By Jim Bishop.
This is a continuation of our trip to Costa Rica in November 2019.
After several days in around San José we boarded small planes and flew to the Pacific side of Costa Rica to Golfito, near the Panama border.
Upon arrival we boarded small boats and visited a private garden on a island in beautiful bay.
Casa Orquideas is the private island botanical garden of U.S. citizens Ron and Trudy McAllister, who have lived in this remote region since the 1970s. The beautifully landscaped private tropical garden shows off hundreds of species of ornamental and edible tropical plants that have been collected and cared by the McAllister's.
The gardens meander through the colorful plants to see countless species of tropical plants, including palms, heliconias, orchids, exotic fruit trees, spices, flowers and medicinal plants that the McAllister’s have collected and cultivated over these many years.
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge
We had a wonderful lunch in a nearby in a treehouse like private resort.
Las Cruces Biological Station
After returning to the mainland we traveled by bus into the mountains and stayed at Las Cruces Biological Station for the next two nights.
The gardens there were wonderful, with a small garden designed by the famous Brazilian architect, Roberto Burle Marx loaded with bromeliads.
The garden is surrounded by acres of additional tropical gardens and forests.
Las Cruces Biological Station is owned and operated by the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica. It is located near the Panamanian border on Costa Rica's southern Pacific coast.
The station is home to the Wilson Botanical Gardens featuring beautifully diverse plantings of tropical and subtropical ornamentals, representatives of unusual plant families, and rare and endangered plants from Costa Rica and elsewhere. The forest is classified as a Tropical Premontane Rainforest and the wide range in elevation allows for a high diversity with the forest home to over 2,000 plant species.
There was bird feeding area near the dining hall that drew many colorful birds.
Casa Botania Lunch Stop
After exploring the gardens of Las Cruces Biological Station we stopped for a leisurely lunch at Casa Botania. Here we saw toucans and monkeys in the trees and explored the grounds and gardens.
After lunch visited to Finca Cántaros located in San Vito. San Vito was founded in 1952 by Italian settlers. The property is over 17 acres with a cool, comfortable, tropical highlands climate. Finca Cantaros is constantly adding to its plant collection with an eye to attractive landscaping.
A short video of our visit ot Finca Cantaros: