Check out this hidden gem in the heart of Costa Rica. You'll get botanical gardens but then you'll find there is so much more!

The CATIE Botanical Gardens, located in Turrialba, Costa Rica, is a hidden gem that is not to be missed. The gardens, which are part of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), are spread over 400 hectares and are home to an astonishing variety of plant life, including hundreds of species of trees, shrubs, and flowers.

The Gardens are an educational center that is part of the University of Turrialba and their focus is on research, sustainability, and reducing poverty.  Visiting the gardens is a popular tour for nature lovers and others who are looking for a peaceful place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  

You will be enchanted by the beauty of the gardens, which are meticulously maintained to showcase the diversity of flora found in the tropics.  The gardens are home to hundreds of species of trees, shrubs, and flowers, showcasing the richness of the tropical flora.  They are meticulously maintained to provide a serene and peaceful environment for visitors to relax and enjoy.

What to expect from your CATIE Botanical Gardens Tour

The gardens are divided into several different sections, each of which has its own unique character. 

The Bosque de Paz (Peace Forest) is a section of dense forest filled with towering trees.

The Jardin de Cactus (Cactus Garden) showcases the many different species of cacti found in the region.

The Viviendas Tipicas (Traditional Houses) features example of traditional indigenous housing found throughout Central America.  These houses are not only beautiful, but they also provide a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region.

The Orchid Garden showcases a variety of different species of orchids.

In addition to viewing the different sections of the gardens, CATIE also offers a number of educational opportunities for visitors. For example, guided tours of the gardens are available.  In the guided tours you will learn about the plants and their significance, as well as the history and cultural heritage of the region.  There are also many workshops on topics such as plant identification, propagation, and conservation for those interested in learning more about the botanical world.

There are also many other activities such as the observation and identification of birds, a night tour, a bicycle tour, a sustainable tropical dairy, international coffee and cocoa collection and the orthodox seed germplasm bank for sustainability.

Overall, a tour to the CATIE Botanical Gardens offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of the tropical environment, while learning about the flora, fauna, and cultural heritage of the region.

Your tour will last anywhere from 2-4 hours – though if this is an area of interests for you, you can find yourself engrossed with a full day of exploring.

A tour can be customized to your interests.  There are many paths and trails to follow and spending just a few hours will not allow you to truly experience every section available but gives most visitors a good taste.  If there is something that particularly interests you, be sure to mention it to your guide. 

There is plenty to see and do for those who want to spend a few hours, a half day, a full day, or even longer.

Whether you’re interested in botany, nature, or just looking for a peaceful place to spend a day, the gardens are sure to captivate you with their beauty and diversity. So, plan a visit to this hidden gem today and discover for yourself the magic of the CATIE Botanical Gardens!

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