Costa Rica: A family trip for parents, kids, grandparents and game adults
$1495 from St. Louis
This peaceful country is the perfect place to invite your family for a rainforest adventure. Costa Rica did away with their army in 1949 and pledged money to education and conservation, making them a model for the world.
The first International Children's Rainforest, locally known as the BEN (El Bosque Eterno de los Niños) is a fabulous reserve of 54,000 acres including tropical cloud forest and humid rainforest. Children from all over the world contributed the money to buy and protect this special place. How perfect for families to have the opportunity to come here to learn and appreciate tropical biodiversity in the flesh!
This trip is designed with kids in mind, but offers much to any adventurous traveler who wants to feel a little like Tarzan. Our accommodations will be in San Gerardo field station inside the BEN with a view from the verandah of Arenal Volcano 10 miles distant, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, with daily eruptions. Each room sleeps 4 in two bunk beds with a private bath, shower and flush toilets. The delicious homemade meals are welcome at the end of a long hike.
You will be guided by excellent local naturalists and biologists. A night hike allows a whole different view of the forest. You will undoubtedly be awakened in the morning by the calls of howler monkeys. You may be fortunate enough to see tracks of puma, margay or tapir. The elusive umbrella birds nest in this forest. Toucans, guans, chachalacas, American swallow-tailed kites, blue-crowned motmots, emerald toucanets, sloths, white-faced monkeys, spider monkeys, agouti, brocket deer, armadillos all live in this forest. Coatimundis come around looking for handouts. You will have a chance to practice your Spanish, visit a school, and taste the most delicious ice cream in the world at La Lecheria, the dairy in Monteverde.
In Monteverde you will also visit the Butterfly Garden, climb up inside a huge strangler fig tree, hunt for resplendent quetzals, have a chance to go horseback riding or ride a zip line through the canopy of the rainforest. A raft trip on the Coribici River and a visit to Las Pumas, a wild cat refuge for jaguar, puma, margay, ocelot and jaguarundi will finish the adventure. It will be the rainy season so be sure to bring your ponchos and rubber boots. Don't forget your camera and passport. Visas and shots are not required.
$1495 includes round trip airfare from St. Louis to Costa Rica, all lodging, overland transportation, guides, admissions, instruction, taxes and meals.
A deposit of $200 due Dec. 15 will hold your spot and is refundable(less a $40 cancellation fee). The balance is due no later than April 1, 2002. Register by Dec.1 and receive an Early Bird discount of $100.
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