If you plan to visit the Golfo Dulce/ Osa Peninsula region on your Costa Rica vacation, one of the most wonderful day tours you can take is to Casa Orquideas Botanical Garden. Casa Orquideas is one of the oldest and most interesting botanical gardens in the southern Costa Rica region. Especially phenomenal is their collection of orchids.
The beautifully landscaped private tropical garden shows off hundreds of species of ornamental and edible tropical plants that have been collected and cared for by U.S. citizens Ron and Trudy McAllister, who have lived in this remote region since the 1970s. Here you will see some of the most beautiful and interesting plants and flowers of Costa Rica, which are a magnet for dozens of different kinds of birds, butterflies, insects and other wildlife. Be sure to bring a camera, and even a pair of binoculars for this fantastic educational tour.
The approximately two to three-hour walking tour meanders through the meticulously maintained colorful gardens to see countless species of tropical plants, including varieties of palms, heliconias, orchids, exotic fruit trees, spices, flowers and medicinal plants that the McAllister’s have collected and cultivated over these many years. You will be able to smell and taste exotic fruits you perhaps never heard of before, and learn about natural medicinal rainforest plants.
I highly recommend the guided tour at Casa Orquideas, which starts at 8:30 a.m. on Thursdays and Sundays. All other days, except Fridays when the gardens are closed, you can walk the gardens on a self-guided tour.
How to get to Casa Orquideas in Costa Rica
From Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, it is a short boat ride or kayak paddle around a small rocky point from Playa Nicuesa to get to Playa San Josecito. At the west end of the long, crescent-shaped dark sand beach is Casa Orquideas Botanical Garden.
About Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge illustrates perfectly why Costa Rica is world-renowned for adventure and ecotourism travel. Nicuesa Lodge is one of the first sustainable tourism eco-hotels in Costa Rica and holds the highest level of the national Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) program. Playa Nicuesa also flies the Ecological Blue Flag Award for being one of Costa Rica’s cleanest beaches.
Nicuesa Lodge’s 165-acre private Costa Rica rainforest preserve is located in the amazingly unique Golfo Dulce/Osa Peninsula region, which has been called one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. This area embraces Central America’s largest remaining Pacific Coast rainforest, and the warm water gulf of Golfo Dulce is an important life zone for Pacific Humpback Whales, dolphins, sharks and sea turtles.
Article by Shannon Farley