Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera) Pura Vida Botanical Garden Excursion Reviews

Pura Vida Gardens is a unique sight not to be missed in Costa Rica. Feast your eyes on the millions of plants, flowers and orchids from all over the world that have been added. Manicured walkways meander long a river and at the crest of the mountain which make the entire 50 acre gardens accessible to all.
Too hot....too much walking....gardens not in good condition.
Sail Date: March 2019
Too hot....too much walking....gardens not in good condition.
Too hot....too much walking....gardens not in good condition. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Rotten wood on bridge.
Sail Date: January 2019
Rotten wood on bridge. Man fell through. Helped him get out of mess. Owner got into argument with man. It was a sad experience. Rushed. Guide was good though. Took care of injured man.
Rotten wood on bridge. Man fell through. Helped him get out of mess. Owner got into argument with man. It was a sad experience. Rushed. Guide was good though. Took care of injured man. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Our tour in Costa Rica was a well run tour of a Botanical Garden.
Sail Date: October 2018
Our tour in Costa Rica was a well run tour of a Botanical Garden. The tour guide was excellent and he gave us a good run down about life in Costa Rica. He knew the plants in the garden and aptly answered all questions and gave good ... Read More
Our tour in Costa Rica was a well run tour of a Botanical Garden. The tour guide was excellent and he gave us a good run down about life in Costa Rica. He knew the plants in the garden and aptly answered all questions and gave good discussions. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Great view of crocidilles and iguanas as well as the floral in the Carara National Park area.
Sail Date: May 2018
Great view of crocidilles and iguanas as well as the floral in the Carara National Park area. Even though the trip was rated as moderate, it was somewhat difficult for some people to handle the ups and downs on the paths in the botanical ... Read More
Great view of crocidilles and iguanas as well as the floral in the Carara National Park area. Even though the trip was rated as moderate, it was somewhat difficult for some people to handle the ups and downs on the paths in the botanical garden. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
beautiful spot.
Sail Date: May 2018
beautiful spot. Clearly made for tourists but nonetheless gorgeous. Saw wild birds. Guide was so enthusiastic
beautiful spot. Clearly made for tourists but nonetheless gorgeous. Saw wild birds. Guide was so enthusiastic Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Again, was a little busy, but the crew rallied very well, and we all had a great time, the gardens ...
Sail Date: May 2018
Again, was a little busy, but the crew rallied very well, and we all had a great time, the gardens were amazing, and the food was great!
Again, was a little busy, but the crew rallied very well, and we all had a great time, the gardens were amazing, and the food was great! Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Scenic drive there and beautiful gardens and vistas.
Sail Date: March 2018
Scenic drive there and beautiful gardens and vistas. Excellent guides also.
Scenic drive there and beautiful gardens and vistas. Excellent guides also. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
Stopped on a bridge to see huge crocodiles in the river below which was probably the highlight of ...
Sail Date: February 2018
Stopped on a bridge to see huge crocodiles in the river below which was probably the highlight of the excursion. The driver also stopped by a cashew tree at the side of the road and picked two cashew fruits to show us the nuts attached to ... Read More
Stopped on a bridge to see huge crocodiles in the river below which was probably the highlight of the excursion. The driver also stopped by a cashew tree at the side of the road and picked two cashew fruits to show us the nuts attached to unusual fruits. I had no idea about how unusual and difficult to process cashews are. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Holland America Line
Gorgeous garden plus later view of crocodiles off bridge.
Sail Date: February 2018
Gorgeous garden plus later view of crocodiles off bridge. TREACHEROUS drive with bus on gravel road up side of mountain, do NOT do this if bad weather. Overall a good tour.
Gorgeous garden plus later view of crocodiles off bridge. TREACHEROUS drive with bus on gravel road up side of mountain, do NOT do this if bad weather. Overall a good tour. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
The botanical gardens were just OK--a little small
Sail Date: December 2017
The botanical gardens were just OK--a little small
The botanical gardens were just OK--a little small Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Long ride for a walk in lovely garden.
Sail Date: November 2017
Long ride for a walk in lovely garden. No identifying markers on the flora so if you don't know your plants you won'tknow what they are. Definitely over priced from the ship.
Long ride for a walk in lovely garden. No identifying markers on the flora so if you don't know your plants you won'tknow what they are. Definitely over priced from the ship. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Holland America Line
Nice gardens and lunch.
Sail Date: October 2017
Nice gardens and lunch.
Nice gardens and lunch. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
ALL OF OUR EXCURSIONS WERE BOOKED THROUGH THE CRUISE LINE and therefore Holland America has to take ...
