A great day trip from Santa Cruz, Biocentro Güembé (12km west of the city) has a butterfly farm, orchid exhibitions, 15 natural pools and sports facilities. You can go fishing and hiking in the surrounding forest. There’s a restaurant with international cuisine, so you won’t go hungry, and there are cabins and a campsite if you wish to stay the night.
It's best to travel by taxi from Santa Cruz. If it’s a hot day get here early: the place fills up fast!