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By Andrea Northcutt
Coffee County Soil
The Coffee County Soil Conservation District asks the public to join it for a week-long learning adventure in Costa Rica this coming July 13-20.
This adventure will begin with a trip to the Arenal Volcano. From the airport in San Jose, the group will be picked up and driven to the town of La Fortuna where the Arenal Volcano is the highlight.
The tour will pass through many different ecosystems such as high elevation cloud-forest and then drop down into the lowlands of the northern plains. There will be a chance to see much of the diary industry as it passes through the farms of the highlands.
Day two is when the adventure begins with a zipline ride through the cloud forest.
The zipline will be on cables almost 1,000 yards long and hanging 700 feet above primary rainforest from start to finish with breath-taking views of the Arenal Volcano.
After the zipline the tour will spend the entire afternoon at Don Juan’s Organic Farm. Don Juan himself will lead an in-depth tour emphasizing sustainable agriculture.
This will be a great tour of beautiful lush Costa Rican gardens, and Don Juan is a treat to meet. We will then eat a fresh delicious meal grown on Don Juan’s farm.
Day Three We will make our way to the Village of Sitio de Mata. On our way we will visit a small reserve where we are going to get an up-close look at the tropical rainforest as naturalist guides open your eyes and minds to the many spectacular wonders of one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. Here we will see butterflies, poison dart frogs, tree frogs, sloths, hummingbirds, and so much more. Sitio de Mata is a village located in a picturesque setting with fabulous views of the Turrialba Volcano, which is constantly smoking for stunning photos. The scenery is outstanding but not half as good as the people you will meet. The village is filled with smiling kids and parents, a world of simple living with happy minds.
Day Four the tour will visit Caite University which is known all over the world for their work in agro ecology, forest biodiversity, and socioeconomics, etc. The afternoon will be cultural fun, which will include learning how to cook the local cuisine, a soccer game with the local kids, and an evening fiesta where you are introduced to the dance and music of the country.
This is an evening that you will not forget and one of the true highlights of visiting Costa Rica.
Day 5 will be white water down the Pacuare River. Listed as one of the top five most desirable commercially rafted rivers in the world, Pacuare lives up to every bit of the press it gets. The river is filled with canyons, waterfalls, and virgin rainforest as you get a true sense of what the miraculous wonders of nature can do when left alone. This is a class III and IV section and the age limit is 10 years old. There is a tour available for those under 10 or not interested in rafting. After the rafting the group will drive South to the Caribbean Coast to the famous Almonds and Corals Ecolodge which was voted as Costa Rica’s top ecolodge in 2010. The Lodge is surrounded by jungle while just steps away from the beach. Your alarm clock will be the howler monkeys that get going around 6 a.m..
Day 6 will include a hike on some of Costa Rica’s most pristine and unknown beaches. Here is where the rainforest meets the ocean. The group will learn more about the natural history of the area as we hike through the jungle filled with wildlife. The afternoon is reserved for relaxing on the beach on the many hammocks at the hotel.
Day 7 is another beach day but we also plan on visiting a nearby Permaculture Garden where you will see a different kind of organic farming. In the afternoon it is some more beach time. You will have the option to finish the book you brought or maybe rent some surf boards and test your skills.
Day 8 the group will return.
This trip is extremely educational and immersed in the local customs. While on this ecotour in 2012. I did not feel like a tourist at all. I have partnered with Costa Rican Resources a local company that focuses on local tourism, environmental education, and safety. During the trip all your transportation, meals, and expenses for activities are included. There are no worries once you arrive. Even the airport is a friendly place. Our tour guides are local, professional rafters, and experts in Costa Rican ecology. The price starts at $1,360 per person plus airfare and is scheduled for July 13-20. This is an ideal trip for students, teachers, and anyone who desires to learn more about ecology, agriculture, or the Costa Rican culture. For more information you can call, visit, or email our office
1008 East End Road
Manchester, TN 37355