Within a short drive from San Jose, Costa Rica and not far from Poas Volcano, another fantastic tourist attraction well worth a visit waits for you. La Paz Waterfall Gardens is a privately-owned ecological attraction. It offers renowned hiking, environmental education, an animal sanctuary, and Costa Rica’s most famous waterfalls.
La Paz Waterfall itself is of a height of thirty-seven meters, and it is fed by the River La Paz, which traverses eight kilometers of volcanic terrain, thereafter flows through the rainforest to the east of Poas Volcano. There is a path to a small shrine behind the waterfall.
The La Paz Waterfall Gardens are located upstream from the waterfall itself. The entire attraction is the epitome of lush tropical rainforest, magnificent waterfalls, flowing rivers, stunning wildlife, and much more. There are walking trails, educational animal exhibits, and one can easily spend an entire day here. The gardens feature a self-guided tour and there are areas of interest for everybody:
- Waterfalls: five waterfalls line the walking trail and are visible from viewing platforms. These are the closest waterfalls to Poas Volcano and San Jose. Aside from La Paz Waterfall, others are situated above La Paz and line a steep canyon. Visitors can even take photos from behind the Magia Blanca Waterfall! Other waterfalls are Templo, Escondida, and Encantada.
- Butterflies: There is an onsite breeding laboratory for more than twenty-five butterfly species and more than four thousand individual butterflies in the walk-through observatory and butterfly garden.
- Hummingbirds: The Hummingbird Garden features twenty-six different Hummingbird species and they are very tame – so visitors can see and photograph them up close. Some lucky early or late visitors may be able to hand-feed the Hummingbirds.
- Jungle Cats: La Paz Waterfall Gardens has cared for thirty-five endangered rescue jungle cats, and they are committed to preserving the genetics of wild jungle cat species in Costa Rica. Their offspring will eventually be ideally released back into the wild. See friendly and affectionate Jaguar, Puma, Ocelot, and Margay cats in their habitat in the centre.
- Monkeys: Ever amusing, the monkeys at La Paz Waterfall Gardens were all donated by the Costa Rican Ministry of Wildlife after confiscation from illegal owners. They have been rehabilitated and are lovingly cared for in family groups. See Black-Handed Spider Monkeys and White-Throated Capuchins.
- Snakes: The Serpentarium houses thirty Costa Rican snakes, both beautiful and deadly, including the Green Vine Snake, Golden Eyelash Viper, Boa Constrictor, Picados Jumping Pitviper, and the sea snake found off the Pacific Coast of Central America.
- Frogs: The free-range Ranarium is home to dozens of native frog species, including venomous ones.
- Birds: The rescued birds in the Aviary refuge include friendly Toucans, Macaws, Tanagers, Parrots, Finches, Parakeets, and Ducks. Many of the birds have been rescued from illegal hunters, confiscated by the government, and donated by owners and are unable to survive in the wild.
- Trout Lake: Enjoy freshwater fishing in the bi-level Trout Lake and then enjoy lunch in the Big Trout Bar. Use fly fishing rods or spin cast rods and catch your rainbow trout for lunch. Swimming is even allowed – a great place to have fun and introduce children to the joys of fishing.
- Casita: a unique Costa Rican Farmhouse reproduction, the Casita gives insight into the agricultural history of Costa Rica and how the people lived a century ago.
La Paz Waterfall and Gardens offers a buffet lunch to visitors in our restaurant, and incorporates accommodation for those who wish to book ahead; the centre even hosts weddings and other events.
When you visit Poas Volcano, include some time to also explore La Paz Waterfall Gardens for a true glimpse of the best of the natural world that Costa Rica has to offer.
Contact us at Costa Rica Volcanoes to book your Poas Volcano tour today