Monday, July 13, 2015

Zarcero Park and Topiary Gardens

This weekend we decided to visit the city of Zarcero Costa Rica, just outside of the mountains of San Ramon.  I always wanted to take the kids to this park because of the topiary gardens.  Once we arrived, we knew we picked a great day because it was not raining yet.  The topiary sculptures were nothing short of amazing and the smell intoxicated us into Christmas memories.  The air was crisp and cool, and luckily, we dressed in light clothing with hooded sweaters. 

It might be hard to believe, but we never travel without jackets in Costa Rica.  And our daughter, Sara has had a recent growth spurt, so we ran into a Ropa Americana store (thrift shop) called Sinai and found a scarf and 2 Eddie Bauer hoodies for her longer arms for a bargain of 3 mil ($6 US). She was extremely happy with her new scarf, wearing it for the rest of the day. 

The topiary maze was exciting for all: kids, grown men and even older family members were running around, laughing and playing hide and seek. Max and Sara were even diving into the soft greens.

The church, Iglesia de San Rafael was lovely with hand painted columns and a picturesque view of the garden, not to mention those silly kids running around:) 

We would love to go back again in the dry season. The clouds came in fast so we did not have time to visit the waterfall. We noticed a sign to a waterfall just outside of town, but the kids have all been sick for the last week and we did not want to take any chances of getting out in cold, cloud forest rain shed. No big deal, it only took us about 40 minutes to get to Zarcero Parque Francisco Alvarado, so we will definitely be back another day. I highly recommend it, even for a picnic. There were plenty of families eating at the picnic tables, enjoying the sights and sounds of laughter. There is also a small activities park next to the gardens, with murals and exercise themed play equipment - plenty of fun for the whole family. 

We spent 3 mil ($6 US) on Sara's new jackets and another 4 mil ($8 US) on breakfast and cappuccinos at the Panaderia (bread shop). I highly recommend a stop in Zarcero if you are headed to Lake Arenal, since it is on the way. Remember, most Costa Rican towns have a church in the center of town, with either a park or a futbol field directly across from the church. So if you visit Costa Rica, be sure to stop into Sarchí for the giant oxcart and park, then 10 minutes away, Zarcero. Both are well worth the time and a great opportunity for pictures and fun. 

When someone teaches me how to get all 3 of my kids to pose and smile at the same time, I will gladly thank them. Until then, keep traveling and Pura Vida! 

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