Friday, November 24, 2006

Waterfalls Canopy Tour

I have some friends that went to this place and they said that it was fun. Personally I have never tried it, but I've always wanted to to do it. After they told me of their experience I think I might try and organize a group and get to finally do it. Anyway, I just wanted to share this with you in case you are thinking of visiting Costa Rica and are wondering what to do. Text was taken from the company Web site and has been slightly edited.

Waterfalls Canopy Tour offers you spectacular eco-adventure tours that provide a unique experience in the canopy of the tropical rainforest.

While zipping over cables as high as 120 foot over ground level, they offer you a bird's eye view of the rainforest canopy, which is home to an estimated 60% of rainforest species.

Waterfalls Canopy Tour is located just outside Jaco and near the Carara Biological Reserve and is part of an important ecological transition zone between Costa Rica's drier northwest and more humid south. This transitional rainforest grows on steep slopes, and has studded massive trees laden with vines, bromeliads and orchids.

The gear used is top quality climbing harnesses and equipment, made and certified by reputable, well-established manufacturers. Also the company has successfully passed the safety regulations of the Association for Challenge Course Technology, ACCT, in the USA .

Apart from the Canopy Tour, which consists of 13 platforms , 7 ziplines, Tarzan Swing, a 3 story Tree house, suspension bridges and a 90 foot rappel, the company offers additional adventure tours like the Jungle Adventure Challenge, spectacular night Canopy Tours, 1 day tour from San Jose, ecological tours like the Butterfly & Frog Garden and Nature Walk.

Waterfalls Canopy Tour is located about 1 hour and 45 minutes from San Jose. WCT regularly picks up passengers from several locations on one of their tours because they are only 10 minutes away from Jaco Beach, 25 minutes from Punta Leona, 60 minutes from Puntarenas and Caldera (cruise ship port), and 90 minutes from Manuel Antonio Beach.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Butterfly Farm tour

Few places in the world offer visitors a more in depth view and appreciation of butterflies than the Butterfly Farm.

At The Butterfly Farm, widely recognized as one of the most popular destinations close to San Jose, all guests receive a two-hour guided tour.

Inside an enclosed tropical garden, hundreds of Costa Rican butterflies flutter around flowers as trained guides explain about the life cycle and natural history of these fascinating creatures.

Early morning tours may have the extra treat of watching butterflies emerging from their chrysalides. On export days visitors may watch thousands of pupae being packed for export.

The Butterfly Farm is open every day from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Guided tours commence at: 8:30 a.m.11:00 a.m.1:00 p.m.3:00 p.m. Other tours may begin as demand necessitates.

Guests are urged to arrive before 3:00 p.m. in order to benefit from the full tour.

Butterfly viewing is optimal during the morning hours. Guests are invited to stay all day at the farm and are by no means limited to the duration of the tour.

Daily Bus Transportation from San JoseThe Butterfly Farm offers direct bus service daily from many of the principal hotels of San Jose three times daily. The bus route begins in the center of San Jose three times daily.

Departure times start at: 7:20 a.m.10:00 a.m.2:00 p.m. The pick up time for individuals will vary according to the hotel desired. Each tour includes transportation from San Jose as well as a 2 hour guided tour at the farm. Guests may expect to be returned to their hotels approximately 4 hours after their pick up time.

The cost of the tour with round trip guided transportation from San Jose is: Adults: $25.00,
Students: $20.00, Children Under 12: $12.50, Under 5: Free

Bus reservations may be made here or by calling The Butterfly Farm at 438-0400 when in the country.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fossil Land: the geological theme park in Costa Rica

Fossil Land is a theme park focusing on its special tropical habitat. It's an eco-friendly attraction in Patarra de San Antonio de Desamparados located less than a half an hour and 12 kms. (about 7 miles) from downtown San Jose.

Fossil Land, which opened in 2002, teaches its visitors about the geology of Central America in a fun and educational way.

Its main attraction is Fossil Mountain, consisting of limestone rock standing tall at 1,400 meters (4,550 feet). Adorning its surface is an assortment of ancient marine fossils captured within the mountain rock.

The majority of fossils are of the shellfish variety, but the rock also contains preserved crabs, algae, clams, and other long-deceased sea creatures.

There's also The "Passage to the Sky." A rappelling adventure that allows participants to defy gravity by descending backwards off a 75 meter-high (244-foot) cliff with the help of a rope and harness.

"The Great Abyss" journey takes you into the depths of a cavern to admire its stalactites, stalagmites and cathedrals.

The "Total Perception" tour offers a less-physically demanding, yet fascinating, tour of the premises. The staff gives lessons on limestone refining, plate tectonics and environmental responsibility through team-building "missions." Due to its emphasis this tour attracts numerous school groups per week.

Other tours with educational, interactive and recreational activities, such as the "Prehistoric Expedition," are also available for school groups and the general public.

Fossil Land also organizes birthday parties for children. More recently a paint ball area, rides in quads, and a helicopter ride were added to the attractions of Fossil Land.

The Fossil Land packages include transportation from and to San Jose as well as lunch, so all a visitor needs is to bring tennis shoes.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Jaguars in Costa Rica

A female jaguar (Panthera onca) is seen in the rainforests of Costa Rica on February 2, 2006. The jaguar, which is one of Central America's largest carnivores, has lost 37% of its historic range. In Costa Rica it can still be found in the lower levels of the Cordillera of Talamanca, and in the Tortuguero, Santa Rosa, Corcovado and Rio Macho National Parks. (Photo: REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Puntarenas welcomes cruise ship season

Costa Rica expects to receive 200 cruise ships this year in the highly competitive market that includes Mexico, Honduras, and Panama, according to Costa Rican Tourism Minister Carlos Benavides. Here are some scenes from the Pacific port city of Puntarenas and the festivites they put together to welcome the tourists and mark the start of the "cruise ship season" (All photos by Kent Gilbert/AP)

Costa Rican school girls parade in the Pacific port of Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006.










A passenger of the Infinity cruise ship walks past a local tourist bus taking visitors on a tour of the Pacific port of Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2006.









Tourists walk past the Infinity and Regal Princess cruise ships at the Pacific port of Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2006.
















A passenger of the Infinity cruise ship poses for a picture next to a pelican in the Pacific port of Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2006.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Tico de Corazon (Tico at Heart)

I found another great Costa Rican production on YouTube.com. This time is the musical video of a song called "Tico de Corazon" (Tico at heart). The song was composed by Eduardo "Balo" Gomez but sung by Mauricio Penagos. It is a nice melody with the sounds of our traditional music and the spectacular scenes of our beautiful country. Even if you don't understand the lyrics of the song, the images of our country make watching the video worth it.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The biggest oxcart in the world

Rosario Cubillo, a tourist from Chile, poses next to the biggest oxcart in the world during a visit to the Chaverri Oxcart Factory in Sarchi, Costa Rica, September 24, 2006. The oxcart, which was an idea of the Sarchi Tourism Chamber to attract tourists to the artisanal town, weights close to two tons and it's approximately 5 meters (16.5 feet) high, 6 meters (19.5 feet) long and 3 meters (9.8 feet) wide. (Photo by Carla Castro)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Costa Rican Patriotic song

In the month of our independence I want to share with all of you this nice video I found on YouTube. It's a song called the "Costa Rican Patriotic" (Patriotica Costarricense) and it's one of the most important songs of our country after the National Anthem. It has nice photographs of our country as well as the lyrics in Spanish for those Ticos abroad who feel like singing it. Enjoy! You can find this video and more information about Tiquicia in my Tiquicia's Homepage blog.

Uri R.

A high-speed internet connection is recommended to watch this video.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tourists: Costa Rica's main source of income

The Poas volcano is one of Costa Rica's main touristical attractions. The volcano, which is located 55 kilometers north of the capital of San Jose, Costa Rica, rises 2,708 meters in Costa Rica's central valley. The money spent by more than 1.5 million international tourists each year represents the principal source of income in Costa Rica. (AP Photos by Kent Gilbert)

Tourists walk through the tropical forest of the Poas Volcano National Park, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2006.















Costa Rican volcanologist Erick Fernandez climbs out of the cloud covered crater of the Poas Volcano, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2006.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Tico train tour

Tico Train Tour staff / Photo by AmericaTravelBy Uri Ridelman

I recently found online what seems like an original and interesting tour idea: The Tico Train Tour. Developed by a company called AmericaTravel the tour looks to rescue the old-fashioned way of travelling by train in Tiquicia.

The train will travel through typical villages and towns, that feature typical dances, marimba music and cimarronas (brass bands).

The trip also enables you to enjoy beautiful scenery, taste the traditional “Gallos” ( typical taco-like snacks) and connect to other attractions located near the train stops.

Now, as a personal note I have to tell you that I have never travelled with this company, taken this tour, nor talked to anyone who has tried it, so I can't personally recommend them or give them my approval.

