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Upala is the canton number 13 of the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica. According to the zonal division of the country, it is located in the Chorotega Region, for one aspect of communication routes rather than geographical, historical or ethnic. According to geographical criteria of regional division, it is located in the Northern Zone formed by the canton of San Carlos, Los Chiles and Guatuso, and the Herediano canton of Sarapiquí. It has an extension of 1580.67 km², which makes it the second largest canton of the province of Alajuela, after San Carlos.

It borders on the north with the Republic of Nicaragua, east, southeast and south with the Alajuelean cantons of Los Chiles and Guatuso, and south to west with the Guanacaste cantons of Cañas, Bagaces, Liberia and La Cruz respectively. It is divided into 8 districts. It was founded on March 17,1970. Its most important capital and population is Upala. For the year 2012, it had a human development index of 0.738 according to the United Nations Development Program. Located in a region of extensive plains, the economy of Upala is eminently agricultural. Livestock is the main economic activity, both fattening and milk and dual purpose. It is one of the cantons with the largest production of beans in the country. During the pre-Hispanic era, the canton of Upala was inhabited by indigenous ethnic groups of the Intermediate Area and branch language, and later, it was influenced by Mesoamerican cultures such as the Chorotegas and Nicaraos.