Envoy Resorts and Tours is an affiliate of Aqua Terra Travel, Inc.
1640 N. Wells St., Suite 201, Chicago IL 60614

Phone: 312-787-2400 Toll free: 1-800-44-ENVOY

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Envoy Travelogue:
Ecotouring in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the most popular destinations for travelers wanting to explore and enjoy the wonders of nature. In terms of nature, here's a glimpse of what Costa Rica has to offer: 850 species of birds; 9,000 species of plants; 1,100 varieties of orchids; several volcanos including Poas with one of the world's biggest craters and Arenal, one of the most active in the world; rain forests; cloud forests; rivers for whitewater rafting; and 130 species of fresh water fish. All this is possible to experience because 12 per cent of the land is part of a national park system.

With no army and a number of natural parks, beaches and volcanos, Costa Rica provides tourists with an interesting array of activities in a safe environment.

A toucan
Just one of the many birds that make Costa Rica a birdwatchers' paradise.
We love to visit Costa Rica because the climate is ideal for relaxing at just about any time of year. The capital city, San Jose, in the center of the country is 4,800 ft above sea level and close to the equator. This means a moderate climate where the high temperature is always between 68 and 86 degrees. It is never too hot to play tennis or golf or go bicycling around San Jose...even in the middle of the day.

During the dry season from December to April, very little, if any, rain falls. During the other months you can expect from twenty minutes to three hours rain per day. The costa Ricans changed the designation from "wet" to "green" season to help people better understand that it is still a great time to be there. We are frequently in Costa Rica during the green season, and rain has rarely interferred with our planned activities.

We found that the ecotourism experiences in Costa Rica can range from the very adventurous to the absolutely luxurious. Our visit to Marenco fell into the first category. From San Jose, we took a plane, van, and boat to our resort in the coastal rainforest. We slept under mosquito netting and used flashlights or candles after the generators shut off at 10:00 p.m. Our guides were marvelous, taking us on hikes in the forest and in a small open boat to an uninhabited island off shore. On the way, a whale surfaced right next to the boat. A huge manta ray swam underneath.

The experience of the rainforest combined with elegant accommodations and fine dining was ours at Lapa Rios, an eco-resort on the Osa Peninsula. We hiked the forest or the quiet beaches by day, soaked in the swimming pool in late afternoon and enjoyed fine food and wine under the soaring ceiling of the main dining room at night. An extra treat was watching the staff feed one or two tamed nocturnal mammals that had learned to stop by for a snack.

Envoy Tours has been involved with Costa Rican tourism since the early 1970's, and during that time we have enjoyed many delightful ecotourism experiences, from exploring the Monteverde cloud forest to watching awestruck as Mount Arenal erupted in the night.

We will be happy to tell you all about Costa Rica's ecotourism opportunities and help you craft your own unforgettable adventure.

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