Costa Rica Eco-Travel Trip: Pura Vida!

Written by Urban Ecology Center
    Thursday, 27 June 2013
Costa Rica Eco-Travel Trip: Pura Vida!

In December 2003, 14 intrepid travelers embarked on a long-remembered journey. Their destination was Costa Rica, a land of majestic natural beauty, smiling faces and the occasional near hurricane-force winds. At the risk of sounding cliché, words can’t describe the incredible breadth of Costa Rica’s biodiversity, the warmth of the Tico (local) people, or its striking topography. Our group truly embodied the motto of Costa Rica - Pura Vida/Pure Life! - and lived life to the hilt throughout the 10 day tour.
There is so much to share but let's start with the following journal excerpt, culled from pages submitted by trip participant Pat Mueller, which offers a glimpse of one of the more memorable experiences:

Although this "From the Archive" post was originally published in the March/April 2004 edition of our newsletter, we still offer exciting Eco-travel Trips. Find out where your next adventure will be here.

 Zipping Across the Sky

We climbed countless steps to the first platform and a 600 foot cable. The process was to hook rope and harness onto a pulley, sit back with your seat as low as possible, cross feet, bend knees, and be pushed away down the sloping cable! “Are you ready?” About as ready as I will ever be…and was it exciting! Over the treetops, caught at the other end and unhooked, then a climb to the next platform, and so on. Each “run” better than the previous one. On one we seemed headed into a small hole in the foliage, but it was just big enough. The final zip was into a thick, wet cloud, the end of which was totally invisible in the mist. Xavier (our guide) and I, in tandem, were the first across…I’m told we really just disappeared…it was freaky to see people (after me) appear out of the mist…looking down at the treetops, the giants of the forest, was so exciting.

An Abundance of Experiences

There is so much more to tell. Sightings of caiman, iguanas, toucans, howler monkeys, poison dart frogs, bats, sloths, leaf cutter ants, parrots, dazzling hummingbirds and Blue Morpho butterflies. Marvelous vegetation, bromeliads, cacao pods and colorful plants abounded! And the experiences… exotic food, fresh fruit, rainforest hikes, waking to the sounds of howler monkeys and noisy toucans, lazy days on volcanic sand beaches, a soak in hot springs skirting Volcano Arenal.

Our journey took us from lowland and mid-elevation rainforest to tempestuous storms atop Monteverde and, finally, to mangrove estuaries and Pacific coastline. Through lectures and visits, we gained a perspective on local environmental challenges, the struggle to establish fair trade in agriculture, and the balancing act between development of property and sensitive ecotourism. At a personal level, tales will be told of new friends, rustic environs and lessons in patience in the face of tempestuous weather.

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