, and El Espino, creating breathtaking waterfalls and peaceful spots for relaxing.

The Alajuela province has an enviable natural richness. Its uneven topography includes the rainforest and plains to the north, to the upland Central Valley. Visitors have a choice of the two most impressive, active volcanoes of the country: Arenal Volcano, in the City of San Carlos and the Poás Volcano, at the Central Volcanic Mountain Range.

Poás Volcano is the most visited tourist attraction in Costa Rica. It is one of the most splendid volcanoes in Costa Rica, known for its beautiful landscape. Around it, there are different habitats, from the cloud forest to areas of scarce vegetation, where species have adapted to emissions of gas and the climatic factors characteristic of a volcano.

The Arenal Volcano, on the other hand, with its beautiful conic silhouette, is one of the most active in the world. Its charm is enhanced at night, when the color of its eruptions and lava rivers can be fully appreciated.

During the last decades, Alajuela has become an obliged journey for those who love Costa Rica’s natural richness.