Arenal Off The Beaten Path

  • Plants in Arenal Botanical Garden 1996
    Plants in Arenal Botanical Garden 1996
    by grandmaR
  • Costa Rican plants
    Costa Rican plants
    by grandmaR
  • Lake Arenal from the garden
    Lake Arenal from the garden
    by grandmaR

Best Rated Off The Beaten Path in Arenal

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Arenal Botanical Garden(Jardín Botánico de Arenal)

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pat Hewitt recommended that we stop here on the drive from Arenal to Monteverde. This garden on a sloped hillside directly across from Arenal Lake is now also a Butterfly Sanctuary, Wild Animal Rehab Center and sells plants and seeds. There were many native Costa Rican plants, trees and flowers in addition to a good selection of imported and introduced species. Overall, 2,200 species include a collection of Cycads and ferns. The trails climb a relatively steep grade and circle the entire facility. You can see the lake from the garden (photo 2). There is also a small Serpentarium on site - if you’re interested in becoming familiar with some of the indigenous snakes of Costa Rica. According to the website below, this is one of the three primary botanical gardens in Costa Rica (the other two are Wilson Botanical Gardens, and Lankester Gardens).

    We paid a small admission fee (don't remember what it was but it is currently $10.00) and walked through the gardens reading the informational signs. We did not buy the booklet that was offered for sale. Current hours are 9-5. Visitors are limited to 20 per hour. Some sites indicate that it is closed in October. I took the picture because these are the same type flowering plants that I use in my window boxes in the shade or part shade at home.

    The purpose of the garden is to "Preserve native species of plants. Create a habitat for birds, insects and other wildlife. Provide a location accessible to students, tourists and plant lovers. The Gardens are designed to be a living classroom where students, pros or amateurs are able to study all phases of plant husbandry and identification. Particular attention is given to environmental degradation in Costa Rica and especially the Lake Arenal region."

    Because of health the owner is offering the Botanical Gardens, Butterfly Sanctuary and plant nursery was at one point for sale. $175,000

    Contact info:

    The Gardens are Open 9am to 5pm

    *Seven days a week November until May

    *May until November closed on Sundays

    *Guide Books in German, English and Spanish.

    *Admission includes: Free Butterfly Guide Book plus Free Natural Fruit Drinks

    Plants in Arenal Botanical Garden 1996 Lake Arenal from the garden Map of the area Costa Rican plants Native Costa Rican Begonia
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Budget Travel

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  • Helga67's Profile Photo

    Cano Negro

    by Helga67 Updated Jan 3, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    From La Fortuna you can make a day trip to Cano Negro. A minivan will bring you in about 2 hours near the border of Nicaragua. Here you will find a nature park which consists of swamps and rivers. By boat you will explore the Rio Frio looking for many water and wading birds (king fishers, egrets, cormorants, ...) and caymans. After the boat trip you will get lunch in a local restaurant. The boat trip and restaurant was a nice attraction but the drive to and from was just too long.

    We paid 55 USD/pp for this trip.

    Cano Negro Guided tour to Cano Negro Cormorants Great egret Kingfisher
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Birdwatching

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Arenal Off The Beaten Path

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