Ala­juela, Costa Rica.

REA­SONS TO VISIT MR & MRS SMITH gift card,

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Joe Hildebrand -

ALA­JUELA, COSTA RICA

Costa Rica is a trav­eller’s play­ground, with jun­gles, wa­ter­falls and vol­ca­noes, plus ex­cel­lent cof­fee and choco­late. Ala­juela, its sec­ond-largest city af­ter cap­i­tal San José, is brim­ming with laid-back, lo­cal charm. Lo­cated in the Cen­tral Val­ley and home to the main in­ter­na­tional air­port, it’s a great base for sight­see­ing and ab­sorb­ing Costa Rica’s breath­tak­ing beauty. And the weather’s per­fect, av­er­ag­ing 22˚C to 26˚C all year round. Ala­juela re­tains a warm, invit­ing at­mos­phere – where lo­cals go about their days at a leisurely pace, greet­ing passersby. Ash Anand

FOR MORE IN-DEPTH DE­TAILS…

Tele­topia. Max­i­mum call cost $1.32 per minute, in­clud­ing GST. Higher charges from mo­biles/pay­phones may ap­ply. Cus­tomer care: 1300 366 702.

Check out POÁS VOL­CANO NA­TIONAL PARK. Deep in a cloud for­est, Poás Vol­cano’s crater – 2.5km wide – is a strik­ing sight.

At ASCLEPIOS WELL­NESS & HEAL­ING RE­TREAT. With a and or­ganic food; as­cle­pio­scr.com. ho­tels

Try the at LA FABBRICA PIZZE­RIA. Its fresh, home­made pasta tastes ut­terly pizze­ria.com.

Ala­juela out­side its cap­i­tal, Ala­juela city. Visit ARE­NAL VOL­CANO NA­TIONAL PARK and see the turquoise wa­ters of

Stroll through LA PAZ WATER­FALL GAR­DENS to ad­mire cas­cad­ing wa­ter­falls, amid a forested wildlife refuge; water­fall gar­dens.com.

HUNTER LAB

PAUL SMITH

SEAFOLLY

PERSOL

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