La Paz Waterfall Gardens in Costa Rica,
Located just east of Volcán Poás, this beautiful garden complex is like a storybook that comes to life. It offers a unique cultural experience that's easy to enjoy in the Central Valley, and it's also the largest animal sanctuary in Costa Rica. It's best to set aside at least two hours to appreciate the gardens fully, but you could easily spend an entire day exploring the natural wonders. You can book guided tours, and there are several bars and restaurants on-site if you need a break from feeding the birds and want to treat yourself.
What can you see there?
Visitors can take a 2-mile (3.5km) walk on well-maintained trails to see five stunning waterfalls. Additionally, they can stroll around exhibits similar to those found in a zoo, including a butterfly conservatory, get a close-up view of hummingbirds, and even feed toucans by hand. They can also tour a serpentarium and ranarium (frog garden), observe wild cats enjoying their meals, and explore the dense rainforest inhabited by monkeys and sloths.
Can you stay in the gardens?
Experience a fairy tale come to life at this luxurious lodge. Its stunning villas offer breathtaking valley views, cosy fireplaces, and private decks with Jacuzzis. The spacious bathrooms feature lavish waterfall showers. Guests are also granted free access to the beautiful gardens.
This imaginative location provides numerous pools and interactive animal experiences, such as toucan and hummingbird feeding, which will delight children and make it an excellent choice for families. However, it is disappointing that the expensive room rate does not include breakfast, which costs an additional $20 for adults and $12 for children.
The La Paz Waterfall Gardens is just a 45-minute drive from the San Jose airport, making it an ideal location for a day trip if you're staying in San Jose. The attraction is between two national parks - the Parque Nacional Volcán Poás and the Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo - offering endless opportunities to see wildlife and take photos if you extend your stay in the area.