Costa Rica Photo Safari 2006

December 1st - 10th

Donald L. Cohen, MD - DLC Photography

Daily Itinerary - Summary

Travel will by on a spacious Air-Conditioned Bus, and we will have our own full-time driver, as well as our own Costa Rican bilingual Naturalist Guide.

Day 1 (Friday, December 1, 2006):

Arrive in San Jose, where you will be met at the Airport, and transported to the Hotel Bougainvillea in Santo Domingo for an overnight stay.

Day 2 (Saturday, December 2, 2006):

Scenic drive to Arenal Volcano, stopping en route to visit the majestic Poás Volcano National Park. Poás is an active volcano and its colorful crater is one of the widest and deepest in the world that is accessible by road. Continue on to La Paz Waterfall Gardens, containing numerous waterfalls, hummingbirds, butterflies, frogs, flowers, etc. Arrive for overnight stay at the Arenal Observatory Lodge. There are extensive grounds right at the Lodge itself, which provide abundant opportunities for photography, in addition to the places we'll be visiting in the Arenal area. (B,L,D)

Day 3 (Sunday, December 3, 2006):

In the morning we'll be hiking with our Guide in the Arenal Volcano National Park. This hike takes you for a close-up exploration of recent lava flows which left a 50 ft. deep path of lava through the rainforest. In the afternoon visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges. The Hanging Bridges are a complex of suspended bridges, platforms and trails through the lush Rain Forest. These allow the observation of flora and fauna from the ground level to the top of the trees. This is one of the best methods of learning about the complexity and beauty of the Forests (B,L,D)

Day 4 (Monday, December 4, 2006):

Enjoy a boat ride across Lake Arenal to Rio Chiquito, where we will be picked up for an overland transfer to our Monteverde hotel. The lake crossing takes 2-3 hours less than driving around Lake Arenal. Arrive at Monteverde where we will stay at the Trapp Family Lodge. The Trapp Family Lodge is a magical mountain retreat located next to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve that blends flawlessly into the lush surrounding rain forest, offering tranquility and privacy. Enjoy home cooked meals in an airy dining room fronted by huge picture windows and a balcony overlooking gardens and verdant rain forest. Lush vegetation surrounds the property on all sides creating a restful ambiance. (B,L,D)

Day 5 (Tuesday, December 5, 2006):

In the morning visit the Monteverde Reserve. It is best known as home to the Resplendent Quetzal but has hundreds of other birds, mammals and plant species. In the afternoon you can return to the Reserve with our Guide, to explore a different sector of the park, or you can do any of the optional activities in Monteverde (Zip-Line Tours of the Rain Forest for example), or simply relax at the hotel. Another opportunity for this day or the next is a visit to the world-famous Fogden's Hummingbird Gallery. (B,L,D)

Day 6 (Wednesday, December 6, 2006):

In the morning visit the Selvatura Tree Top Walkways. Located along a 1.7 mile trail, this bridge system is designed to be walked by people of all ages. It has 8 suspension bridges, totaling a distance of 1,200 feet, and 90% of the trail goes through primary cloud forest. This is one of the best methods of learning about the complexity and beauty of the cloud forest. In the afternoon depart Monteverde and travel to the Hotel Punta Leona near Jaco Beach. It is built on 750 acres of lush, tropical Costa Rican rainforest with pristine white sand and gold sand beaches. (B,L,D)

Day 7 (Thursday, December 7, 2006):

Visit Carara National Park. Carara has a transitional climate and contains flora and fauna from both the hot dry northwest, and the rainy region of the southwest. Carara's habitat includes marshes, primary and secondary forests, is criss-crossed by several streams and rivers making the reserve a green oasis with epiphytes, ferns and palms. It is home to parrots, parakeets, toucan, trogons, three species of monkeys, Scarlet Macaws, and the rare American Crocodiles that bask along the embankments of the Tarcoles River that passes by the entrance of the reserve. (B,L,D)

Day 8 (Friday, December 8, 2006):

Visit Manuel Antonio National Park. Manuel Antonio contains a charming combination of rain forest, beaches and coral reefs. It's beaches are among the most beautiful in the country, with lush forest as well. Sloths, Iguanas, Scarlet Macaws, Toucans, Monkeys, Coatimundi and other wildlife man be encountered here. (B,L,D)

Day 9 (Saturday, December 9, 2006):

In the morning enjoy the Tarcoles River Adventure. Along the banks of the river you will have the opportunity to see one of the largest colonies of crocodiles in Costa Rica and a chance to see some of the more than 250 species of birds found here, including scarlet macaws, tanagers, trogons, orioles, ospreys, cormorants, pelicans and roseate spoonbills, etc. After the tour return to San Jose where we'll be staying in Alajuela at the Orquideas Inn, which is nestled in over 10 acres of lush tropical vegetation. Enjoy a Farewell Dinner at the hotel for your last night in Costa Rica. (B,L,D)

Day 10 (Sunday, December 10, 2006):

You will be picked up at the hotel and taken to the International Airport in San Jose for your return flight home. (B)

For all inquiries, and to make a reservation, my contact information is:

704-664-6077 - phone

704-973-7778 - fax

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