by Maggie Eisenberger – Travel and Science Coordinator and MCLUS Board member
The new Pocosol trip itinerary was designed to meet several goals; an alternate itinerary for those who have already visited San Gerardo, a shorter trip for those with less time, a less physically challenging trip (although the challenges are there if you want them!), and the chance to experience more of the CER and its trails from the new lodge on the east side of the preserve.
A group of intrepid travelers, ages 13 to 80, were the first MCLUS group to experience the brand new lodge at the Pocosol field station this June.
Our travelers gave top marks to the beautiful building, the terrific food, the well-maintained trails to the bubbling mud pots and the waterfall, and the comfort of “porch birding” before breakfast. The group was most impressed by having a PhD naturalist accompany them on the trails, mist net for birds and bats with them, and answer all their questions about this incredible ecosystem. The group was also honored to plant trees from the vivero at Finca Esteller for an MCL reforestation project.
Other highlights included birding from the watch tower at Finca Luna Nueva, where we discovered a sloth at eye level in a nearby tree; enjoying the heated pool at Rancho Margot; taking the tour of the animal rescue center Proyecto Asis where we got great close-ups of many beautiful animals; making our own chocolate at Tirimbina Lodge; and climbing up the lava field at Arenal volcano.
We also enjoyed floating on the Sarapiquí River, with the howler monkeys and sloths overhead, herons and kingfishers all along the banks, and iguanas, basilisks, and crocodiles to spice things up. Experiencing the rainforest at canopy level on the Braulio Carrillo aerial tram was another highlight, as well as tasting the day-glow purple pitahaya ice cream!
Watch our website (mclus.org) for next summer’s trip dates to be announced soon, for your chance to plan your own visit to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest.