- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Spanish Phrases
Fodor's Costa Rica 2014
Wilson Botanical Garden
Wilson Botanical Garden Review
A must-see for gardeners and bird-watchers, the world-renowned Wilson Botanical Garden is enchanting even for those who are neither. Paths through the extensive grounds are lined with exotic plants and shaded by avenues of palm trees and 50-foot-high bamboo stalks. In 1961, U.S. landscapers Robert and Catherine Wilson bought 30 acres of coffee plantation and started planting tropical species, including palms, orchids, bromeliads, and heliconias. Today the property extends over 635 acres, and the gardens hold around 2,000 native and more than 3,000 exotic species. The palm collection—more than 700 species—is the second largest in the world. Fantastically shaped and colored bromeliads, which usually live in the tops of trees, have been brought down to the ground in impressive mass plantings, providing one of many photo opportunities.
The property was transferred to the Organization for Tropical Studies in 1973, and in 1983 it became part of Amistad Biosphere Reserve. Under the name Las Cruces Biological Station, Wilson functions mainly as a research and educational center, so there is a constant supply of expert botanists and biologists to take visitors on natural-history tours in the garden and the adjoining forest trails. Birders can hike to the new canopy tower in the forest, funded by the local San Vito Birding Club, to get up to eye level with birds in the treetops. If you spend a night at the garden lodge, you have the garden all to yourself in the late afternoon and early morning, when wildlife is most active.
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
We had a fabulous first trip to Costa Rica at Christmas 2012, visiting Arenal (Lost Iguana Lodge & Villa Decary), Tortuguero (Manatus Lodge), Osa Peninsula (Drake’s Bay Aguila de Osa and south Read more
Dear Gate One Travel,
I recently returned from a trip booked with Gate One Travel with my family to Costa Rica and wanted to share our experience.
Reservation # 678910 10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Manuel Read more
My fiancé and I are going to Costa Rica for our honeymoon in September. Read more
· News & Features
Hyatt Hotels Corporation's growing Andaz brand unveiled its latest property, the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo,... Read more
Officials plan to close Costa Rica's two public zoos and free animals due to environmentalist criticism.... Read more
Do you dream about going snout-to-snout with a bear, or at least observing a bear from a safe and responsible... Read more