La Paz Waterfall Gardens is absolutely spectacular! This large property features the World’s largest butterfly observatory, hummingbird and orchid gardens, and perfectly designed, safe trails along the La Paz River with 5 large waterfalls. Many of our guests have commented that it is exactly what they envisioned Costa Rica to be: lush, verdant green rainforest, lots of colorful birds, flowers and butterflies. Make sure you spend at least a half day at La Paz – you’ll love it!
La Paz is located on the slope of Poas Volcano, about 1 hour from San Jose. It’s quite large, so you should plan on spending 3-5 hours here. You start at the Welcome Center, walk down to the World’s largest butterfly observatory, then follow the extensive trails along the La Paz river past 5 magnificent waterfalls. All trails are either concrete or steel with handrails, and are extremely well-designed for people of all ages and abilities. You keep walking all the way down the river to the end of the trail, and then a shuttle picks you up and drives you back up the road to the Welcome Center. It is perfectly designed.
The hummingbird garden is marvelous. Literally hundreds of hummingbirds zoom by your head zipping their way to and from the various feeders. Informative signs help you identify each of the species, and describe their habits and lifespan. It is so artfully and professionally done – it is better than most museum and zoo displays.
The best way to experience La Paz is to leave San Jose early in the morning, drive to the summit of Poas Volcano, and visit the volcano BEFORE you visit La Paz. Drive about 30 minutes to La Paz, enjoy the gardens, and have an excellent lunch buffet at the restaurant. On your way back to San Jose, you can visit Sarchi village for some shopping.
La Paz is a great way to begin or end your Costa Rica vacation. We recommend that you stay in San Jose the night before and the night after your visit here. Many people prefer La Paz to Monteverde Cloud Forest. Come see for yourself!