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Endless Adventures in Costa Rica

Hike up to an active volcano. Zipline across a lush forest canopy. Raft through rushing rapids.

The adventures in Costa Rica are endless.

Small in size, but blessed with two coasts—Pacific and Caribbean—the country is packed with
rainforests, beaches and parks. Add in the warm climate and friendly locals, it is not surprising
that Costa Rica is a leading travel destination.

Bird 1

A birder’s paradise. A photographer’s dream.

What might surprise some is that this ecologically diverse paradise is also packed with birds—over 850 species, in fact. Most are year-round residents, but many are visiting migrants
from North America. With a focus on ecotourism, Costa Rica has many eco lodges serving various education and research projects. These lodges also provide world-class bird-watching
facilities that make for some of the most incredible birding adventures.

Whether it’s a few nights stay at an eco lodge, or taking a tour with a knowledgeable, bilingual guide, birders will delight in checking another species or two—or more!—off their life list while visiting Costa Rica.

Planning your bird-watching and photography adventure

To guide you in your planning, here are some tips for the best bird-watching and photography
spots in Costa Rica, as well as popular local species that you won’t want to miss.
With 250 bird species living in its humid forests, the Santa Rosa National Park in Guanacaste is a
“must-stop” on your trip. Highlights include the Long-tailed Manakin, the Blue-crowned
Motmot, the Keel-billed Toucan (with its unique croak and rainbow-colored bill), and the
Laughing Falcon (or “Guaco,” as the locals call it).

Bird 2The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, southeast of Santa Elena, is home to 400 species of birds, including the Resplendent Quetzal, Three-wattled Bellbird and Montezuma Oropendola, as well as thrushes, hummingbirds, and other migratory fowls.

Parque del Este Park in San Jose provides critical habitat to various bird species, including the Oropendola, Blue-crowned Motmot, herons, jacanas, limpkins, gallinules and kingfishers. The Caño Negro Wildlife Reserve is another fine place for bird watching, containing a major nesting and gathering site for rare aquatic birds.

Tortuguero National Park in the Limon province is known for its great green macaws and the park’s boat trip offers some particularly great bird watching. Other ideal areas to hear the popular Resplendent Quetzal sing are the Barva volcano area, Los
Quetzales National Park and/or Cerro de la Muerte.

bird 3At the Palo Verde National Park, migratory birds are a big attraction during the wet season, but many of these birds also come to the marshes during the dry season as well. The lowland rain forests of Osa Peninsula, Corcovado National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, and the Carara Biological Reserve, offer protection to the endangered, yet fascinating,

Whether you are a serious birder or a budding novice, these stops will provide incredible bird-watching and photography opportunities set in spectacular settings that only Costa Rica can offer. Plan your unforgettable birding adventure today.

 

 

Call 1.866.735.9115 or email us at geoff@latitudesadventure.com

four-seasons-travel

Latitudes Adventures is proud to announce its partnership with Four Seasons Travel, Miami’s travel agency renowned for its excellent reputation, customer satisfaction and professionalism. Because of our partnership, we are excited to offer our clients the opportunity to book their airfare reservations with Four Seasons.

Please direct inquiries to Maria Luisa Varela-Ucros, corporate manager @ marialuisa@fourseasonsmia.com

Must See and Do in Quepos – Costa Rica – Part 2

In Part 1 of this post we told you all about two can’t-miss activities in Quepos, Costa Rica. There’s more than two things to do though! Here are some more ideas for making the most of your time in Quepos:

1) You Think You Know What Ziplining is Like, But You Don’t.

Outside of Quepos, a little closer to Jaco, is some of the best ziplining in the Costa Rica. Your host, Vista Los Suenos, will take you to the edge of a hulking mountain just nudge you off the edge and send you flying through the forest at over 30 km/h! You can’t get a better view, and the thrill will really get your adrenaline flowing. Once your heart stops feeling like it’s going to beat out of your chest, a great sit meal and drinks await you at the bottom so you can discuss all the thrills you just experienced.

2) A Romantic Dinner with a View

A short jaunt from the zipline is a beautiful little spot for a romantic dinner and the chance to watch the sunset over the Gulf of Nicoya at the restaurant in Villa Caletas. This restaurant is on top of a massive hill, surrounded by a beautiful resort. Oh, and the food is top-notch. When you’re all done, a driver is there to pick you up and take you back to Quepos.IMG_0112

Some other adventures that are in the area;

• Whitewater rafting and kayaking in Manuel Antonio National Park
• Private snorkeling or scuba diving in the Pacific Ocean
• Canopy and Hanging Bridges tours
• Horseback Riding through Manuel Antonio park with a waterfall finish
• Sea Kayaking and snorkeling
• Sport Fishing from Quepos Marinawhite water rafting

Clearly, this area holds some of the best of what Costa Rica has to offer. Get your rest now, because you’re in for an adventure!

