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Alajuela, nicknamed City of the Mangoes, is one of the most important cities in [Costa Rica](/costa-rica). It is the capital city of the providence bearing its name and is located just 11 miles northwest (17 km) of [San Jose](/costa-rica/destinations/san-jose). Just outside of town is where you'll find the Juan Santamaria International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaria), Costa Rica's principal airport.