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General Information

The Robert and Catherine Wilson Botanical Garden has a rich, internationally recognized, collection of tropical plants from around the world. Over 1000 genera in more than 200 plant families form the unique collection that is an integral part of the Las Cruces Biological Station. Aroids, bromeliads, ferns, gingers, heliconias, marantas, and palms are all well represented on the 12-hectare (30-acre) site.

The Garden and adjacent forest (266 ha total; 657 acres) also have an impressive diversity of native plants (~2000 species). Over 400 species of birds have been censused around Las Cruces, as well as 800 species of butterflies, more than 100 species of mammals (of which over 40 are bats), and a high diversity of reptiles and amphibians.


The Station serves as the principal center in the region for teaching, research, and on-site environmental education, as well as visitors who have a unique opportunity to experience tropical nature and to learn about it in a place where scientists and students from around the world come to research and study.


Las Cruces Highlights


  • The Wilson Botanical Garden is part of "La Amistad Biosphere Reserve" that encompasses 472,000 hectares of park-land and buffer zones centered in the southern Talamanca mountain range, in Costa Rica's south pacific.

  • Explore one of the premier botanical gardens in the American tropics, which boast an impressive collection of tropical plants and gardens designed by Roberto Burle-Marx, famous Brazilian landscape architect.

  • Meet hundreds of bromeliads and orchids; dozens of philodendrons and other aroids of all sizes; scores of heliconias, plus giant bamboo and more than 650 species of palms.

  • Observe the richness of the tropics: native plants (approximately 2000 species) and animals, including nearly 400 bird species, more than 800 types of butterflies, an abundance of mammals (at least 40 species of bats), and an impressive diversity of reptiles and amphibians.

  • Enjoy the lodge-style rooms, furnished with bamboo and wood, and a private deck overlooking the lush gardens, perfect for bird and animal observation.

  • Dine is family style, where students and researchers mix with tourists in a spacious, friendly setting.



For information and reservations: visit.ots @ tropicalstudies.org


Biological Stations:
La Selva
Las Cruces
Palo Verde

Copyright © 2018 Organization for Tropical Studies | Contact: visit.ots @ tropicalstudies.org
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