Lankester Gardens: Bask in the Beauty of Blossoms & Plants

Lankester Garden Orchid

Orchids have always been mesmerizing to the eye and if you put about a thousand species of this floral beauty in a place known as the Lankester Gardens of Costa Rica, you have to consider yourself very lucky.

Located in the Costa Rican Central Valley, this botanical garden has been around since 1917 and shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to showcasing over 15,000 orchid specimens, 3,000 plant species, a great number of epiphytes, cacti and many many more.

Fast Facts
The Lankester Gardens is about 23 acres in size and the weather in this area has been dubbed the best in the world. Operating hours of this botanical garden is from 8:30AM to 4:30PM and is not open in Easter, Christmas as well as New Year’s Day.

Main Attractions
The orchids are of course, the top attraction in Lankester Gardens. With over 15,000 specimens housed in this haven, the chances are you’ll be witnessing about a hundred of these bloom on the day of your visit. The orchids bloom its finest in the months of February to April. So if you’re particularly coming to these gardens for the orchids, it’s best to come during this time.

Another one that’s captured the eyes of many are the helconias. The flowers of these plants are brightly colored which attracts a variety of hummingbirds to pollinate on. Succulents and cacti can also be seen abundantly in the Lankester Gardens. Many are still surprised at how common these two species are in the country of Costa Rica.

Given the almost-perfect condition of the Central Valley, it allows the prosperous growth of other species such as the world-famous birds of paradise, gingers, Marantaceae, palm, Costus, Musaceae, bamboo and about 200 native species of bromeliads which commonly cover the trees of the Lankester Gardens.

A place where rich flora is found usually means seeing birds and butterflies. Over a hundred species of birds have been recorded in these gardens. The Lankester Gardens along with other reserves in Costa Rica has been declared as a migratory sanctuary for birds.

Other Amenities

The main trail in the Lankester Gardens is quite accessible. For those who have disabilities, there’s a wheelchair pathway and even wheelchairs available at the reception. Visual materials for educational purposes can be seen all over the gardens and after you tour the area, there’s a humble gift shop right around the corner which mainly offers botanical books and plants that you can take home and care for.

Visiting the Lankester Gardens of Costa Rica is without a doubt an unforgettable one. With multitudes of blossoming plants and other plant species as well as beautiful birds and butterflies hovering and cohabiting in the area, it’s certain you’ll never look at flowers the same way ever again.


Getting to the Gardens 

If your’re driving, take the highway to Cartago from San Jose. Follow the signs that will lead you to Paraiso de Cartago which is about 4 miles away from the Lankester Gardens. This trip will only take you about half an hour.

If you’re taking the bus, depart from San Jose en route to Irazu Volcano, Cartago which will last for about an hour and take another bus to Cartago which will be for another 25 minutes. Ask where you can go down and from there, what separates you from the Lankester Gardens is an 800-meter walk.

Prepare about 1,200 colones but if you’re a resident or a student, they take off half the entrance fee.


Places to Stay Near Lankaster Gardens 

B.W. San Jose- Grupo Marta San Jose

La Gioconda House Hotel San Jose

Hotel Balmoral San Jose


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