COSTA RICA A – ECOLOGY FIELD COURSE
All instruction and Guide services; food and lodging as stated on the itinerary; ground and water transportation within Costa Rica. All entrance fees to National Parks and additional tours.
Itinerary meal codes: B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner
Does not include:
Round-trip International airfare to Costa Rica; international airport departure tax (US$29.00 per person. Please check with the airline of your choice if these taxes are already included on your airfare); liquor brewages, gratuities and personal items.
DAY 1 ARRIVAL SAN JOSÉ-FIELD COURSE ORIENTATION
Following your arrival at Juan Santamaría International Airport, outside of San José, you will be met by our Costa Rica Field Course Staff and transferred to your hotel. After dinner, there will be an orientation session to our Costa Rica A Field Course. Overnight San José.
DAY 2 SAN JOSÉ – SAVEGRE – CLOUDFOREST HIKE
After an early breakfast, we will depart by bus and travel southeast, along the Pan American Highway. Our route will have us climb steadily to an elevation of 7,200 feet.
About 50 miles from San José, we will come to the village of San Gerardo de Dota and then travel on to Savegre Lodge. Established in 1957 when Don Efraín Chacón, family members and several close friends bushwhacked their way through over 30 miles of forest to the site where the family farm now stands.
Aside from the farm and cabins built for guests, the surrounding region is one of the finest examples of high elevation cloudforest in all of Latin America. In addition, the Savegre River runs through the property and is excellent for trout fishing. The farm itself has apple orchards and a small dairy operation. There are numerous trails here that provide an excellent opportunity for hiking. Horseback riding is also available.
Cabañas Chacón and the surrounding cloudforest, is considered by many to be the best place in the Latin America to see the resplendent quetzal year-round, one of the most beautiful birds in the Americas. Other high-elevation birds, that could be sited, include a variety of hummingbirds, the sooty robin, volcano junco and several species of silky flycatchers.
Meals are home cooked and much of the wholesome food served is grown on the farm. Dinner and overnight at Savegre Lodge. B L D
DAY 3 SAVEGRE LODGE
Continued activities Cabañas Chacón and surrounding cloudforest. Dinner and overnight Cabañas Chacón.
DAY 4 PUERTO JIMINÉZ-CARATE-CORCOVADO NATIONAL PARK
Following breakfast, we will say goodbye to Cabañas Chacón Staff and depart for the spectacular Osa Penisula and Corcovado National Park. Our route will again take us southeast along the Pan American Highway, where about 60 miles from San José, we will come to the highest point on the entire Pan American At an elevation of 10,000 feet, we will encounter the northermost limit of páramo or tropical tundra habitat, with highland shrub and tussock grass being the dominant vegetation.
Our group will then descend into the Río General Valley, one of the major agricultural regions in Costa Rica, where coffee, pineapple and banana plantations dominate much of the surrounding landscape. In the afternoon, we will arrive in the village of Puerto Jiminéz, on the eastern coast of the Osa Peninsula.
From here, we will then drive around the peninsula to the village of Carate and along the way stop to observe wildlife that may be encountered. Possibilities include all 4 species of monkeys found in Costa Rica, sloths and wide variety of birds found on the peninsula, including the spectacular scarlet macaw. Following our arrival in Carate, we will transfer to the nearby Luna Lodge for dinner and overnight.
DAY 5 CORCOVADO NATIONAL PARK
Early this morning, we will depart for Corcovado National Park. Located in the southwestern corner of the Osa Peninsula, Corcovado protects 103,200 acres of shallow lagoons, marshes, mangrove swamps, rivers, lowland tropical rainforest and 29 miles of sandy coastline.
This region has the greatest biodiversity of any protected area in Costa Rica, including more than 500 species of trees, 140 different kinds of mammals, 367 bird species, 40 types of freshwater fish, 117 species of amphibians/reptiles and an estimated 6,000 insect species. It is also home to large mammals, such as jaguar, tapir, ocelot, peccaries and Costa Rica’s largest population of scarlet macaws.
Its’ great biodiversity and pristine condition have long attracted tropical ecologists and their research. Dinner and overnight at Luna Lodge.
DAY 6 CORCOVADO NATIONAL PARK
Continued activities on Corcovado National Park area. Dinner and overnight at Luna Lodge.
