Day 1: Arrive at SJO Airport in Alajuela by 2-3pm. Travel in tourismo vans from airport to Cuerici Research Station in the Talamancas (Los Cerros de Los Muertos). Arrive around 6:30pm and eat dinner and get settled in for the night. It is chilly here, especially in the evenings (as low as ~10C), so bring a light jacket or sweater. If people want to buy a nice woven hammock then get your drivers to stop at ‘Jacks’ or other store along the highway either today or on the 29th. (You can always haggle in Costa Rica wherever you go.) This will be the best opportunity to buy a hammock.
Day 2: Birdwatching (hope to see Quetzales), view permaculture trout farm operation, and other tropical high elevation sights at and around the research station. Hiking and 3 meals. There are hot showers at this research station.
Day 3: Depart Cuerici at 8am to go to the Paramo. Hike the Paramo with a guide until 12 noon. Eat lunch until 12:30pm. Depart Paramo at 12:30pm to drive to Uvita and Finca Carolina. Meet Andrew and Robert at Rest. Marino Ballena by 3pm. Go up to Finca Carolina to get settled in and eat dinner.
Day 4: Breakfast at 7am followed by a short orientation. Professors may present their plans and expectations for learning. Exploration of Finca Carolina flora and fauna followed by lunch at 12noon. Students may visit waterfall and/or hike down to the beaches in the afternoon (use internet). Dinner at Finca Carolina at 6pm.
Day 5: Breakfast at 7am. Hike down ‘La Union’ to Rest. Marino Ballena at 8am. Drivers will take group to La Cusinga Ecolodge from Rest. Marino Ballena at 9am. Visit old growth forests and secluded beaches of La Cusinga. Lunch at La Cusinga. Depart La Cusinga at 3pm to go to Cascada Verde (permaculture site in Uvita.) Swim in waterfall and relax until dinner at Rest. y Bar La Mistura at 7pm. A van will shuttle those that wish to return to Finca Carolina at 9pm. A New Year’s Eve Party will take place at La Mistura (dancing). Return in shuttle van to Finca Carolina at 1am.
Day 6: 7-8am breakfast. Depart Finca Carolina at 9am to travel to Sierpe. Boat from Sierpe through mangroves to Punta Marenco in Drake Bay of the Osa Peninsula. Lunch at Punta Marenco followed by short orientation and afternoon hikes/studies with professors. Dinner at Punta Marenco–catch up on sleep and studies.
Day 7: Today the group will be in or around Punta Marenco exploring their old growth forests and beaches. Professors shall determine what areas of study to pursue this day. Meals all held at Punta Marenco.
Day 8: Breakfast at P. Marenco. Depart in boat for ‘La Sirena’ (departure time according to boat capt. and the tides). Spend day at ‘La Sirena’ in Corcovado National Park. Lunches packed at Punta Marenco and taken to ‘La Sirena’. Boat back to Punta Marenco for dinner and relaxing.
Day 9: Breakfast at P. Marenco (with lunches packed at P. Marenco). Depart in boats according to the tides to visit ‘San Pedrillo’ (Corcovado Nat’l Park). Spend day at ‘San Pedrillo’ exploring and studying between the forests and the beaches. Return by boat to P. Marenco for dinner.
Day 10: Breakfast at Marenco (with lunches packed at Marenco). Depart in boats according to the tides to visit ‘San Pedrillo’ (Corcovado Nat’l Park). Spend day at ‘San Pedrillo’ exploring and studying between the forests and the beaches. Return by boat to P. Marenco for dinner. Last day in Drake Bay/Osa Peninsula/Corcovado Nat’l Park.
Day 11: Breakfast at P. Marenco. Depart in boats back to Sierpe in morning after breakfast. Robert and Andrew will meet the group in Sierpe at the docks at Rest. Las Vegas. Drive back to Uvita for lunch at Rest. Marino Ballena. Andrew and Robert will shuttle bags up to Finca Carolina from the restaurant. Students may use internet cafe and visit the beaches in Uvita. Walk or catch your own cab ride (~$3-$4) back up to Finca Carolina at your convenience. Dinner at 6pm at Finca Carolina.
Day 12: Breakfast at 7am at Finca Carolina. At 9am group will visit local farmer friend of Mayan decent (Juan Guadamusz) and tour his farm for an hour or two. Continue hiking up the ridge La Union to beautiful jungle waterfall to swim and observe riparian zone. Eat lunch near waterfall. Hike back down ridge to Finca Carolina in the afternoon and continue jungle explorations until dinner at 6pm.
Day 13: Breakfast at Finca Carolina at 7am. Pack up bags and depart for Alajuela at 10am. Eat lunch at Chisperitos #2 along highway in the Cerros de Los Muertos (make sure driver stops at Chisperitos #2, on righthand side of hwy). Arrive in Alajuela in afternoon and stay in Hotel La Guaria. The hotel is located near the central park and shopping is readily available. The hotel also has a nice swimming pool. Eat dinner at restaurant of your choice in Alajuela.
Day 14: Continental breakfast at Hotel La Guaria. Use internet, shop, or relax until you catch your own cab to the airport (~$4/person). Plan to arrive at the airport 2 hours prior to departure. Each person must pay a $26 departure tax before check-in. ‘QUE LE VAYA BIEN!’
This trip was a Tropical Ecosystems course for 13 students instructed by Dr. David Clarke and Dr. Barbara Reynolds, UNC-Asheville 2007-2008. UTSI has also begun to offer tours to the Indigenous town and reserve of Boruca, and can facilitate involvement with community development projects in the region.
Please contact UTSI for pricing and let us begin planning your Costa Rica adventure today.