Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens

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When my Mom was here visiting, we did a day trip to Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens one day.  First thing in the morning, we headed out to Poas (got there about 9 am) – and WOW – it was a perfect morning!   Absolutely crystal clear sky – I mean, seriously – not ONE CLOUD in the sky.  I think Mom was our lucky charm.  Wilson, our driver/friend of Coati Tours said he’s been to Poas over 600 times, and the day with us was the MOST CLEAR, perfect-visibility-day he’s ever seen at Poas!

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I guess usually it is pretty cloudy and hazy at the volcano viewing platform (not that I would know),  elevation is 8,885 ft, after all.  Typically people sometimes have as little as 30 seconds when the clouds clear, to see the volcano crater.  But the day we went?  Perfectly, perfect –  the WHOLE time we were up there.

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Mom & me, with our fabulous driver friend – Wilson

To one side you could actually see Arenal Volcano:

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To the other side – the Carribean Coast:

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It was truly beautiful and amazing, and now that I’ve seen it on the most perfect day ever – I’m not sure any other day would even compare.

After Poas, we took a little break – bought some strawberries with sweet cream to go (Wilson had a cooler!), and then stopped and had some coffee and a snack at a really cool place.  People were doing canopy tours there – good thing it was them and not me!

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Greg was so busy checking out the property – the fishing ponds, the zip liners, etc….  that we almost left without him!

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Then we went to La Paz Waterfall Gardens.  A little pricey, so we decided to ask if they took discounts for residents.  Well, yes – they did!  Then we told them we weren’t actually residents yet, but in process and showed them our paper work…  this was Greg’s little trick, and it worked – they gave us the discount!  $22 instead of $38 (sorry, Mom).

So, the cool thing about La Paz is that they don’t JUST have waterfalls!  They have some really cool animals to see.  I was a bit hesitant to see the jungle cats, as Leslie (see my Toucan Rescue Ranch post) had mentioned to us, that the jaguar and oscilla at La Paz were very stressed by people always looking at them.  They are rescue cats, and for one reason or another could not survive if put back into their natural environment, but also – they are not used to being displayed in front of humans all day long.  We could really see this, because the oscilla paced back & forth in front of the window when people would stop in front of it.  When they walked away, he laid down again.  How stressful and sad to me!  And we went on a day that was not very busy, I can’t imagine these cats on a normal crazy/busy day.  Poor things.

Now, the toucans – were pretty cool.  Some of the toucans are trained really well, and you can enter this large, enclosed area and be inside with them(!).  Bob is trained so he will actually perch on peoples arms and pose for pictures. Very cool.  Look at Bob, what a rock star:

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They also had a cool butterfly area – where you walk inside, and there are butterflies everywhere flying around.  Many different species.  Wilson knew the trick of rubbing some fruit juice on his finger, and a Morpho landed on him. Very cool!

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Then we hiked down to the first Waterfall (there were 5 total).  It was a bit of a hike down, but the steps were nice and wide and sturdy.

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Doing all five waterfalls was a little adventurous for us, so we visited the first one (above) and the last one:

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Afterwards, we went to a really nice, authentic French Restaurant – Restaurante Colbert.  I’m so glad we ordered the cheese platter – it was a huge selection of gourmet cheeses and fresh baked French bread – sooo yummy.  Wilson and Mom also shared a liver pâté (I say “ew” to anything liver!, but they said it was amazing).  And our entrees were just as good – I had a goat cheese puff pastry with salad, Mom had a chicken breast in a mushroom sauce with sides of vegetables.   And this was just a late lunch,  I cannot imagine this place at dinner time with a nice glass of wine!   The day we went, the chef told us his liquor license had expired, so no wine for us  hopefully he has it back for the next time we visit!

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Goat cheese puff pastry, with side salad – my entree – delicious!

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 All in all, a great and fabulous day!  Huge thank you to Wilson for arranging everything, we just sat back and relaxed and enjoyed the day.

That’s all for now folks! — Jen

Jen

I quit my job in my early 40’s, sold everything and retired early to live a simple life in Costa Rica!

Check out my book: "Costa Rica Chica" - the book.

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14 Responses to Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens

  1. Great post, Jen! So awesome that you had clear skies for your visit to Poas. It looks beautiful there. Great tip on the French restaurant. It’s hard to find good cheese in CR–and I am seriously missing it. We’ll have to make a stop when we check out Poas. Thanks!

    • He charged us $90 for the day – that’s for 7-8 hour day of doing tours, stopping anywhere else you want, Wilson has a cooler with drinks and snacks in the van and books on birds, trees, etc. We usually buy his lunch and tip him a bit too, but that is up to you. If you book through him, please mention that you heard about him from me. Thanks!

  2. Wow! You and Greg should be ambassadors of travel to Costa Rica! Love the stories and photos….makes me want to go there, be there, live there! Please keep the posts coming for all us armchair Costa Rica-wannabe’s.

  3. Great post! I really enjoy experiencing Costa Rica through your adventures.I agree with Karen…makes me want to go there, be there and live there! You both look rested, refreshed and happy! Your Mom is quite the trooper! I’m so glad she was able to come and visit! We miss you!

    • Aw – KERRI! So good to hear from you girl. Thanks for STILL keeping up with my blog and reading about my “crazy life” here! 🙂 Don’t work too hard (I MEAN THAT)!

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