Costa Rica Excursions
Some suggestions for one of your many Costa Rica Excursions when visiting Costa Rica Retreat @ Ser La Luz.
IF you would like a driver to take you to any of these places, please let us know. We can arrange for a local driver to pick you up, stay with you and bring you back for a small fee. OR If you feel really adventurous you can take a bus. Go to the main road and about once an hour a bus will come buy to take you into Grecia. From there you can ask for a bus to any of these areas. There are 2 bus stations in Grecia. One for local area and the other takes you to San Jose.
Walk in the Valley Below Ser La Luz
Yes, just walk out our front gate, turn right and about 4 houses down is a “farmers’ road”, a dirt road just used by the local farmers. Very quickly, you see cows grazing on the impossibly steep hillsides and the distant view of the city. You’ll pass grassy fields, woodsy spots, fields of bananas, coffee, sugar and blackberries. There is a stream that becomes much larger after it rains, and even a waterfall.
Hummingbird, Bird, Butterfly or Cloud Watch
Ser La Luz has many plants that the hummers and butterflies love. Pull up a chair, find a private bench, or recline in the hammock on the Observation Area, relax and watch the show. Folks who pay attention may see several bright green hummers in a single day.
Which species of birds you see can change with the seasons. It’s common to see flocks of 10 to 50 bright green parrots, and parakeets in shades of green, yellow or blue. Our favorites are the swallows. Dozens of these birds live in the eves of the house. Their mid air maneuvers can be breathtaking, as they swoop and climb to eat their share of insects each day. In fact each bird can eat up to 1,000 insects a day.
One of our joys of living at 4,700 feet is that we are often literally IN the clouds. They glide over the nearby ridge lines and sometimes float right into our valley like constantly changing works of art.
Walk up the ridge to the Poas Volcano and National Park
POAS IS CURRENTLY CLOSED!! IT IS VERY ACTIVE AT THE MOMENT AND THERE ARE SAFETY CONCERNS!
We will update this page when we know it has reopened. It was open for a few months with some safety regulations in place. There is a limit to 50 people in a group and 1 group at a time goes up to the crater. You are allowed 20 minutes there and you must leave. The trails to the lake have been closed since April 2017. They have been working at reopening the trails but must install emergency shelters as well as monitors to check the air quality at all times.
Honestly, this is something we have not yet had time to do between renovation projects, but our neighbors tell us the walk is spectacular. We will update as we have our own personal experience. For those of you who are adventurous – take a left outside our gate and before you would take the right to go back to the main road there is a private residence area. You can go through there and keep walking. Our neighbors tell us it is about a 3 to 3 1/2 hour EACH WAY walk. (Please let us know if you decide to venture up there on your own.)
Less than an hour’s drive from Costa Rica Retreat – Ser La Luz, the Poas Volcano National Park is said to be one of the most visited and breathtaking places in Costa Rica. Biodiversity abounds on the volcano, and it has three craters, one of which is VERY active. Arrive early to avoid encroaching clouds and dress in layers if you plan to take the gentle hike to the rim. You MUST order your reservations on-line before going. We have heard that there is 1 store in the area where they will help you purchase your tickets at the last minute, we have not tried this ourselves. While here WE will help arrange your purchase for the tickets.
Called ‘enchanting’ and ‘secret,’ about a 30 minute from Costa Rica Retreat – Ser La Luz, the Los Chorros Waterfalls are a ‘hidden gem,’ mostly visited by locals. There are moderate to steep hiking trails, picnic areas, and two waterfalls, one of which has a drop of about 60m (180ft). Bring your swim suit and ‘water shoes’ if you want to enjoy the delightfully temperate water.
Not far from the Poas Volcano, the La Paz Waterfall Gardens includes a hotel, a nature park, and wildlife refuge. You’ll see varieties of hummingbirds, butterflies, monkey, sloths, tree frogs, jaguars and more. You can actually walk into the enclosures for the butterflies and toucans and interact with them. The butterfly enclosure is HUGE! The second you walk in, depending on the time of the year, you will see hundreds of butterflies flying around. All of which are native to Costa Rica. Part of the exhibit even has cocoons in all stages and you may actually see a butterfly emerge.
Get up close and personal with the toucans as well. Depending on the crowd that is inside the enclosure at the time, you may even be able to hand feed one. All toucans are rescue animals who were confiscated from private individuals. The same with the monkeys, sloths, jaguars and other animals they have.
While there enjoy the lunch buffet which is an additional cost from your admission. A big variety of food and drink to help reenergize you before you venture to the 5 waterfalls that make up the La Paz Waterfall Gardens.
This is a 3-5 hour excursion and well worth the time and visit.
The Town of Grecia
Ser La Luz is just a short drive up the mountain from Grecia, a lovely old fashoned town that retains it’s charm as a bit of the ‘old Costa Rica.’ The town’s red metal cathredral is said to resemble a gingerbread church and be one of the most charming in the country. Surrounded by the Central Valley’s rolling hills, with many sugar cane and coffee plantations, Grecia was once named the “Cleanest Little Town in Latin America.”
Introduction to Grecia:
A video look at downtown Grecia:
Video look at Grecia’s Central Market:
About a 25 minute drive from Ser La Luz is the town of Sarchi, known as the crafts center of the country. Here you find dozens of shops specializing in a variety of wonderful things made from wood, from colorful souvenirs to fine furniture.
What an amazing adventure. Not your typical tourist attraction, this is mostly where the locals go to relax and unwind. There are 3 hot mineral springs pools for you to enjoy, plus a regular pool to relax in. Want a massage? They have those available.
Are you the adventurous type? Want to go ZIP LINING? They have a zip line adventure in store for you. There are 9 lines and 14 platforms for you to enjoy. Through this amazing adventure you will repel down from one platform to another and even experience a swinging over a ravine to another of the platforms. We have had guests who have tried zip lining in other areas of Costa Rica and they say this is one of the best. THIS IS NOT INCLUDED IN A PACKAGE … This is a Costa Rica Excursions package that you must pay for. When we went it was around $35 per person. There is an additional transportation charge if you are interested in this great adventure.
Jaco Beach area. Experience the beautiful black & white sand beaches that Costa Rica has to offer. The beaches are about 1 1/2 to 2 hours from our location.