Central and Pacific Costa Rica
Your mountain adventure would begin in San Jose and could include a stay in Monteverde (Green Mountain), famed for its cloud forest. The Monteverde Conservation League and the Monteverde Institute share their expertise in providing excellent experiences. You could stay several nights inside El Bosque Eterno de los Ninos, the International Children's Rainforest, in the San Gerardo Field station where you are surrounded by wildlife and forest being awakened by howler monkeys, see morpho butterflies, have coatis visit you for handouts, see the endangered umbrella bird, watch Arenal Volcano ten miles distant vent every day, and have biologists lead you on hikes explaining rainforest ecosystem, its botany, frogs, bats, birds and mammals. We might even get to help ornithologists or bat scientists mist net birds or bats while taking their census.
We can have Spanish lessons, visit organic coffee farms and the co-op coffee roaster, learn how women have formed a cooperative to make and market their beautiful handmade crafts. We would hike in the cloud forest, see agroforestry models, go to the butterfly garden and the Ranario (frog exhibit), and visit a rural school where we donate school supplies that we have brought to share with them. Horseback riding, canopy walkway and or zipline are adventurous additions.
We would take a river raft trip on the Coribici River to see iguanas, crocodiles, anhingas and lots of other water birds. Before returning to San Jose, a visit to Las Pumas, the refuge for wild cats, gives you the chance to see the ones you won't see in the wild, jaguar, puma, margay, ocelot, jaguarundi and little spotted cat. We conclude the trip with museum time in San Jose and farewell dinner.