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“Lush gardens, could not ask for more!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Education (CATIE)

Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Education (CATIE)
Just outside Turrialba | on the road to Siquirres, Turrialba, Costa Rica
556-6431
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Ranked #9 of 20 Attractions in Turrialba
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Cultural
Attraction details
Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Lush gardens, could not ask for more!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

Its been a few years since I last visited the gardens.
I forgot how lush and beautiful they are!
This time of year is excellent as there is plenty of fruits & flowers for pictures, the Botanical Garden has a dislay table that you can see & touch the specimens!
The guides are super friendly and informative and obviously love their job!
The history of the gardens is impressive and the speciens from all over the tropics too!
Recomended for birders and botanists!

Visited February 2013
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34 reviews from our community

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Turrialba
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Visit it while you are in Turrialba”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

The Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Education(CATIE) is a place for higher education, research, and educational relaxing. It is located y Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica, This is a big area that consist on a University campus, a botanical garden, and the farms. Settlers and foreigners can visit the place for a few payment.

First, the University campus is a beautiful green area with an artificial lake, tropical plants and trees surrounding the different academic buildings like university classrooms, library, researching labs, management offices and other work departments; gym and pools which visitors can make use of them if paying a registration; a restaurant and a club.

Next, the botanical garden, which is a collection of tropical flowers, plants, and trees, is an awesome area with trails to get you throughout the garden. It is impressive to know those trees and plants by learning the scientific information about them as well as being there just in front of them and taking beautiful shoots. I visited it once as a mother with a group of elementary school students accompanied with their teachers and some of the children parents. However, when you are participating of bird watching activity you walk around all the CATIE zones mentioned before.
Finally, the farms are researching fields. There are coffee and sugar cane fields, cattle pastries and the rest is a zone devoted to preserve the forest. The farms are crossed when taking a birth watching tour as they do for amateur as for professional birth watchers. Once, I took this ride with only a bird guide book, binoculars, and a camera, in company of other bird watching lovers, and I could learn and enjoy while watching the marvelous birds. If you want to participate call them in advanced. They use to make this kind of activities even with elementary school children.
In summary, this is a place for a short visit. Please, visit it while you are in Turrialba. It is not expensive and you can learn at the same time of enjoying nature.Basically, you can go around with only a pair of comfortable tennis shoes, cool pants and t-shirt, sunglasses, cap, but be prepaired with a raincot, you never know!
You will not forget how valuable this experience can be in your life.

Visited March 2012
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Wayne, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Quick but productive birding visit to CATIE”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Really easy birdwatching, given the level roads, easy access to the lake, and many open vistas to trees and lake-side vegetation. We saw half a dozen different kinds of herons, tanagers, dacnis, hawks, euphonia, parrot flocks, and a caracara in just two hours.

Visited January 2013
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Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Get a guide - it makes all the difference”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

My husband and I spent about 3 hours here one morning with an excellent guide. I think if we had just walked through on our own, we wouldn't have appreciated the place, but with a guide it was incredible. We learned so much about the plants and environment and our guide presented it in a way that was fascinating and well informed. We even got to experiment with the "miracle fruit" - a tiny little red fruit that makes sour foods taste sweet. Unlike more touristy places in Costa Rica, our guide wasn't in a rush and seemed genuinely enthusiastic about his job and sharing his perspective on everything from botany to local culture - he was planning to pursue a PhD at CATIE in the future. If you have some extra time in Turrialba and an interest in botany this is a great way to spend a morning.

Visited July 2012
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Hernando, MS
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Overgrown, no maps, and nothing like advertised.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2012

We found a brochure of this place in our vacation rental home. Beautiful brochure. Talks about tasting the various fruits, vegtables, and coffees but this never happened.

This is our 3rd time in Costa Rica and we have traveled all over the country. This has to be the most rundown/neglected places we have ever visited. Visit the Lankester Gardens in Cartago, but skip this place. Waste of time and money.

Visited May 2012
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