Must See and Do in Quepos – Costa Rica – Part 1

If you’re an adventurer at heart, then you know that every vacation is a balancing act that involves getting as much awesome packed into your trip, and minimizing all the boring stuff – like sleep. Your time is limited, so you need to make the most of it.

One can’t-miss stop in Costa Rica is Quepos. This gem is your springboard to some of the most in-demand activities set in some of the most beautiful surroundings you’ll ever lay eyes on.

 

1) Manuel Antonio National Park

Grab a guided tour with Rancho Los Tucanas. You’ll find telescopes nearby to spot exotic wildlife on the trails and in the canopy. And if you don’t spot anything at first, your guides are wildlife spotting ninjas! Couldn’t see that sloth hiding 200 meters away underneath the brush? Your guides just caught it in the sights for you.IMG_9805

Manuel Antonio also has what is considered by locals to be the most beautiful beach in Costa Rica, mostly because it only ever has a handful of tourists on it at any given time. Bring a towel and expect to be in the greeny-blue water until you’re as wrinkly as a raisin.

If you’ve been on the run all day, you might be getting a bit peckish by mid-afternoon. Our tour company doesn’t miss a beat, and has a full fruit and juice picnic ready for you by the time you exit the park. Fresh pineapple and watermelon tastes SO GOOD after a long hike in the heat of the day. This is a great time to relax, decompress, and talk about all the amazing things we saw that day.

 

2) Catamaran Sunset Trip

After a good hike, nothing beats diving into the ocean off a catamaran. The voyage starts in Quepos Marina as you board a boat with around 50 other people. The plan for the trip is to snorkel, spot some dolphins, eat a massive meal with beer and wine and then watch the sunset. The catamaran trip does not disappoint.

You start by anchoring near a reef to snorkel and see colourful fish. It’s not uncommon for first-timers to be sceptical about how many fish you’ll see when you and forty-nine others hop into the water, but the fish don’t disappoint in Costa Rica either. They swim through your fingers, touch your mask and tickle your toes. This really could be the highlight of your trip. And once you are done becoming one with the fish, you can hit the catamaran slide to awake your inner nine-year-old.

Next, the captain took us looking for flying fish and the booby, a common species of bird that trails dolphins as they both are attracted to the same lunch. Once we found them, the scene was unbelievable. The flying fish are popping out of the water like oil from a hot pan, getting picked out of the air by dolphins from below and booby birds from above. Un-be-lievable.IMG_9874

Then, just as the sun was setting a massive meal was served. Grabbing a spot on the mesh hammock at the front of the boat is a luxury, so getting up there early is key. You’ll feel like you’ve got the entire boat to yourself to watch the sun set on the ocean horizon. It’s the perfect finish to a day that you’ll wish would never end.

Great Testimonial From a Guest

I just thought I’d send you a quick note to let you know that we had a wonderful vacation. Your help with the travel plans was greatly appreciated and I must say that I was a impressed with your efficiency in making the plans as well as the efficiency with the execution of the transfers and other arrangements that you had made for us. I was a little disappointed in the last van that took us on the San Jose tour as the windows were a little small and it was difficult to see from all the areas of the bus but it was still satisfactory.

All in all I was very happy with the service that you and your company provided to us and would not hesitate to recommend you to any of our friends that may be travelling to Costa Rica in the future. Also for your reference, although we did not book the Doubletree through you, we found this resort very satisfactory and would recommend it to any of our Canadian friends.

Thanks so much for all your help with our travel arrangements.

Gwen and Don Brugger
From Manitoba, Canada

Amazing Testimonial

At Latitudes Adventure, we really want your entire experience, from the minute you land, to be perfect. We received this testimonial from a customer recently and wanted to share it. We always try and do all we can to help. Hope we can help you in the near future.


“Thank you Mr. Reynolds for all of your coordination and travel arrangements. Answering your cell phone late Sunday evening when our airport transportation was late, went above and beyond. Your on the spot availability when we were caught in a traffic jam the next day was exceptional. We all had a wonderful time in your beautiful country. Thank you again for your assistance.”


- The Coleman Families.