Pocosol Trip 2013
Children’s Eternal Rainforest – Pocosol – Atlantic Slope Adventure
When: June 14 – 22, 2013
Cost: $2,145* (not including airfare)
Early Bird discount of $100 if you register by January 15, 2013. Please click on link below for registration form.
For more information email our Science/Travel Director Maggie Eisenberger at email@example.com, or call her at 608-217-5288 or 636-532-3290.
Dear newest members of the FCER family,
By joining us for this trip you become part of a movement that is dedicated to the “support, protection, and expansion of The Children’s Eternal Rainforest”; a movement that began with Swedish schoolchildren over 25 years ago, and since then has incorporated thousands of participants from dozens of countries. You’ll experience first-hand what makes The Children’s Eternal Rainforest the heart of conservation in Costa Rica, and why it means something special to be part of the family that protects it.
Few earthly habitats have inspired more awe or longer lasting impressions than lowland rainforests. For millennia humans have carved out their existence among the buttresses, lianas, and paddle-shaped leaves of their tropical cradles. Unfortunately for the forests our societal growth and tools over the past 100 years have been too efficient and our use of rainforests has evolved into overexploitation. Come to Costa Rica. You’ll see everything from the isthmus’ fiery volcanic origin, witness the end result of the amazing diversity of species that evolved here over millennia, and how the remnant forests are scattered among modern human endeavors. Get impressed. Come visit Costa Rica’s lowland rainforest and witness first hand their origins, functions, hidden treasures, and the sustainable solutions we’ve rushed in place to save them.
Day 1 (14th)
Arrive at Juan Santamaria Internationl Airport (SJO). You should try and arrive between mid-day and late afternoon in order to make our welcome dinner in the early evening. Time permitting (arrival before 2pm), we’ll try to get over to INBioParque (http://www.inbioparque.com/en/) for the last tour of the afternoon. INBioParque is the public visitor’s center for the National Institute of Biodiversity (www.inbio.ac.cr). It’s a great introduction into biodiversity, and why CR is globally important in this regard. Alternatively we could arrange a quick drive about the city or a brief stop at the National Museum (www.museocostarica.go.cr). Please contact us with your flight information to organize the activities for this afternoon, or to help you arrange transport to Hotel Don Carlos in the historic Amon District of San Jose. (Overnight: Hotel Don Carlos – Dinner)
Day 2 (15th)
This morning after an early breakfast at Don Carlos we’ll be on our way to the Atlantic Slope. Our first stop will be at the rainforest aerial tram for a unique look at the tropical rainforest (9am reservation, www.rainforestadventure.com – click on Costa Rica Atlantic) where you will also have lunch. We’ll explore the forest from the trunks through the crowns observing the creatures and features that make the rainforest special. After lunch at the aerial tram we’ll head further into the lowlands for an educational and delicious visit to the Corsicana pineapple farm. Here you will witness how a large agricultural operation strives to produce millions of yummy fruits (and very tasty cakes from these fruits) and do so in a manner incorporating environmentally friendly organic techniques (http://www.collinstreet.com/pages/finca_corsicana_home). In the evening we’ll stop at Tirimbina Rainforest Center where we will have dinner and be spending the night (http://tirimbina.org/). For dessert we’ll have a guided nocturnal prowl through the forest, an added adventure to their famous chocolate tour! (Overnight: Tirimbina – B, L, D)
Day 3 (16th)
Tirimbina provides an excellent opportunity for early morning, pre-breakfast birdwatching. After breakfast we will go for an early morning cruise on the Sarapiqui River to look for wildlife that hangs out along, or in, the river. This is the region that supports a remnant population of great green macaws and there is a good chance we’ll spot a pair. A few hours later we’ll jump back onto the bus for our drive towards the Northern plains and La Fortuna (the home of Arenal – CR’s most active volcano, at least up through Oct. 2010). We’ll stop for lunch, and a brief stroll around La Fortuna which will also be a great opportunity for souvenir shopping. Our one night in the area will be spent staying at one of Costa Rica’s most sustainable farms and lodges, Rancho Margot (http://ranchomargot.org/). In the evening we’ll get a tour of their operation, but before our arrival we’ll get out and stretch our legs for a hike in Arenal National Park. We will see firsthand what happens when lava meets rainforest and even get the opportunity to climb to the top of an old lava flow. Later that evening at Margot we’ll be treated to a slow food dinner created from products on site. (Overnight: Rancho Margot – B, L, D)
Day 4 (17th)
For those early risers we would suggest a pre-breakfast walk (while birding of course!) along the road / river down to the lake. However, the morning is yours to spend as you see fit. Sleep-in if the sounds of nature will let you, but you do not want to miss breakfast. We’ve kept you moving quite a bit over the past few days so we’ve given you time this morning to get caught up on reading, relaxing, reflecting on the trip so far, the hotel’s 7am yoga session, or whatever you would like to do to maximize your time. If you are still called to action we would suggest some of the optional ($) activities offered by Margot or you could get Eduardo out for another nature hike. Lunch will be served there at Margot, but then our goal is to wind our way back around the lake and foothills of the Tilaran Mountain range to arrive at La Tigra. Here we’ll jump aboard our 4×4 transport to the Pocosol Station in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest (CER, http://acmcr.org/home.htm). There may be a chance for a quick stroll to the small laguna before nightfall. After dinner at the station, you’ll have the evening to relax, and assimilate all that’s been seen and done over the past few days. On the other hand we may be accompanied by a local guide who can lead us on a night hike. (Overnight: Pocosol/CER – B, L, D)
Day 5 (18th)
Keeping with last night’s theme we won’t wake you early for a birdwalk (although the birds may not let you sleep that late anyway). Breakfast will be served at the station, then we’ll have the morning for a guided exploration of the Zamia trail to the bubbling volcanic mudpots, and then loop back down to lake. We will eat lunch at the station then have a brief afternoon classroom session to organize our time and activities while at Pocosol (solo time on the trails, service projects, guided walks, games, etc.). This station has a network of interesting trails that include views of waterfalls, both regenerating and mature forest scattered about a varied terrain. Hopefully that evening we can arrange for a visit by a local biologist who will teach us more about Costa Rica’s most diverse group of mammals (bats) and show us some up close, captured by mist-net. (Overnight: Pocosol/CER – B, L, D).
