So what is there to do after engaging in all the extreme activities that Monteverde has to offer? You’ve zip-lined, hiked and explored. What else is there to do? How about something more relaxing to take the edge off? Well look no further than the Monteverde Orchid Garden, one of Santa Elena’s hidden gems.
There are over 1,600 known species of orchids in Costa Rica and most of them thrive in humid and tropical climates. However the Costa Rican government has made it illegal to harvest them with a few exceptions, which makes the Monteverde Orchid Garden all the more unique. Here you will be able to see (and smell) over 460 different species of orchids from all over the country as you explore over 10764 sq ft. of gardens filled with tropical vegetation full of insects, birds, and butterflies.
The Monteverde Orchid is open from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM. It is divided into three sections. The first section has a variety of miniature orchids native to the Monteverde region, including the Platystele jungermannioides, the world’s smallest orchid. The second section is filled with larger orchid species that are commonly found in Costa Rica, like the Onciduim, Encyclea, Epidendrum and Maxillaria, among others. These orchid are generally found in the transitional area between humid and tropical humid forests. The third and final section houses hybrid species. These orchids are created in a lab through a cross-pollination process. Visitors can learn about the differences between naturally-occurring and scientifically grown orchids in this section.
For those who want to learn more about orchids, the Monteverde Orchid Garden offers guided tours. Guides accompany visitors as they stroll through the gardens, teaching them about the orchid’s natural habitat, its structure and pollination methods. You can even learn about different orchid fragrances, basic tips for orchid care and how to create an orchid garden. Most tours last between 30 minutes to an hour and can be taken in Spanish or English.
Grab a magnifying glass at the front desk (you’ll need it!) and start checking out the different orchids that come in different sizes, shapes and smells. The Monteverde Orchid Garden is great for children and adults alike, offering an interactive educational experience that will leave visitors in awe with the sheer amount of orchids in the garden. Where else you can see 120 plants in bloom per day? Make sure to add the Orchid Garden to your Monteverde Itinerary, and prepared to be amazed!