Costa Rica Success!

Last year I added our first Costa Rica tour packages, two unique trips to Selva Bananito, Pacuare Turtle Reserve and Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve. These trips have been a great success, with travelers returning with thrilling stories of climbing into the rainforest canopy with Jurgen of Selva Bananito and touching reports about assisting researchers at Pacuare in protecting leatherback turtles. With such great reports from our travelers, we decided that we had to add more trips to this beautiful country.

After spending a few weeks scouring Costa Rica for hidden gems, I devised four new itineraries for 2002. Each of these will visit some of the country\'s most pristine forests and beaches. I returned so excited from my trip that I have to let everyone know some of the things we\'ll be doing this winter concerning Costa Rica travel!

We\'ll be staying on John Tressemer\'s farm-turned-nature reserve on the Central Pacific coast. His 400 acre farm protects large tracts of primary forest and the most beautiful beach I\'ve ever seen. Besides snorkeling and learning to surf, travelers will head into the forest to gather food for lunch later that day (ever cut your own heart of palm?). On another day, you\'ll have lunch with a local family, and don\'t forget the horseback riding at sunset along the beach! A final treat at John\'s place is the seasonal migration of humpback whales from North America. I saw three while I was there!

I\'m also adding two Costa Rica travel itineraries that include Tiskita Lodge with Peter and Mary Ann Aspinall. Peter and Mary started receiving guests to their farm almost 15 years ago. The farm has now become a nature reserve with 550 acres of private forest. Peter still raises fruit trees (it\'s his passion with over 100 varieties!), but now the fruit is used only by his guests and the neighboring monkeys and birds. Tiskita sits on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Osa Peninisula. With help from Amigos de Aves (Friends of Birds), he\'s reintroducing five pairs of endangered scarlet macaws to the area. Given all the fruit and nut trees in the reserve, they should have plenty of food - he\'s releasing the first pair next month, so look for them all this fall when you visit!

Our Costa Rica travel experience doesn\'t end there. We\'ll be visiting Corcovado National Park, Arenal Volcano, and doing an overnight whitewater rafting trip on the Pacuare. We\'ll also spend a night in the mountains south of San Jose where we\'ve got the best chance anywhere to see the stunning quetzal. I also met a biologist named Luis Diego at Las Cruces Biological Station. Luis was teaching a course in Costa Rica for Duke University, and in between lectures we worked on an itinerary for helping with their reforestation work and excursions around Las Cruces.

This is just a sneak preview of our coming trips, so we can\'t book them quite yet. I expect to launch them all at once by the end of September. These are some of the most unique and pristine areas of Costa Rica, so I\'m excited for these new trips! Please contact us if CR is in your sights for this winter.

Buen Viaje (good travels),
Brian Morgan

P.S. If you have been researching Costa Rica travel, then you might notice that the cloudforest of Monteverde and the beaches of Manual Antonio are not part of our new trips. I visited each place, but mainly just found hotel after hotel after hotel. I\'m sorry to say that we can\'t promote either of these places, as over-development is jeopardizing the future of these ecosystems. Feel free to e-mail or call me for more details on what I found in these areas.