Parque Francisco Alvarado, Zarcero
On the way to La Fortuna’s geological wonders, one might drive into a sort of fairy-tale landscape that feels almost European. It could merely be because the air is cooler than in nearby San José, but something feels different in Zarcero. Whereas most everywhere else in Costa Rica’s Central Valley seems wild and untamed (even the countless coffee plantations look deceptively so), the greenery here seems a touch more subservient…especially the topiary tunnels of Parque Francisco Alvarado.
Have we stumbled upon a set for Alice in Wonderland? This garden is different yet beautiful, surreal yet wonderful. The foliage is shaped into a puppy here, a bunny there, a little bear here, a dinosaur there. And the main attraction, well, that walkway makes the list of the world’s most beautiful tree tunnels (see #17 here). It’s smaller than one might expect, but the publicly accessible plaza of Iglesia de San Rafael is worth a visit. See for yourself.
Have a great weekend (and pura vida!), wherever you may be.