History of La Paz Waterfall Gardens, The Peace Lodge
La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park is a privately owned and managed ecological attraction that opened in the fall of 2000. The construction of the Hiking Trails, Butterfly Observatory and Reception began in July of 1998 and was mostly complete by the fall of 2000. Since opening we have continually added new and interesting exhibits to enhance the quality of your visit. Please Enjoy.
Our Mission Statement is to preserve and protect the natural environment of the area for the education, entertainment, and enjoyment of all ages of people. Our strategy combines environmentally conscious design with maximum educational impact to the visitor.
The Park comprises 70 acres (28 hectares) of land including approximately 40 acres of cloud and rainforest and 30 acres (12 hectares) of pastureland cut by a previous owner. The forest area is currently protected under Private Wildlife Refuge Status and we are in the process of reforesting the unoccupied pastureland. We are also an active member of the Costa Rican Network of Private Nature Reserves, the Green Stamp Program, the Blue Flag Program and the Environmental Services Payment Program.
The 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometers) of hiking trails and viewing platforms constructed from 1998-2000 were designed and built without cutting one tree or vine system. The materials for the trails and platforms were carried down on foot in order to avoid the use of heavy equipment in the forest. The credit for this tremendous accomplishment goes to Mr. Bernardo Picado who designed trails for the National Park System of Costa Rica prior to joining our team.
We added the Colibries Restaurant and the Serpentarium in 2004 and the Ranarium and Trout Lake in 2005. Our new enclosed Butterfly Observatory opened in August of 2006 along with the conversion of our existing Butterfly Observatory to an Aviary in the same year.
Construction on the Peace Lodge began in 2003 and various phases were completed over the next two years. In 2005 we had 17 units open. Less than a year after opening the Peace Lodge was featured on the Travel Channel show Trista and Ryan’s Honeymoon Hotspots International. There were only eight resorts outside the U.S. chosen for this honor.
In our effort to support the local economy, we employ 95% of our 120+ employees from the surrounding towns within a 12 mile radius (20 kilometers). These small communities previously existed almost exclusively on ranching and agriculture.
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