Sail Date: September 2017
ALL OF OUR EXCURSIONS WERE BOOKED THROUGH THE CRUISE LINE and therefore Holland America has to take ownership! This is by far the worst tour ever! What a LIE! When we got off the ship our driver, guide and bus could not be found. ... Read More
ALL OF OUR EXCURSIONS WERE BOOKED THROUGH THE CRUISE LINE and therefore Holland America has to take ownership! This is by far the worst tour ever! What a LIE! When we got off the ship our driver, guide and bus could not be found. People with the same orange #14 tag stayed together. There was about a dozen of us. A female approached our group and we told her our situation. She said she worked for that company and went looking for us...came back and said she couldn't find them either. She left. We waited for approximately 3/4 hour before the guide found us. As we approached the bus, which was quite a way down the pier, a couple disembarked and stated they were no longer interested. I wish we had joined them. The duration was for 5 1/2 hours and we got 5 hours. We are told in the outline that we will see NATURAL beauty of Costa Rica's spectacular flora, fauna, waterfalls..... The guide tells us that most plants are brought in. It would take about 20 minutes to walk through these gardens. There is NOT an abundance of birds nor butterflies. We saw 2 butterflies and 3 birds. "Many bird watching clubs have mentioned this spot as the best vantage point for bird spotting in all of Costa Rica." We did not see a meandering river. There is an easy walk to see the tallest waterfall in Costa Rica. They forget to tell you that you will see it at an angle through dense forest from a lookout point 1/2 mile away. The outline proceeds to say, "Next up is a STOP at the Tarcoles Bridge." Home to an immense population of crocodiles....a study in reptilian fascination. Well, the TRUTH is that we weren't allowed to stop. We went 30 km/hr across the bridge and saw very briefly the back of one crocodile.This excursion cost 99.95 USD per person. There was plenty of time to stop...and we saw that other tour buses had. Remember we arrived back at the ship 1/2 hour earlier than the outline states. I chose this excursion as I wanted to see the crocodiles and the waterfall. I was so disgusted. When I told the guide what the outline states, he remarked with attitude that he doesn't do the programming. He was told not to stop. He later gave us and another couple an 'incident report' to complete. We did! Many people we talked to were equally fed up as us, but wouldn't put it in writing! SAD! Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Holland America Line
Spectacularly beautiful and well manicured.
Sail Date: September 2017
Spectacularly beautiful and well manicured. On 8 acres over looking steep terrain and waterfalls. Do not confuse this with the walk to the waterfalls located further down the hill. Some reviewers have complained the waterfalls were too far ... Read More
Spectacularly beautiful and well manicured. On 8 acres over looking steep terrain and waterfalls. Do not confuse this with the walk to the waterfalls located further down the hill. Some reviewers have complained the waterfalls were too far away. I disagree and I have poor eyesight. Others complain about the price of admission - do they not realize the cost of upkeep especially in a fast growing tropical environment? Caution: Wear non-slip shoes as the humidity can cause the paved walkways to be slippery. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Regent Seven Seas Cruises
This was more strenuous than we anticipated.
Sail Date: April 2017
This was more strenuous than we anticipated. We could handle it but some people were not up to it.
This was more strenuous than we anticipated. We could handle it but some people were not up to it. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Oceania Cruises
Not what you would imagine a botanical garden to be.
Sail Date: September 2016
Not what you would imagine a botanical garden to be. Poorly maintained, mossy stepping stones throughout were very slippery and difficult to walk on. Almost nothing was in bloom. Botanical expert couldn't speak English, guide had to ... Read More
Not what you would imagine a botanical garden to be. Poorly maintained, mossy stepping stones throughout were very slippery and difficult to walk on. Almost nothing was in bloom. Botanical expert couldn't speak English, guide had to translate. Hot and humid weather to boot. We should have stayed on the ship. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Regent Seven Seas Cruises
I wish we could have taken the skyway hike but the gardens are beautiful
Sail Date: November 2015
I wish we could have taken the skyway hike but the gardens are beautiful
I wish we could have taken the skyway hike but the gardens are beautiful Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
Part of the Discover Costa Rica tour.
Sail Date: September 2015
Part of the Discover Costa Rica tour. Gorgeous orchids and great Macaws.
Part of the Discover Costa Rica tour. Gorgeous orchids and great Macaws. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Greeted by David the owner...very friendly.
Sail Date: October 2014
Greeted by David the owner...very friendly. Lovely grounds!!! So much to see. Fantastic building built into the side of the mountain which overlooks the valley and the second largest waterfall in Costa Rica. Great for a small wedding or ... Read More
Greeted by David the owner...very friendly. Lovely grounds!!! So much to see. Fantastic building built into the side of the mountain which overlooks the valley and the second largest waterfall in Costa Rica. Great for a small wedding or other party where you want some Wow Factor. Nice gift shop....no high pressure sales. Nobody even talked to me as I shopped, it was a welcome relief after the other three tours. Delicious snack after the tour: fresh fruit and beverages. Fresh watermelon, mango, papaya, Costa Rican pineapple and bananas which were the best I've ever eaten. Beverage was Costa Rican coffee, blackberry juice drink and mango juice drink. The mango juice beverage is heavenly! Our tour guides had bachelor degree and one a PhD in Eco tourism....very nice, personable, knowledgeable. (Eric & Christian) the tour description stated if the weather allowed we could stop to observe the crocodiles and take pictures. Weather allowed but they did not stop. They pulled the bus over and we took pics through the windows. We weren't running behind or late so it was a bit disappointing. The activity level is described as a Level 1, but due to the steep paths and lots of stairs, due to the heat and humidity I would call it a Level 2. There were several of the older folk and people who had canes or other mobility issues who had trouble and could not complete the entire tour. This was my favorite of the five tours we purchased. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line