La Garita, Alajuela

One of the best reasons to travel to Costa Rica is the sheer amount of natural beauty you’ll find throughout the country. And if the natural world is one of the main reasons you want to see Costa Rica, visiting the province of Alajuela should be on your to-do list. In particular, make sure to spend some time in La Garita, a small town in Alajuela that lets you get up close and personal with some amazing wildlife and stunning Costa Rica flowers.

Peace and Quiet

The tourist areas of Costa Rica – like San José and Tamarindo Beach – can get very busy. If you need to recharge, take a step back from the crowds and the noise by visiting the peaceful small town of La Garita. La Garita isn’t difficult to get to – it’s located just a half hour drive from Juan Santamaría Internacional Airport. However, this little gem has remained largely undiscovered by tourists, although it’s a favorite destination for many Costa Rican locals.

Proximity to Costa Rican Wildlife

If you want to see all the biodiversity in Costa Rica for yourself, La Garita is the place for you. One of the main attractions in town, Zoo Ave, is a rehabilitation center for local wildlife. The zoo’s mission is to save endangered species by taking animals in, caring for them, breeding them, and then helping them return to nature. Visitors are welcome to stroll along the zoo’s shady walking path and see the wildlife, which includes monkeys, birds, reptiles, and big cats – more than 130 species in all. The zoo also has a learning center where visitors can learn about the animals native to Costa Rica, as well as the zoo’s mission.

Vibrant Tropical Flowers

Costa Rica weather is perfect for growing many different kinds of plants and flowers, and La Garita boasts several plant nurseries as well as a stunning orchid garden. If you’re a flower enthusiast, don’t miss the Botanical Orchid Garden while you’re in town. This garden, which stands on a site where a coffee plantation used to operate, contains numerous different types of orchids, as well as trees and other plants native to Costa Rica. Almost all of the orchids you’ll see here were initially grown in a laboratory before being transferred outside, where they thrive in the sunny tropical climate. In fact, this orchid-breeding laboratory is still in operation. As you walk the park’s trails, don’t miss the water gardens, where you can see turtles and koi fish. You’ll be able to enjoy the garden’s best views if you visit between January and March, but it’s well worth a visit any other time of year, too – you’ll always be able to catch something blooming.

Family-Friendly Atmosphere

If you’re visiting Costa Rica with kids, La Garita is an ideal place for them to learn about and interact with the country’s flora and fauna safely. It might be difficult to take children on a multi-day nature hike in the mountains, but kids of all ages will love the educational resources at Zoo Ave and the Botanical Orchid Garden. La Garita is also a laid-back, low-key destination compared to cities like San José, which can be a welcome change of pace if you’re traveling with small children.

There’s a lot of natural beauty to enjoy in Alajuela, Costa Rica. If you’re in the area during your travels, don’t miss La Garita – it’s a charming town off the beaten path with some unique nature-related attractions. Spend the day exploring the orchid garden and visiting the wildlife rehabilitation center. Later, enjoy authentic Costa Rican cuisine at one of La Garita’s restaurants. This town may be small, but you’ll remember your visit here for years to come.

Costa Rica Cloud Forest & Arenal Volcano Tour
6 Days / 5 Nights
Starting at $878 per person
Costa Rica Eco-Adventure Tour
12 Days / 11 Nights or 10 Days / 9 Nights
Starting at $2,352 per person

Where to Stay near La Garita

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Finca Vibran Bed and Breakfast
Starting at $85 / night
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La Terraza Guest House
Starting at $80 / night
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Hotel Mango Valley
Starting at $60 / night
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Vida Mountain Resort & Spa
Starting at $160 / night
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Arenal Manoa & Hot Springs Resort
Starting at $112 / night
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Selina La Fortuna
Starting at $30 / night
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Hotel Arenal Rabfer
Starting at $59 / night
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Hotel Colinas del Sol
Starting at $84 / night

Things to Do near La Garita

Featured Activity
Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour
Starting at $89 / person