La Quinta Country Inn exemplifies the resilience of the tropical rainforest. Since 1993, the site of the inn was a farm, cleared of most of its trees and natural vegetation. Careful planning and giving nature a chance has resulted in a remarkable recovery.
The Inn has established specific habitat to attract butterflies, birds and frogs. Practically anything will grow in this environment, in fact ten percent of the earth's bio-diversity is present in Costa Rica and the lowland humid rainforest, of Sarapiqui provides limitless opportunities for the eco-tourist.
La Quinta Country Inn is a family owned and operated business. In just ten years the Inn has been transformed from a working farm to a garden of secluded cabins, lodging and a galería connected with paved trails and covered walkways, and ponds and gardens of remarkable beauty. It is a great place to explore the rainforest on a trip to Costa Rica. The staff are full time, year round employees, many of whom have made the inn their career.
Butterflies and Frogs
The La Quinta butterfly garden provides a habitat for many different species of Costa Rican butterflies. It includes both larval and nectar plants which provide nourishment for the butterflies throughout their life cycle. The butterfly garden provides an opportunity for our guests to photograph, enjoy, learn and interact with the butterflies.
The Poison dart frog (Dendrobates pumilio) as well as the green frog (Dendrobates auratus) can be spotted quite easy at La Quinta frog garden. Very active during daylight hours because of the lack of any predators these frogs don't stay still very long. They can be seen walking, hopping, jumping and climbing or just sitting in a bromeliad.
In addition to the natural forest and stream buffers the Inn is proud of it's Heliconia and ornamental flower gardens. A demonstration, organic garden and orchard supplement the delicious fresh fruits and vegetables served at all meals.
In addition to tee-shirts, postcards and traditional handcrafts La Quinta has hand made paper made locally from pineapple pulp by local school children.
A map of the 10-acre La Quinta property identifies the trails that you are encouraged to use for a 20 or 30 minutes self guided walk.
The trails leads you to:
* The Gallery
* The Butterfly House
* The Frog Land
* The Vegetable Garden
* The Medicinal Plants
* The Reforestation Project
* The Ponds Area
* The Sardinal River
Meals include delicious fresh fruits and vegetables, many from the lodge garden, often rice and beans and main courses carefully prepared by the chef and co-owner Leonardo Jenkins. Of course Costa Rican coffee is available all day long.
Cooking classes are available by special arrangement.
Accommodations at the inn are meticulously maintained. Solid concrete walls separate rooms and the private baths are stocked with fresh towels and hot water. Each cabin has a small private porch with rocking chairs and view of the gardens. Cool tiled floors, ceiling fans and optional air conditioning, provide comfort in the warmest weather.
The main goal of the exhibition is to allow, as much as possible, each visitor to be able to browse the exhibit at their own pace and to absorb as much information as they wish. It enables you to learn more than names of wildlife on your Costa Rica tour.
The dynamic presentation of the butterflies, beetles and other fascinating rainforest creatures is accomplished in a way you have never experienced before! Special education corners teach about insect camouflage, mimicry, parasitism, protective coloration, shape, prey-predator relationship and tropical biology topics.
Other topics include archeology and Costa Rican history displayed with a replica of a Costa Rican old house.
La Quinta's professional staff will make every effort to make your stay as relaxing and comfortable as possible. Personal, friendly service is job number one for every member of La Quinta's professional staff.
Services available include:
*In house attractions
The lodge offers a wide range of activities. A shallow swimming pool, while not appropriate for diving, is ideal for refreshing yourself. A footpath leads you down to the cool water of the Sardinal River. It offers a safe and refreshing dip on a hot day.
A diversity of bird life is found in the Sarapiquí lowlands. La Quinta is an ideal base for both, casual and avid birders. A list of over 100 species, which have been identified right on the property is available at the front desk. Hummingbirds are frequently observed extracting nectar from the flowers located throughout the garden.
There is also a reforestation project that the lodge has been participating since 1994. It is helping to restore the native vegetation and return this area to the lush secondary rainforest it once was.
A map of the 10-acre La Quinta property is included in this folder and identifies the trails that you are encouraged to use for a 20 or 30 minutes self-guided walk. The trail starts to the left of the pool at the back of the Museum and follows along the riverside. Please do not miss
" La Galeria" where you will find a beautiful exhibition of local insects as well as an archeology and some antiques of Costa Rica.
Along the riverbank at the "Frog land", Dendrobates pumilio or Poison dart Frogs and Dendrobates auratus or green frogs can be seen. These small red and blue colored frogs are poisonous, although not harmful to humans unless consumed. Growing among the trees are bromeliads and the water that these plants collect, provides a save haven for frogs, which are often found feeding their tadpoles there.
