The spectacular Orosi Valley is the site of the oldest Spanish settlement in Costa Rica and has many interesting historical sites and ruins to explore. Orchids and tropical plants are showcased at Lankester Gardens as you stroll along the path taking you from one specialty garden to the next. This guided combo tour is excellent for nature lovers and those who would like to learn about the culture of Costa Rica.
Your tour begins when you are picked up from your hotel and driven towards the historic town of Cartago. The order of events is determined by the tour driver and is subject to change
Lankester Gardens is a Green Thumb’s paradise spreading over 26 acres full of inspiring gardens with over 3000 species of plants. You’ll discover specialized gardens featuring unique plant families such as orchids, succulents, cacti, heliconias, palm trees, bamboo, bromeliads and conifers that will compete for your attention as you follow the leisurely trail.
The Orchid Garden is one of the most spectacular sights, especially when they are in full bloom during February through April. Luckily there are over a thousand species of orchids, so any time of year that you visit you will likely see some orchids flowering.
The Japanese Garden offers serenity and simplicity, a lovely tranquil setting to relax and reflect on the beauty of Nature surrounding you.
Driving into the Orosi Valley provides stunning views of one of the most beautiful, picturesque valleys in all of Costa Rica. With its expansive vistas you’ll be able to see tiny communities nestled around churches and schools way off in the distance. Dense in culture and history, you’ll see many different monuments including the oldest Catholic church still in use today for ceremony and worship, that was built in 1743.
You will walk around the ruins of a church built in 1693 surrounded by beautiful native gardens providing a park where families enjoy buying and selling local delicacies like “arepas”, “choreadas”, “elotes” and other freshly made picnic snacks.
You will also visit La Casa Del Sonador, a gallery that displays powerful artwork painted by the indigenous peoples of Costa Rica.
At some point you will stop to enjoy lunch in one of the local restaurants which is bound to serve a typical Costa Rican meal consisting of rice, beans, and choice of meat plus vegetables. Que Rico!
Although not a main component of the tour, you will visit the historic Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels where people flock every year on an annual pilgrimage in August to pray to the Virgin who is the patron of all of Costa Rica. Rebuilt due to an earthquake, the church is an interesting mix of Byzantine and Colonial architecture.
After the last stop, your group will hop back into the van and enjoy the scenery as you are driven back to your hotel.
This tour includes a bilingual guide, all entrance fees, lunch, plus transportation from Alajuela and San Jose. One way transport from your hotel to the first tour activity typically takes from 1.5 to 2 hours depending on traffic and your hotel location. Total time of touring the Orosi Valley, Lankester Gardens, stopping for lunch, and round-trip transportation generally takes between 7 and 9 hours. Please wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring a light jacket and sunscreen for the higher altitudes. You’ll likely want to have your camera along and bring cash if you’d like to buy souvenirs.