We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Nice Gardens in the hills overlooking waterfalls”

Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls
Ranked #9 of 50 things to do in Jaco
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls is unique in Costa Rica. It is truly a "Visual Masterpiece". The gardens begin with the natural beauty of Costa Rica and four waterfalls in the property with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. To this millions of plants, flowers and orchids from all over the world have been added. Manicured walkways meander long a river and at the crest of the mountain which make the entire 50 acre gardens accessible to all. Have lunch in our restaurant and browse the gift shop that offers authentic Costa Rica gifts.
Reviewed October 19, 2013

Visited the Pura Vida Gardens as part of a shore excursion off a cruise ship docked at Puntarenas. We had just completed a hike through the rain forest and over a series of swaying suspension bridges further down the hillside. The owners welcomed us with a very nice lunch - the fish served was excellent. We could also purchase beer, wine and soft drinks. The Gardens has a small, nicely stocked gift shop and clean restrooms which were appreciated.

On the grounds, there is a wide assortment of exotic (to us) plants and flowers to look at. The trails are paved - more on that below. There is a circle walk to a small creek running through the property and back up around to the main level as well as a second walk out to an observation post which overlooks a beautiful waterfall. There was what appeared to be a small snack bar at this post which was not in use. While there were plenty of plants/flowers to look at, we did not see much in the way of local wildlife while there - your experience may vary.

Please be aware of several things: First, the Gardens are located on a hillside and the paths up and down the gardens can be very steep - mostly ramps with a few stairs. If you have mobility issues, this could be a factor. Second, this is a rain forest so the skies can and do open up on you as they did while we were there. Our local guide (a botany expert from the tour company the ship uses - very knowledgeable about all the plants) told us that we could either just get wet or we could put on ponchos and end up just as wet from sweating. A large umbrella might be a good compromise for this. Finally, unrelated to the Pura Vida Gardens (presumed) is the nearby aerial walkway tour which we cannot find listed elsewhere but would likely be included if you visit as part of a tour - the majority of this tour's route was either a solid trail or concrete pavers/rock steps but one portion was a huge mudhole thanks to some recent heavy rains. There was no way around it so we have to go through and ruined our new shoes. The trail is definitely worth seeing but consider that you might end up all full of mud and chose your footwear accordingly. Felt bad we ended up tracking all this mud through the Gardens on our arrival there but they appeared to be used to it.

Definitely a nice place to visit and we recommend it.

Thank MelandGeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (334)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

160 - 164 of 334 reviews

Reviewed October 14, 2013

As a part of a rainforest walk, our group visited Pura Vida Gardens for lunch. What a surprise!

The presentation of the gardens as as good as we have seen anywhere in the world. The tropical plants an the layout are picture pertfect and capped of a wonderful day. The owners, David and Cindy proudly showed off their pride and joy.

We were fortunate to witness the waterfall in all of its glory, releasing the water from a downpour earlier in the day.

Be prepared to walk to see the highlights.

Thank Peter631
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2013

We really enjoyed the gardens and waterfalls. The staff were very informative, especially the frog house. It is a lot of walking, so be prepared. The restrooms are awesome.

Thank Karen445
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

I call this the Longwood Gardens of Costa Rica.
After visiting many places here and being bored sitting at the hotel, we were told that this would be a good afternoon stop. We were asked if we had a 4-wheeler and that it was a 30 minute hard core drive from our hotel.
Ok with that said, when we arrived we could not have been more overwhelmed with the beauty of this garden spot and the love and care that seemed to show everywhere you walked. Make sure to bring a camera because you will take 100's of pictures between the exotic flower displays, the high altitude views, and natural appeal that exhumes from every pore of this place. We had a chance to meet the principal of this property and could tell this was a labor of love & only something that had to meet their expectations first. Do Not miss this if you are in the area because it will be an exception to everything else you see or do.

Thank Knight1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2013

This Garden, Pura Vida is located in a very nice mountain close to the rural town of Bijagual.
This USA family runs this place have done a great job transforming a farm in a beautiful park, bringing flowering and medicinal plants from all over the country.
Now it is a great place to enjoy a pleasant walk enjoying breathtaking ocean views of the Nicoya Peninsula as well as the best view of the largest waterfall of the central pacific, waterfall that is hidden between the rain forest, this is the easiest way to see it, otherwise you have to take a hike of more than 2 hours to get to the bottom of the falls. Pura Vida holds a group of workers that help to maintain this place, there are more than 10 families that make a living here, all local from the town of Bijagual. I wish there will be more places like this in my county, so people economy will be growing up. Just remember when you come to this garden t you are helping local families to keep their kids in schools as well as to keep this garden as clean and beautiful as it is.
Do not miss a walk to these gardens next time you visit Costa Rica

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls also viewed

Jaco, Jaco District
Jaco, Jaco District

Been to Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing