Orchids of Costa Rica - December 28, 2011
- Bosque de Paz
- Arenal Volcano
- Manuel Antonio
This tour highlights areas of Costa Rica where a wide variety of Orchids grow. Bike through the CATIE Botanical gardens, float down the Celeste River, visit the Children's Eternal Rainforest in Monteverde and then head to the National parks of Carara and Manuel Antonio. The perfect tour for the avid orchid lover or photographer.
- Day 1 Arrive San Jose
- Day 2 Tapanti and Lankaster Gardens
- Day 3 CATIE Botanical Gardens
- Day 4 Bosque del Paz
- Day 5 Transfer to Arenal Volcano
- Day 6 Rio Celeste Tour
- Days 7-8 Monteverde Cloudforest
- Day 9 Monteverde - Carara
- Day 10 Manuel Antonio
- Day 11 Return San Jose
- Day 12 Return Home
- Additional Tour Options
- $1095 - Want to extend your tour to see the Orchids of Panama?
- BikingIncludes biking activity.
- HikingIncludes guided hiking excursions. Hikes may vary from easy and optional three hour hikes to more difficult multi-day treks.
- Nature ViewingIncludes intentional opportunity to observe flora or fauna with an experienced guide.
Arrive San Jose and transfer to your hotel. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel.
You will visit Tapanti in the morning, where you will find over a dozen species of maxillaria, tiny epidendrums, sigmatostalix, lepanthes stelis and masdevallias, Dichaeas blend in with an amazing diversity of Ferns, there are alos a few sobralia species and if we're lucky we'll find some draculas in bloom. Next we'll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then head to Lankaster for the afternoon. Here you will find the national orchid collection is housed. Almost all the Costa Rican species yet discovered are represented in this outstanding collection. You will then continue on and overnight at a country lodge in Turrialba
This morning, slow things down a bit with a bike tour through Costa Rica's world-renowned agricultural research center, CATIE. Learn about planting techniques unique to the region and get to know the texture, smells and tastes of the local agriculture. The Tropical Botanical Garden offers a collection of some of the world's most important tropical plant species. The afternoon is yours to unwind or take in any of the extra activities available in the area including horseback riding, a visit to the Turrialba Volcano. Here you have a chance to see the wonderful telipogon species among several other unusual upland species. You can also visit the Guayabo Archaelogical site.
Day 4 Bosque del Paz (B,L,D)
Transfer to Bosque del Paz after a leisurely morning. Visit their botanical gardens. Here you will have a great chance to do some birding, take many photos and enjoy the beauty of the orchids. This family owned lodge is in an unspoiled valley of virgin forest. Not only are wild orchids plentiful here, but every orchid that has fallen off a tree has been replanted on small trees at eye-level in a special orchid garden. Over 100 species native to the region are easily observed and enjoyed, including terrestrial plantings of phragmipediums. Tonight, rest easy as you fall asleep to the sounds of the wildlife surrounding the lodge.
This morning we're off to Arenal. Dorman for centuries, Arenal Volcano exploded in a massive eruption of molten lava and ash in 1968. Since that time, it has continued to belch great clouds of ash and occasional lava. It is now one of the world's most active volcanoes and volcanologists from all over the world come here to study this tropical volcano. There are a great array of orchids in this area as well including many bizarre Pleurothallids, maxillarias, oncidiums and even a bulbophyllum species. This evening, upon arrival, you will head with the group to Tabacon Hotsprings for dinner and a soak in the varying temperature thermal pools tired muscles in the healing mineral bath of their famous thermal pools and waterfalls.
This morning you embark on the Rio Celeste tour. This hike will take you through the crown jewel of Northern Costa Rica. The Light Blue River, a winding body of water surrounded by amazing rainforest in the Tenorio Volcano National Park, sports one of Costa Rica's most beautiful waterfalls, natural hot springs, as well as the unique phenomenon of clear water turning blue by means of a volcanic chemical reaction. Many outstanding orchids can be found in this virgin forest, including ornithidiums, cochleanthes, paphinia, trichopilia. Lepanthes, pleaurothallis and many others. The hike takes a few hours and then you can enjoy some free time in the area. Tonight overnight at your bungalow near the Arenal Volcano.
This morning we'll hike into the national park for close-up tours of lava flow. Mid-morning we leave Arenal, driving around Costa Rica's Lake Arenal to the Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve, one of the richest and most diverse tropical cloudforests on the continent. Founded in 1972, the Reserve encompasses six different ecological life zones and protects more than 100 mammal species, 400 birds species and upwards of 1,500 plant species. Here you can see amny orchidaceous surprises while walking the trails. Large colonies of twig epiphytes, like macroclinium, ornithocephalus and sigmatostalix are here. Hexiseas and scaphyglottis, myriad epidendrums and maxillarias. Oncidiums, lockhartias, fernadezias and even Dracula occur here as well. In our explorations we'll keep watch for one of the area's most famed residents, the Resplendant Quetzal. On the morning of Day 8, we'll head out to tour the Children's Eternal Rainforest. This afternoon we hike through the reserve, viewing the misty forest with its dense vegetation and majestic trees.
Day 9 Monteverde - Carara (B,L,D)
We leave in the morning to make the 4-5 hour drive to Carara where we'll stay in a hotel near the coast. Enjoy a visit to Carara National Park today. This park is a favorite for people and birds a like. Representing both dry tropical rainforest to the north and wet rainforest to the south, it is a diverse area for birds and vegetation to take up residence. As you hike through the park today, you will see birds that are commonly found in each type of rainforest as well as vegetation that has adapted to the rich and different climate. Here, warm growing, drought tolerant orchids are everywhere. Look especially for brassavolas, catasetums, and encyclias.
This morning we rise and head with our guide to Manuel Antonio Nationa Park. Walk along the expansive white beaches of nearby Manuel Antonio Park, or explore the lush vegetation, alive with 109 species of mammal and over 184 species of birds. Available in the area are horseback riding tours, dolphin and whale watching, wildlife spotting tours, kayaking and snorkeling.
Enjoyyour last leisurely morning before the transfer back to San Jose. Stop at the Botanical Orchid Garden en route and enjoy lunch. Tonight enjoy a sending off dinner at your hotel as you reminisce about your amazing Costa Rican Adventure.
Day 12 Return Home
Today you are transferred to the airport for your return flight home or extend your adventure into Panama to see Finca Dracula!