Exploring the Orosi Valley
Today we explored the Orosí Valley Region. On route we stopped in Cartago to visit the nation's principal church, the enormous Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles. The church has a statue of the Black Madonna known as La Negrita, who supposedly had great healing powers. From Cartago we drove to Lankester Gardens. These gardens were originally created by British orchid enthusiast Charles Lankester in the 1940s. After his death, the American Orchid Society and the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust worked to have the gardens preserved, and in 1973, the garden was donated to the University of Costa Rica. The gardens feature an array of tropical plant and flower species, particularly orchids, heliconias and bromeliads. Lunch time is spent at La Casona de Cafetal Restaurant. The set up here couldn’t be better: we're in the middle of a beautiful coffee plantation, right next to the Cachí Lake, and surrounded by majestic Orosi Valley. We enjoy an extensive buffet and conclude with coffee poured in the traditional Costa Rican way ... hot water over freshly ground coffee through a fine filter cloth. Back at our San Jose hotel we enjoy a special Mexican theme dinner. No one's going hungry on this tour!