Garden and Nature Tours

Your escort Cole Burrell is an acclaimed international lecturer, garden designer and the author of 12 gardening books. He has escorted garden and nature tours throughout the United States as well as to Canada, Europe and the Americas.

C. Colston (Cole) Burrell offers personalized leisure tours to great gardens and natural areas around the globe. From Seattle to South Africa, we arrange one of a kind tours focused on the best private and public gardens, and the most ecologically diverse natural areas, to create once in a lifetime travel adventures.

Boston Garden and Nature Tour with Cole Burrell
Carlson Wagonlit Travel with Cole Burrell
Minnesota State Horticultural Society and Cole Burrell

Oh, the music, the camaraderie, the places we have seen....what a grand time! Cole, thank you for all you did to create a truly memorable visit to those eye-feast gardens.
Valerie Kyllo

A tour with Cole Burrell is always memorable. We see gardens that we could not otherwise see. Our individual garden tours are guided by head gardeners and garden owners.
Karen Sutherland

I am pleased to present our upcoming tour lineup for 2023.

I am pleased to present our upcoming tour lineup for 2023

Dear Garden and Nature Travelers,

My website devoted exclusively to tours and travel continues to be the best place to find up to date information on my tours. If you have not visited Garden and Nature Tours, please visit for information on upcoming tours, travel tips and more. I have a great lineup of tours. I will be posting brochures as soon as we have all the details worked out, so please reserve the dates on your calendar. I am happy to add your name to the interested list so that you can receive advance notice of the tours. Just send me an e-mail and indicate which tour you are interested in.

January 12-22, 2023

February 27-March 8

June 13-21

August 24-September 7

Registration for these tours is now open, view information at:

Other Exciting International Destinations

Gardens and National Parks of Vietnam
Gardens of the Hudson River Valley
Gardens and Temples of Tokyo and Kyoto

Spring Gardens of Charleston and Savannah
Gardens of Spain—Andalucia
Gardens of Southern Italy & the Amalfi Coast

Gardens of San Francisco and the Bay Area
Gardens and Parks of Croatia and the Adriatic Coast
Tanzania—Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti

2023 Destinations

January 12-22, 2023Costa Rica Gardens, Volcanoes and Waterfalls

This winter, join C Colston Burrell and Vernon Campos for an unforgettable adventure in Costa Rica, a tropical paradise where gardens, organic farms and thundering waterfalls are set against lush tropical forests and dramatic volcanic peaks. Though scarcely larger than West Virginia, this friendly country is a magnet for gardeners, birders, natural history enthusiasts and adventurers.

We have arranged visits with avid gardeners, and chosen lodges in a variety of exciting settings. Costa Ricans, like most gardeners, are drawn to a wealth of plants from around the world. Gardens here are as variable as their owners. Colorful foliage is favored as a foil for the deep green palms, philodendrons and elephant ears that are commonly grown. Gingers, heliconias, birds of paradise, gardenias and succulents provide long seasons of bloom, augmented by orchids and tropical bulbs in season.

In addition to gardens, we have ample opportunities to explore the unique topography and geology of Costa Rica. Thundering waterfalls and lava fields at the base of an active volcano await explorations. We will tour La Selva, a world-renowned biological research station. Exhilarating hanging bridges, local craft shops and wildlife feeding stations are a few of the attractions we will visit.

Join us for this unforgettable journey to explore these bucolic and rugged regions of Costa Rica, with exciting opportunities for exploration and relaxation.

March 1-10, 2023 TentativeWild Chile: Gardens and Glaciers

Escorted by C. Colston Burrell and Maria Luisa Lariviere

Chile is noted for its sophisticated culture, sublime scenery, fine wines and international cuisine. Its exceptional gardens are less well known. Join C. Colston Burrell and local host Maria Luisa Lariviere to revel in the history, culture and varied gardens of Santiago de Chile, the capital city, as well as the seaside town Viña del Mar.

Santiago sits within a basin, surrounded by mountains that serve as dramatic backdrops to the varied gardens and parks. Viña del Mar, the "vineyard by the sea" is noted for glorious gardens and seafood. The lakes district, at the foot of the dramatic, snow-capped peaks of the Andes, offers spectacular scenery, magnificent gardens, and unique flora and fauna. Marvel at the dramatic volcanic peaks, crystalline waters and thundering waterfalls of Chile's spectacular national parks.

