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Zarcero is the number 11 canton of the province of Alajuela, in Costa Rica. It is located towards the west of the Central Valley of Costa Rica, 67 km northwest of the city of San José. It has an area of ​​155.13 km² and is divided into 7 districts. Bordered on the north by the canton of San Carlos, to the south by the canton of Naranjo, to the east by the canton of Valverde Vega and to the west by the canton of San Ramón. It was founded on June 21,1915 under the name of "Alfaro Ruiz", in honor of Juan Alfaro Ruiz, hero of the National Campaign of 1856-1857. Its head is the city of Zarcero.

For the year 2012, it had a human development index of 0.726, according to the United Nations Development Program. In addition, it has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. The economy of the canton is based on agriculture, mainly coffee and vegetables such as carrots and chives. A strong production of livestock and its derivatives, highlighting the "custard Zarcero" local product that aims to obtain the designation of origin. And small industries in the field of desserts, breads, and different products based on agriculture. It also stands out for tourism. It has two protected areas: a section of the Juan Castro Blanco National Park and the El Chayote Protected Area.

One of the most distinct features of the canton is, among other things, the presence of the Evangelista Blanco Brenes park, a topiary park located opposite the Church of San Rafael Arcángel in the center of the city of Zarcero.