The lush gardens of Lankester Botanical Garden, operated by the University of Costa Rica, house one of the world's foremost orchid collections, with more than 1,100 native and introduced species. Bromeliads, heliconias, and aroids also abound in the 7-acre garden, along with 80 species of trees, including rare palms. A Japanese garden has a graceful bridge and a teahouse. The best time to come is February through April, when the most orchids are in bloom. The garden's
gift shop is one of the few places in Costa Rica to buy orchids that you can take home legally. (They come in small bottles and don't flower for four years, so you'll need some serious patience.) The garden is wheelchair-accessible and has excellent restrooms.