La Paz

Picture of volcan Here's one of our favorite roadside signs in Costa Rica. This one is in downtown Alajuela and the Volcan of note in the immediate area is Poas.
Picture of poas This is the crater of Poas. Unfortunately, the view from the edge looks like this more often than not. The pictures, when clear, are pretty spectacular but it takes a certain weather pattern to clear the crater of clouds. On top of that, it's recommended that you do not spend very long at the overlook due to the sulfurous fumes.
Picture of toucan Given the poor weather at Poas we gave up and drove a little further north to La Paz Waterfall Gardens. La Paz is sort of a greatest hits of Costa Rica mini-theme park. Like most visitors, we started at the top of the gorge and worked our way downhill. That means the aviary is up first.
Picture of butterfly You can't be a mini theme park in Costa Rica without a hummingbird garden and a butterfly nursery. La Paz has both of course.
Picture of ocelot The zoo portion of La Paz also includes a live snake section, a few different species of monkeys and most of the big cat species of Costa Rica.
Picture of frogs Also, a frog house. This is actually unique in our travels in that the frogs in question are free to move about the rooms the same as the visitors are. Most of the challenge here is in finding them.
Picture of waterfall La Paz calls itself a waterfall garden and there is a trail that runs through the gorge past a series of five major waterfalls. The trail is a little bit challenging. Technically it is all downhill but there are viewing platforms at most of the falls that require stairs down and then back up again.
Picture of paths The trails and bridges alone are worth the walk through the jungle.
Picture of three_falls Two of the named falls are visible in this picture, plus a smaller cascade and there's another just off to the right. Once you reach the bottom of the trail, La Paz runs buses back to the top if you don't want to turn around and hike back up (you probably don't).

Back to Trips