La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Nature Park and Wildlife Refuge

La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park is the #1 Most Visited, Privately-Owned, Ecological Attraction in Costa Rica featuring the Most Famous Waterfalls in Costa Rica, The Largest Animal Sanctuary in Costa Rica with over 100 species of animals, and 3.5 kilometers of Cloud and Rainforest Hiking Trails. We are located just 45 minutes from the San Jose Airport and 20 minutes from the Poas Volcano National Park. The Park is an ideal Day Tour from San Jose and is Perfect as a Stop on the Way to Arenal. You will need a minimum of 2 hours to see the park quickly, but you could spend the whole day here enjoying the waterfalls, jaguars, pumas, sloths, monkeys, hummingbirds, snakes, frogs and a lot more! Please scroll down to view the Park Trail Map.

Admission Rates Valid Through December 15, 2023


  Adult Child (03-12 years)
Tourists $52.00 + taxes $36.00 + taxes
Local and Residents $32.00 + taxes $23.00 + taxes

Buffet Lunch

Adult Child (03-12 years)
Tourists $14.00 + taxes $8.00 + taxes
Local and Residents $14.00 + taxes $8.00 + taxes

Our buffet received the highest rating (4 Forks) possible from the Costa Rican Tourism Council. It includes multiple selections of Traditional Costa Rican Dishes, Full Salad Bar, Pizza, Garlic Bread, French Fries, Fresh Fruits, Rice Pudding and unlimited Fresh Fruit Juice, Coffee and Tea.


Five Waterfalls – Cloud and Rainforest Hiking Trails – Aviary with Toucans, Scarlet Macaws, Aracaris and numerous other species – Sloth Habitat – Dried and Live Insect exhibits – Butterfly Observatory – Capuchin (White-faced) Monkeys – Black-handed Spider Monkeys – Hummingbird Garden with 26 documented species – Serpentarium (Snake Exhibit) – Jaguars – Pumas – Ocelots – Margays – Historical House Museum (Casita) with petting zoo and ox cart – Ranarium (Frog Exhibit) – Orchid Exhibit – Trout Lake. The ability to see all these exhibits and habitats in one place in just a few hours makes us the Best Eco-Park Experience in Costa Rica.

None of the animals that you will see in this Wildlife Refuge have been taken from their natural habitat. They were entrusted to our care by the Costa Rican Wildlife Ministry (MINAET), most of them were illegally held as pets when the Wildlife Ministry found and confiscated them. For various reasons these animals cannot be released back in to the wild.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

When you think about Costa Rica, you probably imagine lush tropical rainforest, flowing white rivers, spectacular waterfalls, birds, butterflies, monkeys, hummingbirds, snakes, felines and frogs. At La Paz Waterfall Gardens, you are guaranteed to see all that and more.

Waterfall Gardens is open year-round from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with our last shuttle pick up from the exit trail at 5:00 p.m. We recommend our last visitors to enter the park by 3:00 p.m. to ensure that they have enough time to walk the primary trails. Reservations are not necessary. We can accommodate earlier arrivals and later departures with an advance request.

With over 3.5 kilometers of walking trails and educational animal exhibits to enjoy, we recommend a minimum of 2 hours for your visit. However, if you would like to see every trail and thoroughly enjoy the time spent in the Aviary, the Butterfly Observatory, Hummingbird Garden, Serpentarium, Jungle Cats Exhibit, Frog Exhibit, Historical Casita Experience and Trout Lake, you will probably want to stay the whole day.

Waterfall Gardens is primarily a self-guided tour allowing our visitors to proceed directly to their areas of interest. However, we highly recommend the guided tour (as available) to receive the most information and impact from your visit. To make reservations, please contact us at

“What if it rains?” This is the rainforest! We do offer raincoats for sale and our trails are designed so you will have places to stop and take cover.

What should you bring? You will need plenty of digital memory to take photos with your phone or camera!!! We recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes (preferably with a thick tread for hiking the concrete paver trails and hundreds of stairs), shorts or comfortable pants and a lightweight jacket or raincoat. Please keep in mind that the park ranges in altitude from 5,200 feet to 4,200 feet so it can get chilly when the clouds roll in.

History of La Paz Waterfall Gardens, The Peace Lodge

La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park is a privately owned and managed ecological attraction that opened in the fall of 2000. The construction of the Hiking Trails, Butterfly Observatory and Reception began in July of 1998 and was mostly complete by the fall of 2000. Since opening we have continually added new and interesting exhibits to enhance the quality of your visit. Please Enjoy.

Our Mission Statement is to preserve and protect the natural environment of the area for the education, entertainment, and enjoyment of all ages of people. Our strategy combines environmentally conscious design with maximum educational impact to the visitor.

The Park comprises 70 acres (28 hectares) of land including approximately 40 acres of cloud and rainforest and 30 acres (12 hectares) of pastureland cut by a previous owner. The forest area is currently protected under Private Animal Sanctuary Status and we are in the process of reforesting the unoccupied pastureland. We are also an active member of the Costa Rican Network of Private Nature Reserves, the Green Stamp Program, the Blue Flag Program.

The 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometers) of hiking trails and viewing platforms constructed from 1998-2000 were designed and built without cutting one tree or vine system. The materials for the trails and platforms were carried down on foot in order to avoid the use of heavy equipment in the forest. The credit for this tremendous accomplishment goes to Mr. Bernardo Picado who designed trails for the National Park System of Costa Rica prior to joining our team.

We added the Colibries Restaurant and the Serpentarium in 2004 and the Ranarium and Trout Lake in 2005. Our enclosed Butterfly Observatory opened in August of 2006 along with the conversion of our existing Butterfly Observatory to an Aviary in the same year.

Construction on the Peace Lodge began in 2003 and various phases were completed over the next two years. In 2005 we had 17 units open and with the addition of Villa Lago in 2012 we now have 18 guest rooms. Less than a year after opening the Peace Lodge was featured on the Travel Channel show Trista and Ryan’s Honeymoon Hotspots International. There were only eight resorts outside the U.S. chosen for this honor.

In our effort to support the local economy, we employ 90% of our 130+ employees from the surrounding towns within a 12 mile radius (20 kilometers). These small communities previously existed almost exclusively on ranching and agriculture.