Gardening

Gardens and Nature of Costa Rica: Day 12

Theoretically, I would not have had much to say about the 12th day of our trip to Costa Rica. After all, we had to leave for the airport at 9:20 a.m. Apart from describing the breakfast and reviewing the flight back, what could he have to say about such a short day? But that would be forgetting that we had stayed in Hotel Bougainvillea, home of Costa Rica’s most beautiful garden!

In actual fact, I had taken the group quickly around the garden the day before, between our arrival at the hotel at 5 p.m. and night falling an hour later. So that the first round was pretty brief. But on the morning of the day of departure, we finally had to plenty of time to visit the garden. We were already used to getting up a dawn (6 a.m.) and the delicious buffet breakfast was at 6:30 a.m. That left nearly two hours!

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One of several bromeliad gardens.
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Japanese peace garden.
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Water garden.
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English garden.
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Cactus and succulent garden.

The garden of this five star hotel is simply splendid. There are 4 acres of gardens, a bit in the front, but mostly behind the hotel. The gardens are beautifully landscaped with winding paths and massive plantations of intriguing plants, many (especially trees) identified with signs. Blooming orchids draped the trees during our visit, there were beautiful lawns, extensive beds of bromeliads and other plants with colorful foliage, a Japanese garden a water garden, an English garden, a cactus and succulent garden and so much more. And the bird songs in the morning were simply glorious!

Many plants in the garden views were truly remarkable. I’ved included photos of a few I especially like, most plants I rarely see anywhere else.

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Alcantarea imperalis Red Form, one of the most remarkable bromeliads I have ever seen : this specimen easily reached 2 m (7 ft) in height!
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Bombax ellipticum, a tree with pink flowers like a shaving brush.
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The Guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum) is the tree emblem of Costa Rica.

 

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Gomphrocarpus physocarpus, affectionately called “family jewels”. I’ll let you guess why!
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An absolutely spectacular bougainvillea (Bougainvllea cv).

What a beautiful garden…

And what a wonderful trip! A lot of that was due to the hard work our guide, Andrea Aguilar, a walking encyclopedia who does everything to promote her country, and to Sonia Rojas, of Costa Rican Treasure Travel Services, the local tour company that put the trip together. I’ve never worked with a tour company that was more conscientious… and I’ve worked with many over the last 30 years. OK, I also give myself some credit: I’ve led over 10 tours to Costa Rica and the programme is pretty much my doing, put together so travellers see a maximum of the country in the few days they have.

So it is with regret that we left Costa Rica behind… and I ‘m sure all participants now dream of returning there some day. What a beautiful and friendly country!

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