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Irazu Volcano, Lankaster Gardens and Orosi Valley

Duration: Half Day

irazu volcano, lankaster gardens and orosi valley

Travel into the heart of the country during your holiday in Costa Rica, and visit spectacular volcanoes, tropical gardens and beautiful, lush valleys.

This tour will take you to Irazu Volcano, the highest and most active volcano in Costa Rica, towering 3,432 meters above sea level. Irazu has a long history of eruptions, although it has remained inactive for the last forty years, aside from occasional small eruptions and lava flows. The surreal lunar landscape in Irazu Volcano National Park makes it quite unique, and is well worth a visit. There are a number of craters that lie here, some which have small lakes that vary in colour from rusty red to bright lime-green, depending on the minerals present in the water. The winding road leading to the breathtaking summit of the volcano passes stunning vistas and provides a glimpse of country life in one of the most fertile agricultural regions of Costa Rica.

After Irazu, you will travel onwards to Lankaster Gardens, one of the most valuable botanical centres in Central America. The garden was named after Charles Lankaster, an English botanist who collected local flora (particularly orchids) to protect various species. This tropical paradise displays one of the region's largest collections of orchids and bromeliads, as well as hundreds of palms, bamboos, ferns and other tropical plants, which attract an abundance of native insects and birds – particularly hummingbirds. Enjoy the beauty of nature in one of Costa Rica’s most spectacular gardens before continuing to the historic Orosi Valley, famous for its wonderful views, hot springs, coffee plantations and colonial churches and buildings, which can be found in villages nearby.

After this wonderful introduction to Costa Rica’s stunning tropical flora, the tour continues to the quaint town of Paraiso, meaning ‘paradise’ in English. Famous for its farmers market, Paraiso is a friendly and welcoming place which attracts numerous eco-tourists, mainly because of the beautiful areas surrounding the town: lakes, volcanoes, national parks, botanical gardens, mountains, valleys and rivers can all be found close by. Visitors to Paraiso will also be able to see the statue of the former Patron Saint of Costa Rica ‘La Virgen de la Purisima Concepcion del Rescate de Ujarras’, which is housed within a modern church here. The Virgin is attributed with the miracle of rescuing Costa Rica from pirates, who invaded the Caribbean coast in the 1600s. The story of the miracle is recorded inside the church itself, through various paintings on the walls.

What to bring: Sun block, walking shoes, light jacket, camera and hat. Length of tour: Full day.

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