I'm not associated in any way with AmericaTravel. I only wanted to share this with you as a way of providing ideas of things to do while in Costa Rica.

If any of you end up trying it while in Tiquicia, please do come back and tell us of your experience.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Costa Rica among the the best destinations for women worldwide

Venezuelan tourist Karla Carrillo poses for her boyfriend to take a photo at the main crater of the Poas Volcano, 55 kilometers north of the capital of San Jose, Costa Rica. Poas volcano which rises 2,708 meters in Costa Rica's central valley, is one of the main attractions in this Central American country.(AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)Costa Rica has been listed by USA Today among the world's safest and best places for women to travel to. The original article lists the five "good" and "bad" destinations around the world for women. Fortunately Costa Rica was among those considered women-friendly. Here's what USA Today said about Costa Rica:

By Jessica Labrencis and RaeJean Stokes, SmarterTravel.com Staff

Much of Latin America has a bad reputation as being unsafe for women, with tales of "forward" men, pick-pocketing, and harassment prevalent. However, Costa Rica has been increasingly popular with Americans, and it's considered one of the safest Latin American destinations, particularly outside of San Jose, the capital.

Editor-in-Chief of travelgirl magazine, Stephanie Oswald, recommends Costa Rica based on two visits to the country. Before she and a girlfriend left for Costa Rica on one of her trips, other friends were concerned about the two women traveling without other companions. But the trip went smoothly, with Oswald and her friend driving both the city streets of Quepos and unpaved, mountainous roads to Monteverde, without incident.

Oswald says that she found the locals to be friendly, and had a particularly positive experience that might have turned out differently in another country. At a restroom stop, Oswald left her wallet behind, complete with at least $100 and her passport. When she contacted the U.S. Embassy, the wallet had already been returned and the person who returned it also included a small handcrafted wall hanging. "I have it hanging in my kitchen to remind me of how nice the people are," Oswald says.

Costa Ricans have adopted the motto "pura vida" or "pure life," which has various meanings, but roughly translates to "living the good life." Many locals with this attitude seem very laid-back, and go out of their way to help visitors. In April 2005, I had several positive experiences with locals, and one in particular has stayed in my memory. In La Fortuna, as my friend and I descended a steep hill on a hot day, a man in a pick-up truck pulled over and offered us a ride. In the U.S., I never would have accepted the ride, but I felt so safe in Costa Rica that I hopped in. The man dropped us off a few blocks from our hotel with a wave.

Costa Rica is also a good destination for women on a budget. Comfortable, safe accommodations are available for less than $40 per night, and Costa Rica has plenty of ecotourism and luxury accommodations as well. Shared vans shuttle small groups of tourists around the country so you don't have to rely on public buses or a rental car.

Friday, August 18, 2006

New refuge for leatherback turtles

Photo by PRETOMABy Alejandra Vargas
La Nacion

In order to protect the nesting site of some five leatherback turtles and of an undisclosed number of other species, all endangered, Costa Rica established the Caletas-Ario Wildlife Refuge in the Nicoya Peninsula.

Noah Anderson, of the Turtle Restoration Program (PRETOMA) in Spanish, said that only some 1,000 leatherback turtles nest all along the Pacific Coast of the Americas, and that Costa Rica is blessed with the fact that some 60 individuals come to nest here.

Anderson also pointed out that the fact that only five leatherbacks nest at Caletas Beach tells about how endangered the world population is. The new refuge protects many other species, both in its land as well as in its marine areas.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Costa Rica esta caliente! (Costa Rica is hot!)

I found this video on YouTube.com and I think it's pretty cool. The video not only is made by a Costa Rican musician, but it has a catchy tune and shows some nice images of Costa Rica and it's people. So as a way to promote this artist, the country and its tourism I share it with all of you. The video is in black and white and the music could be described as a kind of Latin Rap I think. I hope you enjoy it!

Uri R.

The use of a high-speed internet connection to watch the video is recommended.

Monday, July 17, 2006

New plan to save Costa Rica's national parks

Eco tourists, Monteverde, Costa Rica. People are attracted by the beauty of the cloud forests, the mountain environment and the rare birds/© P. BubbTwenty per cent of Costa Rica's terrority has been granted 'protected status', yet conservationists worry that biodiversity remains threatened without long-term financial commitment to the country's national parks.

Tourism in Costa Rica is at an all-time high and surveys show that most visitors want to see the country's renowned national parks, home to an eye-opening array of colorful plants and rare wildlife. Yet efforts to secure Costa Rica's protected areas have been blighted by limited human and financial resources, ineffective regulations, neglect of vital ecosystems that lack protected status and failure to involve local people.

