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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Two-can play at Paz Waterfall Garden - Day 561

Updated: Jun 10, 2019

I read on Lonely Planets that La Paz Waterfall Gardens "offers the most easily digestible cultural experience in the Central Valley". As it was on the way to La Fortuna, our destination, we decided to visit.

Before that we had breakfast with our Mandela lookalike host's cousin, Grace from New York who was visiting with her daughter and granddaughter. We had a fascinating conversation with them about politics and illegal immigration. We love these enriching conversations where we learn about different cultures and perspectives.

We picked up our 4x4 hire car and within 30 minutes were out of the metropolis into the beautiful countryside with rolling hills, winding roads and lush vegetation. Strawberries were being sold on the roadside but we didn't stop.

We arrived at La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Now, just because we are in Central America, don't think it is cheap. Costa Rica together with Panama are expensive. To put this into perspective, the price of a ticket for London's Kew Gardens is £18, London Zoo is £27 and the ticket price here was a steep £36!

We sat in the car, eating our packed lunch and decided that there'll be no more eating out. We can easily save money by making our own meals. In fact, we enjoy it.

The gardens were situated on the side of the hill with Rio La Paz and its 5 waterfalls running through the property. The views were fabulous with wispy cloud over the treetops.

Tiny hummingbirds were zooming past, remarkably causing a sudden breeze on our faces. There were feeders for these birds so we could get up close and marvel at the iridescent colours of their feathers. Such minute perfection.

The rest of the birds and animals were mainly in cages. I have mixed feelings about this. Many of the animals here have been rescued, either they've been injured in the wild and would not have survived or rescued from unscrupulous owners incapable of looking after their wild pets.

They had a few mammals including bored looking Jaguars, and gorgeous slow-moving Sloths. I much preferred discovering them in the wild in Panama.

We visited the butterfly conservatory where a young lady placed a magnificent blue morpho on our nose. A parrot, in the bird sanctuary, came and had a chat with me, and toucans seemed to enjoy having their photo taken.

We met a passionate keeper in the serpentarium who had 9 snakes of his own and showed us a venomous Fer-de-lance. Tim saw one when he was in the Army in the Belize jungle; his guide legged it!

My favourite was the ranarium (frog garden), where these funny little creatures were hiding amongst the bushes. Some were so well camouflaged that we needed the keeper to point them out. One frog was stunning with its bright green body, long blue legs and orange flexible feet. Would it have turned into a handsome man if I kissed it? I already have one so will let a young maiden try instead.

We had a further two hours drive to La Fortuna so time to depart. Another countryside journey and as we drove around a corner, there it was. The iconic shape of a Volcano, symmetrical cone with fluff of white cloud topping it; Volcan Arenal.

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