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kbrennan Sep 26th, 2008 11:42 AM

parking lot safe at La Paz
I read a post from 2005 that said the parking lot at La Paz Waterfall was secure, but wondered what the current status is.
We will be arriving at SJO early in the day and thought we could stop at La Paz on our way to Arenal.
Would a couple small bags be safe in our rental car? We would hang on to the passports and cameras.
Thanks - KB

volcanogirl Sep 26th, 2008 12:04 PM

I wouldn't leave anything in my car anywhere in CR to be honest. We met people on our last trip that had parked in what they were promised was a "secure" parking lot - all their stuff got stolen.

shillmac Sep 26th, 2008 07:38 PM

I believe there is a "not responsible" sign posted.

kbrennan Sep 29th, 2008 10:58 AM

Thanks for the information. KB

sumi Sep 30th, 2008 08:23 AM

For what it's worth, we were there in February on our way to Arenal. We left our rental car (a somewhat beat-up small SUV) with all of our luggage in the parking lot for about 3-4 hours. We took valuables (cash, passports, cameras, etc.) with us into the park.

It's a large parking lot and it was FULL of cars and people when we were there. We noticed that there were a lot of attendants walking around as well as drivers of tour buses. At one point, I went back to our car to get a sweatshirt and one of the attendants watched me very carefully -- when he saw me unlock the car with my keys, he smiled, waved and walked on. It was actually reassuring.

When we got back to the car, the same attendant was still near our car. We gave him a small tip before leaving.

Obviously, no one can guarantee that your things will be secure but it seemed to us that La Paz was making a significant effort to protect their reputation.

volcanogirl Sep 30th, 2008 08:46 AM

sumi, I think the poster is talking about La Paz Waterfall Gardens, not La Paz.

volcanogirl Sep 30th, 2008 08:50 AM

Sorry, please disregard last post. :) I think I'm confused.

shillmac Sep 30th, 2008 09:44 AM

LOL volcanogirl! Blame it on Ike! :)

volcanogirl Sep 30th, 2008 03:03 PM

Yes, I have Ike brain - lol!

kbrennan Sep 30th, 2008 06:16 PM

Sumi - Thanks for sharing your experience at La Paz parking lot.

What did you think about the gardens and waterfalls there? Is it worth a stop?

volcanogirl Sep 30th, 2008 07:00 PM

The grounds are beautiful, and there are 5 waterfalls that you can hike to. At certain times of the day you can handfeed hummingbirds; that was really an amazing experience.

sumi Oct 2nd, 2008 05:21 AM

>> What did you think about the gardens and waterfalls there? Is it worth a stop?

I'm somewhat of a waterfall hound so, yes, I thought they were worth the stop. But I have to admit that I'm not one of the many La Paz/Peace Lodge fans. We were there for one afternoon in late February and I thought it was too crowded, too "manicured", too expensive. I think my impression would have been different without the crowds, however.

I would recommend it if you're traveling from SJO to Arenal. I think it's nice "intro" to CR but, for me, it's not someplace I need to go again if I go back to CR.

That said, there are many people who have great things to say about the Peace Lodge.

cmerrell Oct 2nd, 2008 06:47 AM

I bet the gardens can get very crowded in Feb!

I've been there twice at the beginning of December and just love that place. It <i>is</i> a bit expensive but so gorgeous. I think they've done a good job blending the manmade gardens and exhibits into the natural environment. The exhibits are quite well done; particulary the hummingbird garden and butterfly house. The waterfalls and the trails leading to them are really beautiful, and the falls are natural (not manmade).

It's a touristy place to be sure, but definitely worth a visit in my opinion.

volcanogirl Oct 2nd, 2008 06:54 AM

We have always stayed at the Peace Lodge and gotten up at 5:30 to hike the grounds and have the place to ourselves, so we've missed seeing it when it's crowded. It's really amazing when you're the only ones out there.

kbrennan Oct 2nd, 2008 10:28 AM

We won't be staying at the Peace Lodge - our flight arrives at SJO early in the morning, so we figure we will have plenty of time to stop by La Paz on our way to Arenal Observatory Lodge.
This will be our first trip to a country with exotic flora and fauna and I am very anxious to see as much as possible.

volcanogirl Oct 2nd, 2008 10:52 AM

If you want some casual lunch food while you're there, the Trout Bar is on the grounds and is good for things like burgers and beer. Good place to have your first Imperial and sit outside. Poas Volcano is not that far away if that interests you, but you have to get there early for the best chance to see the volcano.

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