SAVE THE RAINFOREST
Culture, Language, Adventure, Nature and Service in Latin America through a C.L.A.N.S
trip. Below is the itinerary for a trip to Costa Rica. Contact us if you are
interested in this trip, or in receiving C.L.A.N.S. trip itineraries for Panama
Costa Rica 10 Day Save The Rainforest C.L.A.N.S. Trip
(Host Organization, Fundacion Neotropica)
Fundacion Neotropica hosts teachers and students at it's beautiful Tropical
Youth Center built with funds donated by Danish school children. The
center is located on the Osa Peninsula which juts out into the Pacific
Ocean, and is near Corcovado National Park. A highlight of this course
will be an all day excursion into Corcovado where such rare species
as squirrel monkeys and scarlet macaws are often seen. Participants
will learn about culture of Costa Rica, the ecology of the tropical
forest and the successful efforts by Costa Rica to foster sustainable
development in local communities. They will also have the chance to
practice their Spanish and particpate in service projects. Towards
the end of the trip the group will depart from the center along the
Pacific coast and overnight at La Cusinga, a model ecotourism lodge
situated on a cliffside that overlooks the ocean and an isolated sandy,
white beach that can be reached by a lovely trail that descends through
a grove of large tropical trees.
Welcome to Costa Rica! Upon arrival, we will be transferred to Aranjuez
Hotel, a genuine Costa Rican home. Group will be formally introduced
with an overview of the program, analizing and discussing student's expectations
After breakfast, we will be transferred to the Osa Península,
where the Tropical Center (TC) is located. Lunch will be provided on
the way. Afterwards the group will have the opportunity to observe and
learn about the páramo ecosystem. Upon arrival at the TC, we will
leave our bags and head towards the Dulce Gulf to practice some kayaking.
While paddling, you will be able to observe many interesting birds, reptiles
and learn about this magnificent ecosystem. After navigating thru the
canals, you will enter Dulce Gulf. After a relaxing break and seasonal
fresh fruits at the beach, you will continue to paddle, where there's
a great chance of watching dolphins. After dinner, there will be a presentation
about the precautions each participant should take while being in the
tropical rain forest.
During the morning the group will have the opportunity to visit a local
community school. School students and teachers will tell you how they
include environmental education in their study programs. Our environmental
educator will organize an educational program where the group can participate
and interact with local students. Later, we will participate on a guided
walk on the Catarata Trail (waterfall trail). We will hike for about
3 hours, learning about the features and distinctions of the tropical
rainforest. After dinner, we will have an introduction for tomorrow's
trip to La Gamba Community.
La Gamba Project has been part of a community program from the Neotropica
foundation since 1998. Part of the mission is that the community reaches
their own self-development through equitable, organizational, productive
processes and community actions that conduct to better social and economical
conditions. All activities lead to a better environmental quality for
protected areas. Students will learn about the history of the community,
visit their school, integral farm, iguana and badger breeding, biodigestors,
medicinal plants and other ecotouristic attractions that this community
has developed. After dinner, get ready for an extraordinary experience,
taking a night walk at Heliconia trail. Open your senses to enjoy the
scents, sights and sounds of the rain forest's nightlife.
We will dedicate this morning to learn how to make handcrafts. Mr. Carlos
Bianco, a local artisan, dedicates his life to business, where he creates
beautiful handpainted wooden animal figures and other handcrafts. After
lunch, our environmental educators will conduct a visit to mangroves
at Playa Blanca ("White Beach). After this activity, there will
be time to relax at the beach. At night, the group will watch a video
called "the Rainforest".
In the morning we will visit an Indian Reserve. This cultural activity
allows the interaction between Guaymi Indian and all participants of
the group. First, they will give us an introduction of their way of living,
the textiles they produce, medicinal plants they use and their typical
food. We will be able to visit the local school and actually visit their
shacks. We will have lunch at the reserve and then we will organize a
Beach Cleanup activity. After dinner, our educators will explain about
tomorrow's activity to Corcovado National Park and we will watch an interesting
video about this park.
We will take an early breakfast, after which we will leave towards the
Park. The trip to and from the Park will be on wagon pulled by a tractor.
This park protects the last remnant of tropical rain forest on the Pacific
coast of Central America. It covers over 40.000 hectares of primary forest,
home for a great variety of species of flora and fauna; including heliconias,
frogs, butterflies, small mammals, snakes, fig trees. This will be the
only time during the program when you will be in a primary forest.
We will cross Rincón River several times during the wagon ride
and will follow its bank for approximately an hour, until you reach the
trail to "Los Patos" ranger station inside the park. Wood slabs
have been dug into the trail at intervals to offer foothold, making the
3-kilometer walk to the station (1 1/2-hour) less exhausting. Once we
arrive, we'll have a snack. The station has bathroom facilities.
After the snack, we'll hike on a trail that leads to a waterfall where
you can bathe and will enjoy your lunch. During the ride and walks there
will be natural trails interpretation, mainly on the primary forest.
Usually, the arrival time back at the Tropical Center is around 4pm.
At night we will review our Spanish tips and learn new phrases.
After breakfast, we will pack our bags and visit an organic agriculture
farm called Köbö. First we will learn about domestic orchards,
followed by banana plantations, medicinal plants, sugar cane, pineapple,
cassava and cocoa. Sugar cane is later processed in their own sugar mill.
The owner also has milk cows, pigs and produces organic fertilizer with
earth worms. At the end of the activity, we will have the opportunity
to walk along a beautiful forest that the owner is preserving. Later
we will be transferred to La Cusinga, a beach lodge located in the "Ballena
Marine National Park". There will be free time to enjoy at this
beautiful beach. After dinner we will have a presentation on marine ecosystems.
Early in the morning, our environmental educators will take us for walks
along the Ballena Marine National Park, accompanied with splendid views
and free time at the beach. After lunch, we will get ready for our trip
back to San José. At night, we'll celebrate the closing for the
program and give out their certificates.
Good-bye Costa Rica! After an exciting program full of environmental
education and adventure, we will return to our homes.
All of our itineraries are flexible and adaptable to different needs
and expectations. Our Tropical Center also coordinates other Conservation
Projects for the Neotropica Foundation, where we like to include students
on their activities, like for example: reforesting farms, installing
biodigestors, organic orchards, school nurseries and other activities.