La Paz Waterfall Gardens & Peace Lodge
Come for the wildlife, and stay for the luxurious life. Waterfall Gardens is a 70-acre wildlife preserve just an hour from San Jose in the cloud-forest interior, popular with day visitors who come to experience the five waterfalls, hand-feed hummingbirds and toucans, fish for trout, or watch staff feed the rescued big cats and monkeys. But staying on-site at the luxury Peace Lodge enhances the experience many times over, with perks including access to the reserve without the crowds, before opening and after closing time, when the animals are most active. Once you’ve checked in, though, the lodge’s 18 suites seem designed to make you never want to leave. Even the most basic room has two rock-clad Jacuzzi tubs—one in the bathroom and one on the balcony—a river stone–surrounded gas fireplace, waterfall showers, and hammocks to enjoy the views of Poás Volcano. There are five restaurants (and one bar), ranging from casual café to fine dining, and the Big Trout Bar will even prepare the fish that you caught at Trout Lake.
By Deb Hopewell, AFAR Contributor
20 min from Poas Volcano National Park, Heredia Province, Costa Rica
+506 2482 2100