Parque Francisco Alvarado

Top choice in Central Valley & Highlands

In front of the Church of San Rafael, this park was a normal plaza until the 1960s, when a gardener named Evangelisto Blanco became inspired to shave the ordinary topiary into a bizarre series of trippy, abstract shapes. Over the years these morphed into fanciful creatures, weird blobby creations and tunnels of arches you can walk through. Bring your camera.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Central Valley & Highlands attractions

1. Parque Nacional Juan Castro Blanco


This little-visited national park is where five of Costa Rica's major rivers originate. The 143-sq-km reserve has a sizable but little maintained trail…

2. Jardín Botánico Else Kientzler

6.59 MILES

This well-tended botanical garden 400m north of Sarchí stadium has 2km of trails winding through more than 2000 types of clearly labeled plants, including…

3. Bosque Nuboso El Cocora

8.36 MILES

This short trail around a nice garden is a pretty, if a little pricey, place to stretch your legs on the way to the high cloud forest or Lands in Love…

5. San Ramón Regional Museum

8.51 MILES

On the northern edge of San Ramón park, this informative museum run by the University of San Ramón accounts the cultural heritage of the area with a…

6. Parque Central

8.53 MILES

The twin spires of the ash-gray Iglesia de San Ramón tower over this pretty square at the center of town.

7. Catedral de la Mercedes

9.47 MILES

At the heart of town you’ll find the incredibly quaint Catedral de la Mercedes, a red metal structure that was prefabricated in Belgium and shipped to…

8. Catarata del Toro & the Blue Falls


Find a beautiful 90m-tall waterfall that cascades into a volcanic crater (free for overnight guests) and two trail options through virgin forest (one 4…