Lankester Botanical Garden
Last Updated: Apr 05, 2013
The world-renowned Lankester Botanical Garden spans 27 acres and hosts more than 3,000 plant species, almost 1,000 of which are native and exotic orchids. Charles Lankester, a British naturalist and orchid enthusiast, founded the gardens in the 1940s. With help from expert horticulturalists, Lankester dedicated his life to creating one of the most comprehensive orchid gardens in Central America. In 1973, the garden was donated to the University of Costa Rica, which now manages the park and onsite research facility.
Location : 4 miles from Cartago
Area : 27 acres
Hours : 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily
Telephone : 2552-3247
Entrance Fee : $5.00
Lankester Garden is home to a wide variety of plant species – most of which are native to Mesoamerica – including 15,000 orchid specimens. In addition to orchids, the garden’s more famous floral groupings are epiphytes, bromeliads, cacti and succulents, heliconia, palms and bamboo. The best time to visit is in March and April when most of the orchids are blooming. The garden’s main trail is paved and wheelchairs are available at the front desk. Guided walks leave from reception every 30 to 60 minutes.
Bus: From San Jose, a bus departs every hour during the day and every 30 minutes in the evenings Monday-Friday ($1.10); reduced schedule on weekends; ask to be dropped of at Lankester Garden turnoff, then walk seven blocks to entrance. Departs from Cuesta Moras. 2574-6127.
From Cartago: Take the bus to Paraiso and ask to get off at the Lankester bus stop; walk 1/4 mile to the gardens. By car, take Route 53 from San Jose toward Paraiso. After Cartago, follow signs to Lankester Botanical Garden.