Costa Rica: Biodiversity in the Rainforest, the Volcanic region, and the Dry Forest
Students on this travel interim are seeing and studying some of the greatest biodiversity in the world. Toucans and suspension bridges, poison dart frogs and zip lines, sloths and an active volcano, a dry forest and a look at the Pacific Ocean; all these are part of Costa Rica. The students explore the rainforest, dry forest and volcanic regions to learn about how the ecology of these regions work, how humans interact with these regions, and how we can learn to reflect on what we observe. Click on Read More to read the full blog postings.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
January 10 - Home Safe
We enjoyed the beautiful, clear, and very warm weather in Liberia this morning and then made our way to the airport. We arrived safely at O'Hare at about 10:30 p.m. today. We feel very blessed by the trip; with some ready to return to Costa Rica as soon as possible.
Dr. Tom Roose
View more photos from the Costa Rica 2012 Photogallery.
Monday, January 09, 2012
Today we left the beautiful Rincon de la Viejo Lodge and went to see the last remaining dry forest in Central America. We visited Santa Rosa National Park for a beautiful hike through the forest and a visit to the museum there. In the park, we saw several white-tailed deer, some flycatchers, and several large iguanas defending their own territory. We then went to Liberia for lunch. After lunch we drove to a beach along the Pacific Ocean. We took a walk along and into the ocean. We stayed at the beach for awhile; swimming and relaxing. We then returned to Liberia for a swim at our hotel and another scrumptious Costa Rican dinner. Tomorrow we will have breakfast and then start for home. We are hoping to arrive at O'Hare at about 11:00 p.m. We all are very thankful for our wonderful trip.
Sunday, January 08, 2012
Today, Sunday, we spent almost all day in God's sanctuary in the cloud forest and transition forest in the Rincon area of the Guanacaste region. Temperatures were in the mid-80s, breezey, and sunny. We began with a 30-minute horseback ride to the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Then we hiked for 2.5 hours through forest, seeing many beautiful things. One highlight was a group of about 18 white-faced monkeys crossing over the trees right above us.
Saturday, January 07, 2012
When we awoke this morning, the Arenal Volcano was covered in a thick cloud...so began our six-hour drive over the continental divide to the Guanacaste region. The road was winding and sometimes only gravel with potholes, but our driver Eduardo got to the Rincon de la Veijo Lodge safely. It is a beautiful setting with the dry forest rising behind us and tropical plants and horses in the foreground. Along our trip today, we saw a sloth, a coatimundi, a black guan, parrots, many black vultures, as well as many other things. After we arrived, we enjoyed the lodge's surroundings and then took a two-hour hike to where we could see the Pacific Ocean, which was about 50 miles straight west. Along our hike, we saw a white-coated parrot, chestnut-mandible toucans, and a rainbow that formed, disappeared and reformed in the cloud mist behind us. Tomorrow we take a horseback ride to a national park, then hike and ride back for lunch. In the afternoon we hike to hot springs. We continually praise God for all we are experiencing.
Friday, January 06, 2012
This morning we left the beautiful rain forest and traveled to the Arenal Volcano region. We stopped at Fortuna for lunch and some shopping. As always the food and fruit juices are out of this world! This afternoon we experienced zip lining near the volcano. Although it was a little misty, all had an exhilarating time. We did see a viper in a tree today along with Red-legged Honey Creepers, Green Honey Creepers, Baltimore Orioles, many wrens, and other plants and animals. We are staying very near the Arenal Volcano and hope for a clear morning. Tomorrow we will leave early, stopping by the Arenal Volcano National Park. Then we will continue on our six-hour drive to the Guanacaste Province where we will experience some hot springs and spend two nights. We remain thankful for all of our experiences together. All are continuing to show good reflection about God's wonderful creation.
Thursday, January 05, 2012
This morning before we left for our river cruise, while still at Selva Verde, we saw Chestnut-Mandible Toucans, Red-Legged Creepers, several hummingbirds, the Jesus Christus Lizard, Orapendula, an Ant Creeper, a green poison dart frog, and many other species of birds. On our river cruise we saw ten long-nosed bats on a tree, several Green Ibis, Keel-Billed Toucans, Kingfishers, a Black Tragon, quite a few iguana, and many other things. After our cruise, we visited a Costa Rican organic pineapple plantation that sells pineapples to Dole. We saw the pineapple production process from start to finish and ate all the best ever pineapple we could eat. While touring the pineapple fields, we saw a sloth and some Howler Monkeys. In the afternoon, we visited the Terimbini Nature Preserve where we learned about their butterfly research and took a two and a half hour hike through another rain forest. We saw many species of birds, plants, animals and insects, including Bullet Ants, Army Ants, a Laughing Falcon, two turtles, a Two-Toed Sloth, over 15 Howler Monkeys climbing and swinging from trees directly overhead, Toucans, several species of hummingbirds, and many other things. Tomorrow we will leave the rain forest region and go to the Arenal volcano region. We continue to be grateful for all of God's creation and to be in awe of how all things work together, often in unanticipated ways, in God's glorious creation.
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
We are in the glorious rain forest, so guess what? It is raining and 80 degrees. This morning we took a three-hour hike in the rain forest and saw many wonderful things. This afternoon we went white water rafting for two and one-half hours. All the students said it was the most exciting rafting they had ever done. All four students and one rafting guide were tossed into the river once. We were reminded by the river and Max Lucado's book Safe in the Shepherd's Arms to not look too far ahead. Yes, we should be prepared but deal with one thing at a time. Throughout the day, we saw a Chestnut-billed Toucan, a Trogan, green poison dart frogs, red-eyed tree frogs, little blue herons, macaws, parrots, several bats, and several very interesting species of spiders. Tonight, as we hear the rain, we are thankful and mindful about how God re-creates the Earth. Tomorrow we have a river cruise, a pineapple plantation visit, and a nature hike.
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
We arrived safely in Costa Rica on schedule. We had a scrumptious authenic Costa Rican lunch and then made our way to Selva Verde Lodge in the rain forest. We heard from some local women and saw how they made cheese. We also tasted the cheese. The temperature is in the low 80's and humid. Tomorrow we will go on a 6:00 am bird walk, a hike in the rain forest, go white water rafting, and looking for frogs at night. God's diversity of creation is amazing!