Wilson Botanical Garden

sights / Parks & gardens

Wilson Botanical Garden information

Location
The Road to La Amistad , Costa Rica
Address
Las Cruces Biological Station
Telephone
+506 2773 4004
More information
www.ots.ac.cr/lascruces
Prices
admission US$8, half-/full-day guided tours US$28/54
Opening hours
7am-5pm Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm Sat & Sun
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Covering 12 hectares and surrounded by 254 hectares of natural forest, lies about 6km south of San Vito. This world-class garden was established by Robert and Catherine Wilson in 1963 and thereafter became internationally known for its collection.

In 1973 the area came under the auspices of the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) and today the well-maintained garden – part of Las Cruces Biological Station – holds more than 1000 genera of plants from about 200 families. Species threatened with extinction are preserved here for possible reforestation in the future.

The gardens are well laid out, many of the plants are labeled and a trail map is available for self-guided walks, featuring exotic species such as orchids, bromeliads and medicinal plants. The gardens are very popular among bird-watchers, who look for a number of rare species.

If you want to stay overnight at the botanical gardens, make reservations well in advance: facilities often fill with researchers. Accommodations are in comfortable cabins (singles/doubles including meals US$98/184) in the midst of the gorgeous grounds. The rooms are simple, but they each have a balcony with an amazing view.

Buses between San Vito and Neily pass the entrance to the gardens. Take the bus that goes through Agua Buena, as buses that go through Cañas Gordas do not stop here.