Balneario Ojo de Agua
Numerous small villages and amusement facilities surround Alajuela and provide popular diversions for its citizens on weekends and holidays. Thousands of Ticos, many of them Josefinos, leave their city homes to make excursions into the countryside. One of the most popular destinations is just five kilometers outside of Alajuela, directly at the entrance to the village of San Antonio de Belen. It is the Balneario Ojo de Agua, the “Eye of Water.” The natural spring, rebuilt to resemble the pupil of an eye, delivers almost 20,000 liters of water per minute. The 20°C water flows via a man-made waterfall into several swimming pools which seem to be filled, no matter what time of day, with splashing children. The amusement facility, first opened in 1937, draws around half a million visitors each year. The water is piped all the way to Puntarenas, in the northwest, where it flows into the city’s reservoirs.