In facing these challenges, the government and international conservation groups have joined forces to draw up an ambitious plan to provide long-term funding for Costa Rica's protected areas. The prinicipal aim is to safeguard the country's biodiversity through research, ecotourism and community development.

To read the whole article click here.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Poll: Costa Rica growing in popularity

Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio National Park, people walking down beach. Rear view. (Photo by Getty images)NEW YORK (AP) - Costa Rica is giving London, Paris and Cancun a little competition for family travelers, according to a recent poll of American Express Travel agents.

Asked to name popular international destinations for families, the 279 agents surveyed online in May named London as No. 1, followed by Rome; Paris; Cancun in Mexico; Italy in general; San Jose, Costa Rica; Nassau in the Bahamas; Mexico's Riviera Maya; Venice, and Florence.

Costa Rica, blessed with rainforests, cloud forests, beaches and volcanoes, is well-known for ecotourism.

Top domestic destinations listed by the agents were Orlando as No. 1, followed by New York; Miami; Las Vegas; Hawaii in general; Washington D.C.; Anaheim, Calif.(Disneyland); Maui, Haw.; California in general, and Los Angeles.

Top trends for types of family travel reported by the agents include more active, outdoor and adventurous activities, cited by two-thirds of those surveyed, and more international family vacations, cited by 57 percent. About two-thirds of agents also report increases in mother-daughter getaways, with most of those trips consisting of spa visits; more grandparents traveling alone with grandchildren; and more adults traveling with their own parents.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Costa Rica to host surfing competition in June

Rabbit Kekai, already in his eighties, still surfsBy Uri Ridelman
Special To The Tico Times

Costa Rica will host the 13th Rabbit Kekai International Longboard Surfing Classic which will be held at Boca Barranca, from June 21 to June 30.

The event, named after surfing's octogenarian, world famous Hawaiian Beachboy and surfing legend, Rabbit Kekai, will award the winner one of the largest purses in Longboard surfing history ($50,000) and crown him as the world champion.

In addition to the ASP-sanctioned championship, the event also includes the Hobie Surftec One-Design competition, Guy Takayama Nose-riding Challenge, a Women's Open Pro/Am and a Men's Amateur competition.

The entry fees for the contest are $150 for men's and women's professional divisions; $80 for men's amateur divisions $80; and $100 for noseriding division

Applications and all information for all the events can be obtained at www.4surfing.org, or e-mail Jim Reynolds at 4surfing@longboard.net or Henry Ford at henry@kokoisland.net.

The nine day competition, which will feature some of the world's best Longboard surfers, is anticipated to be one of the biggest Longboard surfing competitions that have ever been held in Costa Rica.

"Costa Rica is a favorite destination to surfers around the world and once again this beautiful country has partnered with the Rabbit Kekai Classic and the ASP to make this event the crown jewel of Longboard surfing," explained surfing legend Henry Ford. "The Spirit of Pura Vida is alive and well in Costa Rica."

Rabbit Kekai rode his first wave in 1925 at the age of 5 and is still surfing today, competing, and winning surf contests. This 84 year young Hawaiian Legend has been at the forefront of surfing for over seven decades. He is credited with being the father of modern hotdog surfing, and surfers today still emulate him and his style.

The home of the Rabbit Kekai Classic will be the all-inclusive Fiesta Hotel and Resort which sits at the break of Boca Barranca.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Tourism in Costa Rica

Families enjoy a waterfall near San Carlos, Costa Rica.Costa Rican families enjoy a river heated by volcanic vents in a protected rainforest near San Carlos, Costa Rica, in this photo taken April 11, 2006. Costa Rica attracts more than 1.5 million international tourists each year to the country's national parks and protected rainforests. Ninety-five percent of the world's tropical forests remain unprotected, despite a significant increase in their environmentally friendly use over the past two decades, according to a wide-reaching international report released Thursday by the International Tropical Timber Organization.(AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Scuba diving in Costa Rica

Sharks and ray in the reefs of Coco's Island, Costa Rica.By Clint Leung

Costa Rica is an eco-tourism paradise with rain forests, exotic wildlife, volcanoes and much more. This little Central American country is also an interesting place to scuba dive. Most of the diving in Costa Rica takes place on the west coast Pacific Ocean side with an area up in the Guanacaste region located in the northwestern part of the country and another south of the capital city of San Jose near the middle of its west coast. If flying into San Jose, one would have to do some internal traveling to get to either of these two locations.

