La Paz Waterfall Gardens is located one hour from San Jose and just 20 minutes
from the Poás Volcano on the road heading to the little town Cariblanco
and San Miguel. On the way to Cariblanco it is located a few minutes before
the bridge and waterfall of the La Paz River.
At Waterfall Gardens you will find all that you expect to experience
in Costa Rica: lush Rainforests, majestic waterfalls, fluttering butterflies
and whimsical hummingbirds.
Our Butterfly Observatory is the largest in the world. Spanning the length of
a football field and reaching heights of 50 feet, this enclosed structure allows
butterflies to soar freely while guests walk amid the natural habitat.
Our Hummingbird Garden attracts 24 different species of the birds, more species
than any other in Costa Rica and quite possibly the world. Approximately 57
different hummingbirds have been reportedly seen in Costa Rica and it is possible
to see over 40% of them here! Hummingbirds are abundant around our feeders because
they are in constant supply of food (sugar and water), which is similar to the
nectar the birds obtain from flowers. The mixture of four parts water to one
part sugar gives the hummingbirds the proper nutrients they need to keep going
(and going and going). We have to be very careful that we have the exact mixture;
otherwise the birds will become fat and unhealthy. Another concern is cavities
(believe it or not) in their beaks from the sugar mixture. We also sterilize
the feeders everyday to prevent the birds from contracting a fungus from dirty
feeders. When you approach the feeders you will find that the birds don’t
seem too afraid of you. In fact, they almost seem a bit too friendly. Before
opening the park, the owners would place feeders out and wait patiently for
the birds to arrive. After almost three months they began to show up (thank
goodness, we were almost running out of that ‘patience’) and kept
coming back. Each year we see the same birds returning and bringing their young
along with them. The more used to the birds we became, the more used to us they
became as well. As you wander the trails of La Paz Waterfall Gardens your senses
will delight at the five waterfalls that line the trail.
Originally, the only way one could view the falls was by literally
hanging over the side of the mountain, looking through trees and ferns, not
very inviting for picture taking. With the construction of Waterfall Gardens,
guests are afforded views from platforms above, below and in front of the falls
for great photo opportunities.
Waterfall Gardens is a primarily a self-guided tour allowing our visitors to
proceed directly to their areas of interest. If you would rather have a guide
for your group, we can offer one for an additional charge with an advance reservation.
“What if it rains?” This is the Rainforest for goodness sake! Seriously,
sometimes it does rain here and sometimes it doesn’t stop! However, we
do offer raincoats for sale and our trails are designed so you will have places
to stop and take cover. However, we do not offer ‘rain days’ for
What should you bring? FILM AND LOTS OF IT!! No, that’s
just our prejudiced opinion. (And don’t worry if you don’t bring
enough, we have plenty in the gift shop.) We recommend wearing comfortable walking
shoes (preferably with a thick tread for hiking the trails and hundreds of stairs),
shorts or comfortable pants and a lightweight jacket or raincoat. Please keep
in mind that the park ranges in altitude from 5,200 feet to 4,200 feet so it
can get chilly when the clouds roll in.
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