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“CATIE staff forgot about our tour!”

Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Education (CATIE)
Reviewed 1 February 2014

I was very excited to visit the botanical gardens at CATIE as part of our Eco Tour. I am a biology teacher and find this kind of facility very informative, but unfortunately, when we arrived there was no one there to give us our tour! Swiss Travel tour guide José was able to tell us what he knew, but I was very disappointed to not have the full experience.
The gardens were lovely, and there were lots of birds to be seen and heard, but without explanations from a CATIE staff member, the experience wasn't what I had expected.

Thank Bridget P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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27 - 31 of 73 reviews

Reviewed 15 January 2014

I went to the Garden of CATIE with my wife and two friends, and we had a naturalist conduct a tour which made the place come alive and was very interesting. There is a lot in a small space and the total walking distance is about a half mile on level ground. Entry fee is $10. One of the leading tropical research centers in Latin America is on adjacent property.

This is a beautiful place and provides a great overview of the botany of the country.

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3  Thank Trek-Always
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2013

You can stroll through the acres and acres of fruiting trees and flowers and orchids and learn about the research that impacts our world related to agriculture. Highly recommended if you are interested in the Botanical world.

1  Thank lovetotravel33176
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2013

CATIE's got a most beautiful campus, with a view of the Turrialba Volcano. The main building was built in the '40s and looks a lot like a big 'hacienda'. There is a large pond with lots of white birds that look like herons. The botanical garden is worth visiting.

1  Thank Palasatenea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2013

I visited CATIE to explore the botanical gardens and also to see the library.

The only weak point is that I think the $10 admission for foreigners is a bit steep. I enjoyed walking in the botanical gardens, through the research farm, and onto the main campus of CATIE. It is a very peaceful and quiet place.

You will see a wide variety of tropical trees and heliconias....but unfortunately there is not a specialized orchid nursery. There are extensive demonstration plots of tropical crops ranging from palms to plantains! For example, there are Ethiopian coffee varieties that have superior resistance to plant diseases such as the "roya" that is attacking Central American coffee.

I saw some displays of plants adapted to various biogeographic zones, but did not see extensive demonstrations of organic gardening techniques such as companion planting, organic pest and insect controls (example: garlic-hot pepper-onion mixture for insect control). It would be nice to see a butterfly garden and a demonstration multi-species organic garden.

One good thing that CATIE offers is a seed bank. If you are living in Costa Rica and want to grow your own food or sell vegetables at the Ferias, consider CATIE'S seed bank for unique varieties!
I may have missed some things, as my time was a bit limited.

The library is of strong interest to researchers in tropical agriculture. Unfortunately, there is no a/c and since Turrialba is in the humid low cloud forest zone, some of the books have developed a mildew problem after years of storage in sultry humid air. This may pose a problem for those with allergy problems.

Overall, CATIE is a very interesting place to visit although those who are interested in tropical organic gardening or orchid culture may not find everything in which they are interested.

Thank R_S_10000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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