To read the whole article click here.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Rafting and Kayaking in Costa Rica

Man and woman kayaking in Pacific coast of Costa Rica near Jaco. Photo: Getty ImagesCourtesy of Costa Rica Online Travel

Costa Rica offers some of the world’s best white water rafting. The jungle-lined warm, tropical rivers stretching through both sides of the continental divide, have become one of the country’s most enjoyable ways to experience wild nature and a thrill of a lifetime. Enthusiasts, nature lovers, thrill seekers and beginner river runners from around the world paddle through these incredibly beautiful and turbulent rivers. Tropical rainforest, spectacular waterfalls and stunning flora and fauna line the hundreds of rivers which continually feed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

For those wanting to try something different, Costa Rica offers unsurpassed opportunities to enjoy the rapidly growing sport of sea kayaking. Kayaking is one of the most low impact ways to fully experience the country's pristine and virgin shorelines, breathtaking landscape and inland canals no experience necessary.

Along with the rivers mentioned below, Tortugero, Barra del Colorado, Drake Bay and the western shoreline provide challenging opportunities for the beginner or professional kayaker. The area surrounding Curú Reserve, which is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, is very popular with kayakers year round.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Mountainboarding in Costa Rica

Mountainboarding is a new sport that is taking force in Tiquicia. Although no one knows exactly how this activity arrived to Costa Rica, it was most likely imported by young Americans that visited the country looking for new places to practice it. Here are two videos of some guys practicing mountainboarding somewhere in Costa Rica.



Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Fishing in the Costa Rican Pacific

Costa Rica fishermen return with their catch as seagulls fly around their boat during sunset in Puntarenas, Costa Rica's Pacific coast near Venado Island March 22, 2006. Fishing is the only source of income for the four hundred residents of this small 10-square-kilometer island as they struggle against large fishing operations. Costa Rica has approximately 9,000 fishermen, according to the Costa Rican Institute of Fish and Aquaculture. Picture taken March 22, 2006. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bird sighting in Costa Rica

This photo, provided by family members, shows Christine Williamson, far right, and other bird chasers on a trip into Costa Rica's Talamanca Mountains on Aug. 7, 2005. Christine, who lives in Chicago, is one of countless baby boomers who share an expensive passion and have the wherewithal for travel to other countries to better their 'world list' of information on bird sightings. (AP Photo/Geoffrey A. Williamson)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Humming along in Costa Rica

A Violet Sabrewing Hummingbird (Campylopterus Hemileucurus) hovers while drinking from a flower at La Selva biological station in Sarapiqui, 80 miles (129 km) north of San Jose, Costa Rica in this picture taken January 13, 2006. REUTERS/JUAN CARLOS ULATE

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Parrita mule festival

Many years ago a few farmers from Parrita began with the practice of mule races nearby Esterillos Beach in the Mid Pacific. The hobby that started out as way of having fun has become one of Parrita’s most popular traditions.

The Asociación para el Bienestar Parriteño (ASOBIPA) [Parrita’s Welfare Association], has devoted itself to consolidating this tradition, reinforcing the festival with the two-horse races and tractor rally. It is expected to have one of the most colorful festivals taking place within the last years carried out in 2006, hoping to receive national and international tourists so they can get to know one of the funniest races carried out in Costa Rica.

Activities will begin on January 19 and end on January 29 with the awaited Mule Race. In addition everyday there will be: livestock and agricultural machinery show, craft sale, ‘corridas de toros’, typical food, karaoke, dances, and the atmosphere of the “ La Mulita Alegre” bar.

For further information, telephone: 779-8245 or e-mail: festivalmulas@yahoo.com.mx

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Picture of the day

A frog is silhouetted on a leaf at La Selva biological station in Sarapiqui, Costa Rica January 12, 2006. Exotic frogs and toads are dying out in the jungles of Latin America, apparent victims of global warming in what might be a harbinger of one of the worst waves of extinction since the dinosaurs. (Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Picture of the day

A Blue Jeans Dart Frog (Dendrobates pumilio) rests at La Selva biological station in Sarapiqui, 80 miles (129 km) north of San Jose, Costa Rica in this picture taken January 12, 2006. The Selva is one of the world's most important sites for tropical ecosystem research. La Selva has about 73% of its area under primary tropical rain forest. Each year, more than 250 scientists from some 25 countries and international students come to La Selva to study tropical ecology. Species diversity include more than, 330 species of trees, and 43 species of birds. Picture taken January 12. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate