One of the highlights of our family trip to Costa Rica this summer, was the night time tour of the ranarium (frog nursery) at La Paz Waterfall Gardens. In fact all of our time at the wonderful Gardens and the luxurious Peace Lodge inside the park was fabulous. And the only reason we were there was because I didn’t use Trip Advisor to check out a Heredia B&B.
Let’s start at the beginning. After a wonderful week at the fab Jungle Villa in Manuel Antonio, we had two more nights in Costa Rica to explore another part of the country. I had originally booked us at a small hotel on the Pacific Coast in Tamarindo. But after a week of driving in Costa Rica, we realized that Costa Rica driving distances can be very deceiving. And it just wasn’t worth it to spend five hours driving from Quepos to Tamarindo, only to have to then drive another five hours to make it back to the airport in San Jose. So with very little advance notice I booked us two nights at a B&B in Heredia, which is close to both the airport and the Poas Volcano we wanted to visit.
Did you know that Costa Rica does not have street names or addresses? It’s hard to believe that the country runs without addresses. But somehow it does. After a frustrating hour or so of following directions like “turn right at the big, white church” and “go until you see the busy street where everyone is turning left” we actually arrived at the B&B in a quiet residential area of Heredia. Our nerves were a little raw from the difficulty of finding the place, but our experience went downhill from there.
I have to honestly say it wasn’t one particular thing that put us over the edge about this B&B and our host, it was more a layering of things, one on top of the other, that started to freak us out. Without belaboring the point, one of the night’s highlights was my daughter reading us the bad reviews posted on TripAdvisor from previous visitors.
I ♥ TripAdvisor. And I had neglected to check this place out before booking it. No, I’m not going to tell you where we stayed, but I will say that when a place has an equal number of “excellent” and “terrible” ratings (making the rating graph look like a “C” with a long bar at both the top and the bottom), it’s not a good thing.
Me looking up at one of the La Paz Waterfalls.
So after one night, we headed out to the Poas Volcano without any reservations (or even plans) for our last night in Costa Rica. But I made a promise to the angry troops, that I would find someplace luxurious to make up for our creepy B&B adventure. And I made good on that promise when we landed at the Peace Lodge in the La Paz Waterfall Gardens.
La Paz Waterfall Gardens is a private nature reserve with easy-access waterfalls and animal exhibits that include butterflies, frogs, hummingbirds, big cats, and wonderfully landscaped gardens. And our hotel was right in the middle of it. Really, really nice. It was our first and last taste of luxury on our trip, and ended up being the perfect ending to a great ten-day trip.
So, without further ado, here are a few of the pictures we took on our private night time tour of the ranarium (I just love that word) at La Paz Waterfall Gardens: Costa Rica frogs.