The Road to Arenal – La Paz Waterfalls and Gardens

After visiting one of the most active volcanoes in Costa Rica, Volcan Poas, we stopped at the beautiful La Paz Waterfalls and Gardens before heading to Arenal. The drive from Volcan Poas to La Paz was breathtaking with panoramic views of the green valley and we stopped at several spots to take pictures.

Panoramic view, during the drive from Poas Volcano to La Paz Waterfalls
Panoramic view, during the drive from Poas Volcano to La Paz Waterfalls

Our taxi driver highly recommended the lunch buffet at La Paz, so we purchased the La Paz admission ticket along with their lunch buffet.

We started with the Birds Gallery to see colorful toucans, scarlet macaws and other exotic birds. The birds’ deep bright colors are admirable and they had no hesitation posing for us while we took pictures. The people who work here even let you take a picture of a toucan resting on your shoulders.

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All kinds of vibrant butterflies of all colors and sizes are found in the enclosed Butterfly Observatory. They fly all around you and sometimes even sit comfortably on your head. At one end of the Butterfly Observatory is the exhibit where one can see eggs and tiny caterpillars through magnifying glasses. We even saw a butterfly coming out of the pupa.

A butterfly coming out of a pupa
A butterfly coming out of a pupa

There are bird feeders in the hummingbird gallery to attract the dazzling hummingbirds. With a humming bird flapping its wings about 60 times per second and flying randomly without much of a pause, we clicked over a hundred pictures and finally ended up with a some good ones.

A hummingbird
A hummingbird

White faced monkeys and spider monkeys are among a few monkeys that we saw in the monkey exhibit.

A white-faced monkey
A white-faced monkey

There are also other exhibits for insects, frogs and snakes. They are not something I particularly enjoyed, nevertheless simply dashed in and out of the galleries. The snakes and insects were inside the glass exhibits, but the frogs were kind of out in the open hopping along the trees and plants inside the room. The frogs had a weird texture; they were camouflaged against the green leaves and didn’t look nice.

A frog
A frog

I really liked their wild cat exhibit; especially the cute little jaguar.

A cute little jaguar
A cute little jaguar

We were ravenous by then and wanted to eat lunch before heading out to the trails to see the waterfalls. The buffet spread was great with salads, typical Costa Rican food, rice pudding, juices and coffee. I love the Costa Rican plantains and filled my stomach with just that mostly.

After enjoying a sumptuous lunch from the café overlooking the green valley, we took the paved trails to see all the 5 waterfalls: Templo, Magia Blanca, Encantada, Escondida and La Paz. It felt like we were in a different world, when we saw the huge waterfalls over tall cliffs amidst the lush rainforests and beautiful birds. All the 5 waterfalls were absolutely gorgeous. The interesting thing is, there is a platform next to the Magia Blanca waterfall from where you can see under the waterfall.

Magia Blanca waterfalls
Magia Blanca waterfalls
From behind the Magia Blanca waterfalls
From behind the Magia Blanca waterfalls

After spending a wonderful day in Volcan Poas and La Paz Waterfalls and Garden, the taxi driver drove us to our hotel in Arenal.

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