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    The pearl of Central America

    The pearl of Central America

    Costa Rica

    • Periodo Ottimale: 8-21 Febbraio 2020
    • Giorni: 14
    • Zona di interesse: Costa Rica
    • Costo: € 3180
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    Wildlife trip led by a Biologist in one of the most incredible place on Earth. Cloud and  multi-layered tropical forests, mangrove swamps and stunning and pristine old growth wet forests on the coast. A variety of habitats boasting a true explosion of biodiversity, a unique example of conservation policies.

    • La Selva Biological Station – the best example of pristine lowland tropical rainforest at the foot of the Cordillera Volcanica Central. Jaguars, pumas, peccaries, two-toed sloths and the richest bird community of Central America
    • Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve – the pristine cloud forest ecosystem. The epiphytes and the amazing biodiversity of orchids. The iconic Quetzal, the herpetofauna and all the mountain endemisms. The forest mammals and the suspension bridges
    • Corcovado National Park – “the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity” (National Geogrpahic)- the largest primary forest on the American Pacific Coastline. The Baird’s tapir and the central american felids. The xenartra and the primate biodiversity. Macaws, pelicans and sea turtles.
    • Isla del Caño and Isla Damas – humbpacks and snorkeling in amazing waters teeming with tropical marine life

    ClimateBiogeographic ProvinceBiodiversity

    At La Selva Biological Station temperature variation is slight year round, and daily temperatures can fluctuate from 19 to 31 °C with possibility of rains year round (the less rainy months are February-April). Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (in the north-west of the country at 1500m of elevation) has wet and cool mountain tropical conditions, with frequent daily rains. The rain season mainly occurs  between June and October. Corcovado National Park and the Osa Peninsula (south-west of the country) have hot and wet climate conditions, with April-November as the main rain season and temperatures seldom dropping under 27°C.

    La Selva Biological Station is located within the Cordillera Volcanica Central Biosphere Reserve, in a typical lowland rainforest context with at least the 55% being pristine forest. Monteverde Reserve consists of over 10.000 hectares of cloud forest, being the 90%  pristine. Corcovado National Park fa is part of the Osa Conservation Area and protects about one third of the whole peninsula.  The unique ecosystem represents the largest primary forest on the American Pacific Coastline and one of the few remaining sizable areas of lowland tropical forest in the world.

    La Selva harbours more than 5000 species of vascular plants, and an astonishing abundance and diversity of epiphytes. The excepionally large elevation range favours a stunning avian biodiversity, featuring about 467 species (the highest in Central America). Among mammals felids are worth noting (5 species, among these the jaguar and puma), perissodactyls (e.g. collared peccary) and xenartra (Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth ).

    The magnificent Monteverde cloud forest boasts the highest concentration of orchids on Earth (more than 500 species). 161 species of amphibians and reptiles, while among birds the Reserve is probably the best place for the observation of the resplendent quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno). Among mammals: 6 species of marsupials, 58 bats, 3 primates, 7 xenartra and 18 carnivores.

    Corcovado National Park represents the ultimate destination for naturalists. “The most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity” according to National Geogrpahic. A top destination for observing in the wild the endangered Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii). Among carivores: jaguar, puma, ocelot, margay and jaguarundi;  primates include the central american squirrel monkey (Saimiri oerstedii), the Cebus imitator, the central american spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) and the golden-mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata palliata).

    The two and three-toed sloths, northern tamandua, giant and silky anteaters are the most prominent xenartra. The avifauna and herpetofauna are amazing (with several poison dart frogs and 4 species of sea turtles). This is one of the best place for close encounters with whales (especially humpbacks).

