Lankester Botanical Garden


Hi Travelers!

As many of you might know Costa Rica has a lot of beautiful attractions such as beaches, volcanoes, forests and much more, but tuck in small towns in provinces not explored much by tourist or even by locals, there are many beautiful places to visit too.

One of those places is the Lankester Botanical Garden in the province of Cartago, this garden was created in 1973 and its home to more than a 1000 species of orchids. So, during one of our weekends we decided to head over to this place and enjoy beautiful gardens and nature overall.

The Lankester Botanical Garden is located in the town of Paraiso, it’s around a one hour drive from San Jose, you can use Waze or Google Maps to make sure you are going in the right direction, but the road is pretty straight forward once you are in the Florencio del Castillo freeway, you’ll be going through the center of Cartago so you can also enjoy the view and stop in the famous church Basilica Nuestra Señora de los Angeles.

There is a sign of the place where you take a right and enter a gravel road, 20 seconds later you have arrived, park your car in any available spot and make your way to the entrance, once in the lobby you pay the entrance fee which is 2,500 colones for residents and $10usd for nonresidents, there is also a small cafe and souvenir shop in the lobby area, which you can enjoy before or after your tour.

Once you are in you can walk in any direction you desire, you have a map of the area so you can locate the different type of gardens they have.

We took a left once inside and started our tour, we were so amazed by all the beautiful plants and flowers we saw, you can find a big variety of ferns, bromeliads, palms, secondary forest, a garden full of cactus and succulents, heliconia and of course the beautiful orchids.

You are also going to find a beautiful Japanese style garden which was built and design by Japanese gardeners, another cool feature is the bamboo collection which contains more than forty species, a pond and two structures with Japanese influence make this garden a special oasis.

The tour takes around 2 hours, but you stay as long as you want. Here we list a few useful things to remember when visiting this place:

  • Bring comfortable clothes and shoes

  • Remember to wear sunscreen, it can get hot in the summer time

  • Bring a comfortable backpack with water

  • Most of the paths are paved (except in the Japanese Garden)

  • There is no charge for the parking lot

  • You can bring food/snacks and have a picnic (there are picnic tables available)

  • It’s a great place to take pictures, so definitely bring your camera

This place is beautiful without a doubt we were really happy we got to visit and enjoy a morning full of nature.

We highly recommend visiting if you have spare time in San Jose, and another great thing is that you can also visit other cool places nearby like Orosi and Ujarras.

For more information:

Phone: 506-2511-7939

Schedule: Open every day from 8:30am to 4:30pm

The Garden is under the management of the Univerdad of Costa Rica.