La Paz Waterfall Gardens Guide

The La Paz Waterfall Gardens is one of Costa Rica’s most appealing tourist attractions, thanks to its convenient location and a generous selection of quintessential Costa Rica experiencesThe famed eco-park showcases a sprawling wildlife & nature exhibit, set against a surreal cloud forest backdrop. The property’s network of exotic tropical gardens and plunging waterfalls create a storybook setting for your Costa Rica adventures. A tour through the Waterfall Gardens is a one-stop experience sure to help you cross a number of highlights off of your Costa Rica vacation bucket list 

There are three main ways to experience the La Paz Waterfall Gardens: 

Take a guided day tour.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens Review

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Location is everything at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, which is just an hour’s drive from It’s a popular choice for day-trippers who want to sample a taste of Costa Rica without venturing too far from the capital. It’s a great choice for business travelers or anyone else who has only a night or two to spend in Costa Rica.

The La Paz Waterfall Gardens can also be reached from some of the top lodges in the Central Valley and Central Highlands area. Stay at Finca Rosa Blanca Inn & Coffee Plantation or Xandari Resort for 2 nights and you can easily build on a half-day trip to La Paz. Right there you’ve got the perfect beginning or ending to your Costa Rica vacation. Stay 3 nights at Villa Blanca and you’ll have enough time to see the La Paz Waterfall Gardens along with many other Central Highlands star attractions. 

Make a stop en route to Arenal.

The La Paz Waterfall Gardens Park is conveniently located between San Jose and Arenal (roughly). Doing a tour en route (stopping for a tour between destinations) is a great way to make the most of your time in Costa Rica. Spend the night in San Jose and on the way to Arenal the next morning, you can stop for a guided tour at La Paz. You’ll spend the morning exploring the park’s animal exhibits and waterfall trails. After a buffet lunch at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens restaurant, you’ll continue by ground for about 2 more hours to Arenal, arriving late afternoon.

Costa Rica Experts Tip: This tour en route also operates in the opposite direction, from Arenal to San Jose.  Stop at La Paz Waterfall Gardens on your way back to San Jose for the last night of your trip.

Spend the night at Peace Lodge.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens peace lodge Jacuzzi

The crown jewel of the La Paz Waterfall Gardens is Peace Lodge, a luxury boutique lodge that immerses guests in the magic of the eco-park. Guests of Peace Lodge are invited to enjoy the park before it opens and after it closes (the optimal bird and wildlife viewing times) to the general public.  

The hotel’s 18 rooms all feature fireplaces to create a cozy, cabin-like ambiance. The room interior is only surpassed by the view from the balcony; guest rooms overlook the park’s giant aviary and, off in the background, the Poás Volcano. 

Many guests opt to wake early and watch the sunrise against the misty, mountainous landscape right from their balconies. Enjoy breakfast in the restaurant that overlooks the sprawling reserve, and take a dip in the expansive heated pool.

Monarch Villa Master Bedroom at Peace Lodge

Monarch Villa Master Bedroom at Peace Lodge

Family vacationers often prefer to stay in one of two villas at Peace Lodge. The Monarch Villa can hold up to 5 guests. This uniqueluxury-style cabin holds three fireplaces, a King-size bed in the oversized master bedroom, a queen-size bed, and a single bed in the loft.  There are two bathrooms, as well as a kitchenette with a microwave. Enjoy the luxurious living room and the jacuzzi on the balcony – the views are incomparable!

Villa Lago Kitchen at Peace Lodge

Villa Lago Kitchen at Peace Lodge

The Villa Lago at Peace Lodge is perfect for larger families and groups. The exclusive home unit has three bedrooms (a King-size bed, a guest room, and a small bedroom with two single beds). Both bathrooms contain Jacuzzi tubs.  Guests of the Villa Lago can expect to gaze across Lower Trout Lake from the balcony. The kitchen contains a toaster oven as well as a standard stovetop and oven, and there’s even a washer and dryer in the master closet. This makes for a great home-base for family travelers who prefer villa accommodations but still wish to be dazzled.   

Costa Rica Experts Recommend:

While the La Paz Waterfall Gardens is a great Costa Rica activity any way you slice it, the Experts suggest going all out and spending the night there for the ultimate experience! Set up shop at Peace Lodge for a few days and soak up the magic of the high-elevation cloud forest environment and take advantage of the excellent local activities.

Off-site Activities

In addition to private guided tours of the Waterfall Gardens, guests can enjoy a mix of nature and adrenaline with an off-site excursionAdd a little adventure to your trip with a visit to Hacienda Pozo Azul, where you can spend the day horseback riding, canopy zip-lining, and whitewater rafting.

Poas Volcano Tour

Poas Volcano Tour

Also nearby is the Poas Volcano. Take a moderate hike to observe the local flora and fauna before heading up to the crater. If the weather is clear, you may be able to observe the volcano’s steaming crater.

Doka Coffee Plantation

Doka Coffee Plantation roasting room

The Doka Coffee Plantation is another great local add-on to any day tour taken from Peace Lodge. Java lovers can sip Costa Rican coffee while overlooking the sprawling plantation from which it is grown.  You might even learn a thing or two about the importance of coffee in Costa Rican culture!

Costa Rica Experts Tip: Purchase a bag or two of local coffee to bring home – you’ll be glad you did.

When should I visit La Plaz Waterall Gardens?

There is never a bad time to visit the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. The cloud forest climate remains consistent year-round, with cooler temps than the beach and a more fairytale-like setting than Arenal. If this sounds like your scene, book a stay at Peace Lodge and immerse yourself in a Costa Rica luxury hotel experience unlike anything you’ll find in more “on-the-radar” locations (*cough* Monteverde *cough*).

Start planning your vacation with a Costa Rica Expert or browse our vacation packages!

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