La Paz is a waterfall in central Costa Rica. In Spanish, it is known as Catarata de La Paz. It is 31 kilometres (19 mi) north of Alajuela, between Vara Blanca and Cinchona.
The waterfall is located immediately alongside the road from Alajuela that leads to the northern plains of Costa Rica. The River La Paz forms the waterfall after traversing 8 kilometres (5 mi) of volcanic terrain, and then continues through the rainforest of the eastern side of Poás Volcano. A short path leads behind the waterfall, where a small shrine had been located. Upstream from the waterfall is La Paz Waterfall Gardens, a hotel and park, where visitors can observe many different species of local wildlife.
The waterfall and surrounding area were severely damaged in the 6.1 magnitude earthquake of January 8, 2009. Landslides damaged the road that runs alongside the waterfall.
La Paz Waterfall Gardens – Central Highlands Region of Costa Rica
Amongst the lush rainforest, flowers, and colorful birds lay three kilometers of paved trails that wrap around these remarkable waterfalls. The platforms along the trail afford you the luxury of viewing the waterfalls from above, below, and center while being misted by its spray. Trails follow along the La Paz River and begin at the welcome center where you proceed to the hummingbird garden.
The hummingbird garden is home to twenty four species of these vibrantly colored little creatures. Feeders are dispersed throughout the garden, making it easy to observe their interactions and feeding habits. Next take a stroll through the exotic Orchid garden and into the Frog Pond. Here you’ll find frogs like the poison dart frog and green leaf frogs. The Serpentarium hosts thirty different species of snakes found all over Costa Rica.
At La Paz Waterfall gardens you will not only experience the raw power of nature but also its softer side. This is home to the largest butterfly observatory in the world. The football field length enclosed structure allows the butterflies to soar freely amid their natural habitat. This is an amazing educational opportunity with on-site guides ready to answer any questions as well as to point out the harder to see things like eggs, caterpillars and illusively camouflaged butterflies.