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Central Valley Sights

Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center)

  • 3 km (2 miles) outside Turrialba, on road to Siquirres Map It
  • Turrialba
  • Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

Updated 04/09/2014

Fodor's Review

A good place for bird-watchers and garden enthusiasts, the center, better known by its Spanish acronym, CATIE, is one of the leading tropical research centers in Latin America, with headquarters here and affiliates in nine other countries. You might catch sight of the yellow-winged northern jacana or the purple gallinule in the lagoon near the main building. The 10-square-km (4-square-mile) property includes landscaped grounds, seed-conservation chambers, greenhouses,

orchards, experimental agricultural projects, a large swath of rain forest, labs and offices, and lodging for students and teachers. The most popular attraction is the Botanical Garden Tour, a two-hour guided walk to taste, smell, and touch tropical fruits, along with cacao, coffee, and other medicinal and stimulant plants. A favorite stop is the "miracle fruit" tree, whose berries magically make anything sour taste sweet.

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Sight Information


3 km (2 miles) outside Turrialba, on road to Siquirres, Turrialba, 30502, Costa Rica

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Sight Details:

  • $25 with guide, $10 on your own; $35 for half-day tour, $50 for full-day tour, including lunch
  • Botanical Garden daily 7–4; reservations recommended for guided tours, especially on weekends

Updated 04/09/2014


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