Currasow. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Explore La Garita, Costa Rica

La Garita is an excellent stop for nature lovers, boasting a botanical orchid garden and a wildlife rescue center that welcomes visitors to explore its expansive grounds. There are also two lovely places to stay–one modestly appointed but wonderfully comfortable and the other a far more lavish, luxurious property–that make the trip especially pleasant.

Topography surrounding San Vito. Photo © Eric T Gunther (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

San Vito and Las Cruces Biological Station

San Vito is a pleasant hill town founded by Italian immigrants to Costa Rica in the early 1850s. Nearby you’ll find the Estación Biológica Las Cruces, a nature lover’s delight. This 800-acre forest reserve is a vital habitat for hundreds of species of butterflies and bats, and dozens of birds and mammals. Visit for miles and miles of well-maintained trails and the chance to spot these creatures and to enjoy the gardens inside the reserve.

The mariposario (enclosed butterfly garden) at the Jardín Botánico del Quindío. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Colombia’s Jardín Botánico del Quindío

Outside the town of Armenia, the well-run Jardín Botánico del Quindío is home to hundreds of tree and plant species, many of which are threatened. Knowledgeable volunteer guides lead visitors on a mandatory 2.5-hour tour along jungle paths pointing out plants, trees, and birds visitors would otherwise miss.

A Houlletia tigrina orchid.

Costa Rica’s Ingenious Orchids

Costa Rica is home to an incredible variety of orchids; orchid lovers should head for the cloud forests; there the greatest diversity exists in humid mid-elevation environments. Here are examples of some remarkable varieties.

Glasswing butterfly, Monteverde Butterfly Garden. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Family Fun in Costa Rica

Combining educational options with fun keeps children (and parents) enthralled. From snakes and sloths and crocodiles to river safaris and air tram rides through the forest and above volcanoes, these ideas focus on outdoor adventure & learning while experiencing nature.

The beach at Spratt Bight. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Sight-Seeing on San Andrés

Spratt Bight Pathway For many, their first stop in San Andrés after checking in to their hotel is the Spratt Bight Pathway (Centro). This pedestrian walkway is the liveliest stretch on the island, lined with restaurants, hotels, and souvenir shops on one side. On the ocean side of the pathway is the island’s most popular […]

A stone etched with the words to Neruda's poem with a view of La Chascona across the street.

Sights in Santiago’s Providencia

Learn more about what to see in Santiago’s Providencia borough, including free open-air bus tours visiting the Museo Nacional Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna, Neruda’s La Chascona house in Barrio Bellavista, and the Parque Metropolitana.

Makapu‘u marks the rugged and dry eastern tip of O‘ahu.

Sightseeing Southeastern O‘ahu

Nature rules sightseeing on southeastern O‘ahu, with some breathtaking views and a truly stunning garden along with a bit of hiking and an impressively massive heiau. Expect to do a lot of walking when seeing these sights.

Waimea Valley is an area of historic cultural significance on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

Sightseeing North Shore O‘ahu

Sightseeing O‘ahu’s North Shore is primarily focused on Hawaiian heritage, and since all sites are found outdoors, nature features fairly heavily as well. With two main areas to explore, you’ll want to do a bit of planning to make sure you can fully experience both.