Alajuela lets herself be toured by bus, taxi, and car or, in the best or worst of circumstances, by foot. So you can fully crisscross it from one extreme to another; or discover one at a time, a peculiar detail or one of those adorable places that configure the urban countenance of the second largest city in Costa Rica on each of your strolls.
The safest, most efficient and faster means of public transportation in the city and the suburbs is the taxi, and the units properly registered are painted in red and have a yellow triangular shield on both sides. They all have taximeters (called marias in here); although some taxi drivers do not like using theirs, especially when they are taking a foreign passenger.
Ask for the maria to start working as soon as you hop into the vehicle; if the driver were to reject the request or start arguing pretexts, you are on your right to step out of the vehicle and look for another unit to take you to your destination.
The situation is different if the service takes you beyond the metropolitan area of Alajuela; according to regulations, the use of taximeters is at will in such cases. The rate is usually agreed upon before getting into the car; remember this detail when you are going to the Juan Santamaría International Airport, which is located on the outskirts of the so-called City of the Mangoes.