Ciudad Quesada lies at an elevation of 656 meters above sea level at the foot of the Cordillera Central (Central Mountain Range) on the southern edge of the San Carlos Plain, an expansive lowland that forms a major part of the Caribbean slope in northern Costa Rica. It is 79 km northwest of the provincial capital city of Alajuela and 90.9 km from the national capital city of San José.
The city was first called La Unión, which was later changed to Villa Quesada. Villa Quesada was granted the title of "Ciudad" (City) by law on July 8, 1953.
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