Because of its geological history, Costa Rica is one of the renowned countries throughout the world with the greatest diversity of orchid species.
Currently, more than 1,600 species thrive here and twenty-five percent are endemic to this small country. In fact, more than 20,000 plants of orchids in culture, belonging to a little over a thousand different species have been collected as part of the scientific and conservation activities carried out by researchers from the University of Costa Rica.
Among these species is the Guaria Morada, which is the National Flower of Costa Rica. Additionally, there are hundreds of species of miniature orchids among which are the smallest in the world and measure only a few millimeters in diameter.
All of this incredible nature is located inside the Lankester Botanical Garden, in Cartago, about thirty kilometers east of San José.
The gardens measure around eleven hectares and contain more than 3000 plant species, including; cacti, heliconias, bamboo, palms, bromeliads, and ferns.
Within the park, there are secondary forests which are home to many species of birds, butterflies, and other small animals.
Another unique attraction here is a beautiful Japanese garden that serves as an idyllic setting for activities such as weddings and meetings.
The University of Costa Rica offers educational tours that give students the opportunity to experience activities in harmony within the environment inside the gardens, so the students can expand their knowledge hands-on.
As a result of the scientific activities and research conducted in the gardens, the University of Costa Rica publishes the International Journal of Orchidology, which focuses exclusively on scientific papers concerning orchidology. http://www.lankesteriana.org/
If you would like to visit the gardens, you can utilize this map to plan your trip.