Some of us are planners and some of us are fly-by-the-seat of our pants kind of people. I personally like to plan—but to an extent. Being that I was in the Orosí Valley, I knew the Jardín Botánico Lankester (Lankester Botanical Gardens) were nearby and the destination was already on my "to do" list. But an opportunity came up to travel with the founder of the Ecolodge to an off-the-beaten track hot springs over the weekend, so with some convincing decided to do that my first day. It proved probably the better option because by the time Monday rolled around, I headed to Lankester Gardens and there was just two other souls in the whole place.
Those who enjoyed the Orchid Show at the New York Botanic Gardens or are just straight up orchidphiles would LOVE this place, but there are more than just orchids at Lankester. I'm going to pilfer a little history straight from their website, so you at least have a little overview of the gardens, "which date back to the 1940s when British naturalist Charles H. Lankester became interested in cultivating and studying the epiphytic plants of Costa Rica. As an amateur botanist, he collaborated with the most outstanding orchidologists of the time and dedicated his life to the creation of a private garden on his estate. After his death the importance of preserving his garden was evident. Through the joint efforts of the American Orchid Society and the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust, the "Don Carlos" garden was donated to the University of Costa Rica on March 2, 1973 with the commitment to transform it into a botanical garden."
The El Salto Ecolodge where I was staying, was literally a 15-minute drive from this place, so it was easy to get to. The Botanical Gardens were undergoing construction, so part of it was closed down, but there was still ample grounds to see—ranging from cacti, forests, and even a Japanese zen garden. This garden had little in the way of identification, so I dd my best identifying plants and insects, so if you see anything that is mislabeled, please do send me a note!