In front of the "Frog land", is the butterfly house which is always open. There you can learn about the different stages of the life cycle of butterflies, from eggs, through the stages of caterpillars, pupas and adults. To the left of the "Frog land", the trail leads to the vegetable garden where the most common vegetables of the area, including Herat of Palm, Plantain, Cacao, Yuca, Pineapple, Sugar Cane, Papaya and Tiquisque are grown organically for use in the dining room.
Straight ahead from the "Frog Land" the trail leads to the "ponds area" where tilapias fish and some aquatic birds live.
The Sarapiqui River:
This scenic tropical river has its origins high on the northern slopes of Barva and Poás Volcanoes, but by the time it reaches the San Juan River on the border with Nicaragua, it has received water from as far away as Irazú Volcano via the Sucio River. The Sarapiquí River, which is navigable upstream from the San Juan River (which flows into the Caribbean) as far inland as Puerto Viejo (Old Port) de Sarapiquí at the volcano's base on the northern side, was an important transportation route for those few hardy settlers who first moved into this region. Continuing upstream from Puerto Viejo, the river picks up gradient and becomes one of the country's finest rivers for kayaking and whitewater rafting. The further upstream you go, the more challenging the rapids become.
La Selva Biological Station:
One of the premier neotropical sites for biological studies, La Selva is a Mecca not only for scientists, but also hard-core birders and serious naturalists. The state-of-the-art laboratory facilities on the edge of the rain forest have allowed researchers at La Selva the opportunity to make many exciting new discoveries about the workings of this most incredibly complex and biologically diverse of all the planet's ecosystems. La Selva Biological Station is favored with unique flora and fauna viewing experience. Agouties, sloth, howler and spider monkeys are seen frequently, as well as varied habitats. Nearly half of the 850 pecies of birds in Costa Rica inhabit these lowlands, more than 70 species of bats and five of the six species of cats in the country.
Tirimbina Rainforest Center:
Where education, research and striking beauty combine for outstanding encounters with nature. TRC is an internationally recognized, non-profit organization created to conserve the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica; provide environmental education to the local community, students and ecotourists; and accommodate scientific research. Located within the rainforest and river environments of Sarapiquí County, TRC is a Private Wildlife Refuge which protects 345 hectares (852.5 acres) of mid-elevation (pre-montane) forest through which 9km (5½ mi.) of trails pass. One third of the forest is used for ecotourism and environmental education, keeping the majority of the Reserve naturally intact. TRC's conservation education efforts and beautiful natural rainforest have made it a primary tropical science research center as well as a popular ecotourism travel destination.
Visit Local Schools:
This is an activity within the hotel's program for social projection. The children of this school make a brief presentation for the group and then a quick interaction period to take pictures, to singing or playing.
This activity consists of a guided walk through the trail to end it up at the vegetable garden where people can harvest some of what the garden has and then there is a cooking workshop where everyone learns about the properties of each one of the vegetables and staff and guests participate cutting, boiling, frying, or whatever is needed to prepare a dish for dinner. In the meantime, everyone tries some other things that are cooked while there.
The area for cooking is a beautiful big thatched roof building next to a pond in the trail.
The main dish typically prepared is a heart of palm dice or a green papaya dice and the snacks we try while cooking are tortillas, fried yuca, fried bread fruit and pineapple.
Walking and Planting a Native tree:
Hotel staff has assigned an area of La Quinta for reforestation. Since the beginning they have been inviting their guests to plant a native tree in order to cooperate with the restoration process of the native flora. They specially plant Almendro de Montaña, to improve the habitat for the Green Macaw. This activity takes place within the property and is reserved only for guest with no cost at all.
The Original Pineapple Tour:
The tour consists of a trip through an active operating pineapple farm. The informed guide gives an interesting talk about the history, cultivation of pineapple and shows all the phases of pineapple growth from sowing to harvest. There is a visit to a packing plant, an ornamental pineapple project and an organic pineapple review. All are invited to enjoy a generous snack of piña colada in fresh fruit, fresh pineapple and freshly made pineapple juice.
Tirimbina Rainforest center
"An adventure and learning destination"
Discover the secrets and marvels of one of the favorite foods of human kind.
Cacao: With its origins in Mesoamerica, with a rich and extraordinary history. The discovery of America took it to Europe, transforming into the product we know today.
The Tour, with duration of three hours includes:
* Guided walk through Tirimbina suspension bridge.
* Cacao plantation.
* Forest and wild species of cacao.
* Natural and cultural history of the cacao.
* Process: From cacao to chocolate (Harvesting, fermentation and dying).
* Chocolate tasting, cacao and organic chocolate productions, produced by Asociación de Mujeres Amazilia del Caribe.