Day 6 (19th)
From hairy wings to feathered ones our local biologist will set up the mist nets again to help bring some of the feathered denizens of the forest in for closer inspection. This will happen before/during breakfast and will last a couple of hours. The rest of the morning is yours to work on a project or explore more of the trails until lunch. After lunch at the station we’ll meet o hear what everyone has discovered, and plan the rest of our afternoon. Feel free to read or reflect in your own quiet solitude of a scenic corner of the CER, or coax your guide back out for another guided hike along an unexplored trail. We’ll have dinner at the station and an evening of leisure in preparation for our trip out next morning. (Overnight: Pocosol/CER – B, L, D).
Day 7 (20th)
After breakfast we’ll be heading towards our next destination Luna Nueva, another model organic farm and sustainable ecolodge. But first we will visit Finca Esteller, one of the CER’s properties where reforestation and education projects are spearheaded. After planting some trees we will head towards one of the nearby communities where we will have lunch at a diner run by a women’s group that for decades has provided their families with additional income selling baked goods. After lunch you’ll have the afternoon/evening free to choose a variety of optional ($) activities offered by Luna Nueva, or we may go ahead and see their fascinating farm tour. (Overnight: Luna Nueva – B, L, D)
Day 8 (21st)
Today we can schedule another early morning birdwalk for those who can’t get enough (or a birdsit in their observation tower). We’ll have breakfast at Luna Nueva, then its back on the bus for the quick trip to Proyecto Asis (http://www.institutoasis.com/) where we will tour their animal rescue facilities and see some of their tropical residents up close (they rehabilitate many of the animals that the CER guards confiscate from hunters). We’ll return to Luna Nueva for lunch and an afternoon tour (or leisure…depending on what we did yesterday), before sitting down to another delicious slow food dinner. (Overnight: Luna Nueva – B, L, D).
Day 9 (22nd)
This morning after breakfast you’ll have a few hours to explore trails on your own, do another optional activity, or just relax there at the lodge. There is a lovely swimming pool you will find most inviting. We will have lunch at Luna Nueva before our return to San Jose. You will enjoy our country drive back to the Central Valley through small, scenic towns like Zarcero and Sarchi. At Sarchi we can make a final souvenir stop and admire the home of the typical hand-painted oxcarts. By late afternoon we should make it back to Hotel Don Carlos where you will have some time to relax, get a jump on packing, or enjoy another delicious coffee at their sidewalk café. Before retiring for the night we’ll have a group ‘farewell’ dinner, reminisce about the trip, and check our flights for the coming day. (Overnight: Hotel Don Carlos – B, L, D)
Day 10 (23rd)
Sadly today is the day we depart. You should all plan for late morning or early afternoon flights back to the US. This way we can organize a trip take most of you to the airport around 7 or 8 am as one group. Again, please send us your flight information and we can make arrangements for transport. (B)
We are extremely happy you have decided to travel with us to experience first-hand why Costa Rica embodies the global conservation movement and how the beauty and magic of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest represents its heart and soul. For 25 years the Monteverde Conservation League and its partner association (Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest – now over 10 years) have protected this large block of rainforest, a fundamental link in Costa Rica’s conservation network. By joining us on our trips, your participation helps us ensure that future generations of children will always have this rainforest to return to, and count on to anchor their own conservation programs.
Please contact us or look for more information regarding our trips to Costa Rica on our web page
If you are interested in being part of this unforgettable adventure, or have more questions, then please inquire with Maggie Eisenberger (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Eco-tour operated by Natural Solutions – Costa Rica