February 18-29, 2016
The Urban Ecology Center invites you to join us as we explore the amazing Biodiversity and unique cultural history of the Republics of Panama and Costa Rica.
Despite their diminutive size, these countries harbor a vast array of the world's biodiversity, as a land bridge where the flora and fauna from North and South America met three million years ago. With the largest percentage of protected areas of any country and plans to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021, the New Economics Foundation rated Costa Rica as the Greenest Country in the world.
Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. Photo: Justin Jensen
About the Trip
This 12-day excursion begins in Panama, with a visit to the famous canal and several days spent exploring the rich colonial and ecological history of the city and surrounding areas, including a boat trip on the Alajuela River through Chagres National Park. We will then take a short flight to the Panama-Costa Rica border and stay at the world-renowned Wilson Botanical Gardens, home to one of the biggest plant collections in the entire world and a supreme place for birdwatching.
The Panama Canal with Gatun Lake in the background.
A northern crested caracara (Caracara cheriway) in the Wilson Botanical Gardens.
We then head to San Gerardo de Dota in the Highlands, a unique alpine ecosystem with opportunities to view the Resplendent Quetzal, zip-line through the forest, visit a waterfall or explore the area on horseback. We finish the trip with a visit to the Caribbean slopes of Costa Rica, visiting La Selva Biological Station, taking a dip in hot springs near Arenal Volcano, and touring a chocolate farm (where you can make your own chocolate).
A white-collared manakin (Manacus candei) at La Selve Biological Station.