Join us on a journey of discovery to magnificent and varied landscapes, gracious private gardens, monumental public gardens, museums, wineries and spectacular scenery of this unique South American nation, which is at once sophisticated, cosmopolitan and ruggedly wild.

Our Pre Tour explores the stark beauty of the Atacama Desert, the worlds driest. we will explore salt flats, petroglyphs, around the historic town of San Pedro.

On our Post Tour, explore Chilean Patagonia, including Torres del Paine National Park, with its iconic peaks, lush forests and turquoise lakes. For the adventurous, we plan a boat trip through the Straits of Magellan to Ushuaia, Argentina.

June 2023Denver Gardens and Rocky Mountain Wildflowers

The mile high city of Denver is the capital of Colorado, an American metropolis dating to the Old West era. Larimer Square, the city’s oldest block, features landmark 19th-century buildings. Museums include the Denver Art Museum, an ultramodern complex known for its collection of indigenous works, and the mansion of famed Titanic survivor Molly Brown. Poised at the foot of the Front Range, Denver's gardens reflect the tension between plains and mountains, with elements as diverse as sweeping prairies and intricate rock gardens.

Our tour takes us to private and public gardens throughout the metro area, including the world famous Denver Botanic garden, as well as lesser-known gardens like Hudson Gardens. We will also explore innovative urban greening projects, and community food gardens.

Outside of Denver, we visit Mt. Evans, a 14,265-foot peak where nature has created a stunning rock garden. We head north out of Denver to visit gardens in Fort Collins and Boulder as well. Join us for an immersive exploration of Rocky Mountain gardens, history and culture.

August 24-September 7Gardens of Art and Architecture: Roberto Burle Marx, Oscar Niemeyer and Brazilian Modernism

Brazil is the largest and most biodiverse country in the Americas. It is also a showcase for modernist design in architecture and landscape. Please join C. Colston Burrell and Patricia da Silva to explore Burle Marx's landscape design genius, Niemeyer’s stunning buildings, and the art, culture, and cuisine of five diverse cities: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Petropolis, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia.

One can’t go to Brazil without experiencing Rio and its many wonders. We are staying on Copacabana Beach, a great jumping off point for group and independent exploration. While in Rio we will visit the iconic Sugar Loaf and Corcovado. The Jardim Botanico is another highlight of our itinerary. The garden lies at the foot of the Corcovado Mountain and displays more than 6,000 different species of tropical and subtropical plants, including 900 varieties of palms. The astonishing Avenue of Royal Palms, boasting 134 trees, leads from the entrance into the gardens. Folk and modern art museums are also on the itinerary.

From Rio we fly to the capital city of Brasilia, a modern metropolis in the center of the expansive savanna known as Cerrado. Brasilia was created in the 1060's through the collaboration of artists, architects such as Oscar Niemeyer and lansdcape architects like Burle Marx. Our visit includes an anchtectural historian to highlight designers, significant buidings and important public spaces. From Brasilia we fly to Belo Horizonte, where the Cerrado and the Atlantic Forest merge. The city boasts the iconic Pampuhla Complex, a modern city created by the foremost modernists of the day around a huge artificial lake. In addition to the Niemeyer/Marx collaborations, we visit Inhotim, an innovative new museum outside the city set within an incredible botanical garden.

Upon our return to Rio we travel to Serra dos Órgos National Park, a unique Atlantic Coast Forest Reserve alive with birds and wildlife. Our next destination is Petropolis, also known as The Imperial City of Brazil, nestled among the Atlantic Forest. Although it is noted for its mild climate and beautiful surroundings, its main attraction is the former Summer Palace of the second Brazilian emperor, which is now the Imperial Museum. We will visit the palace and also see some iconic private Burle Marx gardens in the hills surrounding the city. We then make our way cross-country to Fazenda Vargem Grande, arguably the greatest garden created by Burle Marx, before heading towards Sao Paulo, with visit to Amantikir Gardens, Parque da Cidade Roberto Burle Marx and a few contemporary gardens.
Please join us for this distinctly unique exploration of the cultural and natural history of the extraordinary country called Brazil.

Phone: 434-825-6005
PO Box 76, Free Union, Virginia 22940

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