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“Some of the best gardens and views you could imagine”

Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls
Ranked #8 of 50 things to do in Jaco
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls is unique in Costa Rica. It is truly a "Visual Masterpiece". The gardens begin with the natural beauty of Costa Rica and four waterfalls in the property with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. To this millions of plants, flowers and orchids from all over the world have been added. Manicured walkways meander long a river and at the crest of the mountain which make the entire 50 acre gardens accessible to all. Have lunch in our restaurant and browse the gift shop that offers authentic Costa Rica gifts.
Reviewed 30 October 2013

We visited the Gardens and waterfalls as part of an excursion on a Princess Cruises trip from LA to Miami via the Panama Canal.

A delicious lunch was served as soon as we arrived and after that we had time for a walking tour before the rain intervened in spectacular fashion.

The gardens are full of colour and beautifully maintained; all the trees and plants are well identified , and the views, even though the heavens opened for about an hour on our visit and they became pretty much obliterated, are truly spectacular.

Still, despite the rains, the souvenir shop and snack-bar provided plenty to distract us when the rain prevented us from exploring any further outside.

The owner and his wife were very much in evidence and took great pleasure in chatting to their visitors and were very pleased to answer any and all questions about the gardens and the trees and plants.

Our actual tour of the gardens was somewhat curtailed by the weather but even so meeting and chatting to the owners made for a very pleasant visit.

Thank Locky33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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164 - 168 of 342 reviews

Reviewed 28 October 2013

My wife and I visited the Gardens and waterfalls while on a Royal Caribbean cruise.. We had a great time, the food was awesome. The gardens are well done. The owners and staff were very friendly. I would recommend this destination to every one.

Thank DB5758
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2013

Visited Pura Vida Gardens part of a shore excursion off a cruise ship docked on Puntarenas. Upon arriving the hosts David and Cindy greeted the group with warm welcomes and smiles. They had prepared a delicious lunch consisting of fresh fish, and chicken, a pasta salad, beans and delicious bread. They also served delicious coffee and cold water. After lunch we took a tour of the grounds, they were beautiful, lush and well taken care of. The views panoramic views were beautiful. There were a lot of flora and fauna. There was a small gift shop and it was well stocked with great souveniers as well as some unique clothing. Definitely a nice place to visit.

Thank Jane T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2013

Visited the Pura Vida Gardens as part of a shore excursion off a cruise ship docked at Puntarenas. We had just completed a hike through the rain forest and over a series of swaying suspension bridges further down the hillside. The owners welcomed us with a very nice lunch - the fish served was excellent. We could also purchase beer, wine and soft drinks. The Gardens has a small, nicely stocked gift shop and clean restrooms which were appreciated.

On the grounds, there is a wide assortment of exotic (to us) plants and flowers to look at. The trails are paved - more on that below. There is a circle walk to a small creek running through the property and back up around to the main level as well as a second walk out to an observation post which overlooks a beautiful waterfall. There was what appeared to be a small snack bar at this post which was not in use. While there were plenty of plants/flowers to look at, we did not see much in the way of local wildlife while there - your experience may vary.

Please be aware of several things: First, the Gardens are located on a hillside and the paths up and down the gardens can be very steep - mostly ramps with a few stairs. If you have mobility issues, this could be a factor. Second, this is a rain forest so the skies can and do open up on you as they did while we were there. Our local guide (a botany expert from the tour company the ship uses - very knowledgeable about all the plants) told us that we could either just get wet or we could put on ponchos and end up just as wet from sweating. A large umbrella might be a good compromise for this. Finally, unrelated to the Pura Vida Gardens (presumed) is the nearby aerial walkway tour which we cannot find listed elsewhere but would likely be included if you visit as part of a tour - the majority of this tour's route was either a solid trail or concrete pavers/rock steps but one portion was a huge mudhole thanks to some recent heavy rains. There was no way around it so we have to go through and ruined our new shoes. The trail is definitely worth seeing but consider that you might end up all full of mud and chose your footwear accordingly. Felt bad we ended up tracking all this mud through the Gardens on our arrival there but they appeared to be used to it.

Definitely a nice place to visit and we recommend it.

Thank MelandGeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2013

As a part of a rainforest walk, our group visited Pura Vida Gardens for lunch. What a surprise!

The presentation of the gardens as as good as we have seen anywhere in the world. The tropical plants an the layout are picture pertfect and capped of a wonderful day. The owners, David and Cindy proudly showed off their pride and joy.

We were fortunate to witness the waterfall in all of its glory, releasing the water from a downpour earlier in the day.

Be prepared to walk to see the highlights.

Thank Peter631
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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