DAY 7 CORCOVADO – SAN JOSÉ-LAS JUNTAS
After breakfast this morning, we will transfer to Puerto Jiminéz for our return flight to San José. Our group will then transfer to the village of Las Juntas de Abangares, located northwest of San José. Afternoon at leisure in Las Juntas. Dinner and overnight Las Juntas.
DAY 8 PALO VERDE NATIONAL PARK-TEMPISQUE RIVER TRIP
Early this morning, we will depart for 6,800 acre Palo Verde National Park. Located on the northeastern banks of the Tempisque River and at the head of the Gulf of Nicoya, Palo Verde contains a wide variety of habitats.
These include swamps, marshes, mangroves, lagoons, grasslands and tropical dry forest. The Park goes through major climatic changes throughout the year….December to March is usually very dry, while during the rest of the year, rain can be frequent and large areas become flooded. The lowlands are best known for having one of the largest concentrations of waterfowl and shorebirds in Central America.
These include a variety of herons, ducks, geese, jabiru storks, black-crowned night herons and roseate spoonbills, to name a few. During our trip to Palo Verde, we will also travel by boat, down the Tempisque River, keeping an eye out for crocodiles, huge iguanas, howler monkeys and a great variety of birds. Late this afternoon, participants will return to Las Juntas for dinner and overnight.
DAY 9 SANTA ROSA NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast, we will depart for famed Santa Rosa National Park. Established in 1971, Santa Rosa is one of the oldest National Parks in Costa Rica. It covers much of the Santa Elena Peninsula in northwestern Costa Rica and encompasses more than 20,000 acres. It was the site of the famous 1856 battle between Costa Rican forces and Tennessee’s William Walker, along with his band of mercenaries.
The Costa Ricans defeated Walker at the Santa Rosa Ranch, establishing this as a symbol of Costa Rican freedom. Santa Rosa is also extremely important for ecological reasons, as it protects the largest remaining stand of tropical dry forest in Central America.
Along the Pacific coast, it is home to some of the most important nesting sites for the endangered Pacific olive Ridley’s sea turtle. Santa Rosa serves as an important model for conservation, while at the same time attempting to maintain the region’s culture. Many local people have been actively involved in efforts to protect the Park and expand its’ boundaries.
Santa Rosa is visited by a great number of scientists and students throughout the year, as they continue to unravel the complexities of tropical ecology. Following lunch, we will travel to the coast, where our group will hike and take a refreshing swim in the ocean. In the late afternoon, we will return to Las Juntas for dinner and overnight.
DAY 10 POÁS VOLCANO-SARCHÍ MARKET-SAN JOSÉ-FAREWELL DINNER
Following breakfast, we will depart for Poás Volcano. Poás is known for having one of the largest craters of any active volcano on earth. While here, we will also have a chance to hike in a very unique high altitude Cloudforest near the volcano.
After lunch, our group will visit Sarchí Market, one of the best places in Costa Rica to see and purchase traditional handicrafts. Local artisans will talk about the building and painting of famed Costa Rican ox-carts. Participants will also get a chance to observe as carts are painted. In the afternoon, we will return to San José for our Farewell Dinner and overnight.
DAY 11 DEPARTURE
After an early breakfast and farewells to our Costa Rica Field Course Staff, you will be transferred to Juan Santamaría International Airport, outside of San José for your return flight home. B
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
- Due to weather conditions and circumstances beyond the control of Field Course Staff, certain activities may be changed or done on different days in the best interest of the group.
- Can I add two additional days to the package you advertise on the homepage?
Of course! ALL of our packages are designed as guides, to illustrate potential itineraries and our personal recommendations. We know that one size does not fit all, so the best option is to give us a call and discuss what you are looking for and our in-country Travel Designers will take it from there. Disagree with their advice? We won’t be offended! We will work with you until the vacation is exactly what you are looking for!
- Does the package price include airfare?
Our packages do not include flights to Costa Rica from your home country because of the variation in price. We do include domestic flights to most of the destinations that you will be visiting. As part of the Nature Air family, we have the privilege of offering our guests the best transportation option in the country at the best possible price. You can enjoy even the most remote destinations in the country without spending half of your vacation in traffic or navigating potholes.