    Detailed Program

    • Day 1. Arrival at Juan Santamaria International Airport. Overnight stay atin hotel in Alajuela.
    • Day 2. After breakfast land transfer to La Selva Biological Station (Sarapiquí, about 2.30 hr). Brief introduction to the research at the Biological Station, and first hike along the trails. After lunch nature hike (3 hr) within the Biological Station. Rest of the afternoon free. Overnight stay at the Biological Station.
    • Day 3. Early morning hike (5.45) for birdwatching along the trails. 8 am breakfast. After breakfast nature hike for wildife observations until 11 am. Lunch and brief rest. 16.30 nature hike. After dinner night hike with a local guide in spotlighting for wildlife encounters. Overnight stay at the Biological Station.
    • Day 4. Transfer to Monteverde via Arenal, going through dry to wet ecosystems. Morning visit to the Danaus Ecocenter. After lunch visit to the Mystica suspension bridges. Arrival at Monteverde in late afternoon. Overnight stay at hotel.
    • Day 5. Early morning birding activity (5.30 am) at la finca Curicancha. Monteverde is worldwide renowned for the observation of the resplendent Quetzal, today and the next following days will be dedicated to the search of this beautiful bird. Morning in Curicancha and  lunch in CASEM  (Monteverde women cooperative). Free afternoon. Overnight stay at hotel.
    • Day 6. After breakfast visit to the Santa Elena or Monteverde Reserve for wildlife sightings. Lunch, then visit to the Selvatura park (suspension bridges) and the hummingbird garden Overnight stay at hotel.
    • Day 7. After breakfast visit to the Santuario Ecológico, Bajo del Tigre or San Luis finca. After lunch possibility to visit the reptilarium or Butterfly House at Monteverde. Overnight stay at hotel.
    • Day 8. Transfer to Puerto Jimenez, in the green and wild Osa Peninsula, and gate to the Corcovado National Park. Overnight stay at hotel.
    • Day 9. Early morning wake up, then exploration of the Corcovado National Park. This morning we’ll explore the beautiful Matapalo beach, with its many trails. Here wildlife is very abundant and easy to spot. Overnight stay at hostel in Carate.
    • Day 10 . After breakfast we’ll hike into the very hot spot of the Corcovado National Park.  Departure from carate, then 20km long  easy hike to the La Sirena Biological Station. Wildlife observations within the rainforest will be stunning. Overnight stay at La Sirena Biological Station.
    • Day 11. Full day walking safari for wildlife observations within the park. Escursioni a partire dalla Stazione Biologica inoltrandosi nella zona circostante per osservare il bosco primario e la sua popolazione. Overnight stay at La Sirena Biological Station.
    • Day 12. After breakfast, boat cruise to Isla del Caño. Good chanches for whale watching (especially humpbacks) and possibility for snorkeling. Lunch, then boat transfer to the Drake’s Bay, whalewatching during the cruise. Land transfer to Quepos. Overnight stay at hotel.
    • Day 13. After breakfast transfer to Isla Damas and exploration of the mangrove swamp ecosystem. Afternoon transfer to San José. Overnight stay at hotel.
    • Day 14. International flight to Italy.
    The price includes
    • All excursions as in the Detailed Itinerary and Program
    • All land transfers with private vehicle
    • Driver and guidance from a Biosfera Itinerari Biologist from Italy
    • A comprehensive travel insurance package
    • All taxes imposed by government authorities and Park entry fees
    • Double bedroom B&B (meals included:all breakfast, lunch on day 2,3,9,10,11,12, dinner on day 2,3,9,10,11)
    Not included
    • International flight and airport taxes
    • Cost of  Procedure Management (30 euro)
    • Cancelling insurance (facultative)
    • Alcoholic drinks
    • International visa
    • All the meals not included in the program (see “The price includes” section)
    • Voluntary activities and service tips, and in general everything not mentioned in section “The price includes”
    3055 Euro based on 8 pax (euro/dollar 1,13. The travel package price can vary in case of change of the currency exchange rate.) 

    Disclaimer 1: Please note this is an indicative and standard itinerary. Dates, activities and the succession and length of each part of the itinerary may change each year, and can be rearranged with the participants. Upon request by the participants, we will send the definitive and detailed programme to be evaluated at least some weeks prior to the confirmation deadline.

    Disclaimer 2: We will generally honor the posted prices, but these are subject to change at any time due to action or decisions made by local authorities. In such situations, and in the hope that will not happen, we will send all the ministries official communications to all participants, free from ambiguity and in total transparency. We reserve the right to correct the final price to the fullest extent permitted by law.

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