La Paz Waterfall Gardens picture
La Paz Waterfall Gardens
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Key Info

Vara Blanca

Details

Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Short for Catarata La Paz (or "peace waterfall"), La Paz may seem quiet and still at first glance. But take another look, and you'll find this rainforest buzzing with activity. From croaking frogs and fluttering butterflies to rumbling jaguars and howling spider monkeys, there are plenty of creatures to be found in this wildlife-lover's paradise. And there is much for nature-seekers to admire too, from the garden's five flowing waterfalls to its colorful orchids and sea of leafy green canopies.

Recent travelers said it is a must-see for every first-time visitor to Costa Rica, describing the waterfalls as "amazingly beautiful." Others were pleased with the friendly and knowledgeable staff. If you don't want to pay the admission price, you can see the waterfalls from the highway, according to visitors. But many said the entrance fees were worth the experience.

La Paz is located along the northeastern edge of Volcán Poás in Costa Rica's Northern Plains. The easiest way to reach La Paz is to take the one-hour bus, taxi, or car ride from San José; just follow the Pan-American Highway. You can also book transportation through the website. The park, which recommends guests set aside at least two hours to explore, welcomes visitors every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission, which includes access to all the trails and attractions, costs $44  for adults and $28 for children ages 3 to 12. There is also an inexpensive and expansive buffet lunch if you want to eat at the park (for an additional fee).

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Nicoya Peninsula
Arenal Volcano
Type
Time to Spend
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#1 Nicoya Peninsula

The Nicoya Peninsula's sparkling 80-mile shoreline boasts beach-centric towns with cream-colored shores and dense forests. Half of the peninsula is found in the Guanacaste province, while the other half sits in the Puntarenas province. Nosara Beach's powdery sands line the Nicoya Peninsula's western edge. You'll also find fishing and cattle-ranching communities east of the rustic coastline. After a significant rise in tourism that began in the 1970s, an influx of restaurants and hotels have enticed visitors to the peninsula's sandy coast.

Recent travelers highlight Nosara Beach's gorgeous sunsets, colorful fish and turquoise waters as ideal for surfers and beach lovers alike. But be warned: shade is minimal (and it gets hot!) and the undertow can be challenging; sunset walks on the beach are highly encouraged. Other hot spots include Mal País and Montezuma, a charming coastal town that boasts affordable hotel accommodations and untamed splendors, like magnificent waterfalls and gentle cerulean waves.

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