Ecotourist: What type are you?

Posted by on Friday, August 17th, 2012 with 1

Ecotourist Spotting

Image Source: Characterclearinghouse.fsu.edu

Americans love to travel making up 49% of Costa Rica tourists and they are demanding eco destination spots. According to the World Trade Organization, ecotourism captured 7% of the international market in 2007 with a global market economic impact of $77 billion. Ecotourism accounts for 6% of the worldwide GDP with a staggering growth rate of 5% per year. The industry is being driven by a rising consumer demand, which is creating a healthy market that many resorts are catering to.

But there are different types of ecotourists.

What kind of ecotourist are you? Continue reading…

The Last Frontier: Golfito Wildlife Refuge

Posted by on Thursday, August 16th, 2012 with 1

View from Golfito Forest Reserve

Image Source: Realestate-costarica.webs.com

“In wilderness lies the preservation of the world.” Thoreau

On the edge of civilization in the Osa Peninsula is the Golfito Wildlife Refuge, which is one of the regions many protected areas. While Golfito means little, the surrounding area’s biodiversity is a treasure trove of nature’s wonders. In 1939, the United Fruit Company established the frontier town of Golfito for banana production.  This area is known as the last frontier, and it is one of the least explored and most beautiful places in the world. Neighboring Golfito and Blancas National Park is the Golfito National Wildlife Refuge, which covers some 6,943 acres.  this wildlife refuge plays a significant role in habitat protection of wildlife, flora and fauna. They safeguard the area from development paths that would threaten the incredible biodiversity of this country while also supporting ecotourism Continue reading…

Endangered Sharks: When the Predator becomes the Hunted

Posted by on Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 with 0

Baby Sharks

Image Source: 3.bp.blogspot.com

Endangered sharks are abundant in these waters and these prehistoric creatures are some of the most intriguing of all of sea creatures. It is no surprise that the fertile Golfo Dulce is a nursery for many fish including juvenile sharks.  While they have gotten a bad wrap for being predators, they play a very important role in maintaining health of the oceans as predators and scavengers. Females travel from the ocean to this coastal area to birth pups in the mangroves where the young sharks find protection from large predators.  A growing concern are the free trade agreements with China that allow for large-scale extraction coupled with China’s insatiable appetite for shark fin soup.  The number of illegal shark poachers is on the rise and there is a growing push for shark protection initiatives in Costa Rica. Continue reading…

The Secret to the Legendary Waters of Golfo Dulce

Posted by on Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 with 0

Golfo Dulce Park

Image Source: Costaricaweb.cr

In the Southern part of Costa Rica just above Panama is Golfo Dulce.  Wild, untouched raw nature, this bay is where you go for an exotic get away. With a fragile marine environment, it is one of only three tropical fjords in the entire world. The mangroves provide a crucial nursery for marine life such as sharks and shrimp.  With a depth of more than 1,000 feet in some places, it is one of the deepest gulfs on the planet.  It provides some of the best inshore fishing opportunities available anywhere.  With an abundance of snapper, roosterfish, grouper, snook, blue travelli, amber jack, jack crevalle and ciero mackeral there is no shortage of fishing opportunities here.  It is a bottomless pit in terms of the number of fish.  It is a favored destination spot for anglers, and Costa Rica has taken special efforts to preserve the surrounding the environment. The question is: What makes these waters so incredible? Continue reading…

Discover A Secret Garden Along the Golfo Dulce

Posted by on Monday, August 13th, 2012 with 1

Welcome Sign

Image Source: Sailingcamelot.com

Tucked away in a remote spot along the Golfo Dulce is a magnificent botanical garden. New Hampshire natives Ron and Trudy McCallister while on a roadtrip from the USA to South America purchased an old cacao plantation and created the Casa Orquideas Botanical Gardens. Located at the base of the Piedras Blancas Mountains, they turned these five acres into a majestic “Garden of Eden.” Ron and Trudy, self-taught botanists, applied their years of knowledge to create this little exotic garden paradise. Today the garden supports conservation and education efforts and hosts many visitors to guided or unguided tours every year. Continue reading…

Spottting Humpbacks in Matapalo

Posted by on Friday, August 10th, 2012 with 0

Humpack Whale

Image Source: Cascadiaresearch.org

Besides the great right hand breaks, Matapalo is also a key spot for Humpback Whale watching.  The 5th largest of the whale species, they can grow as long as 52 feet and weigh up to 50 tons. They may be gray, black or mottled and most likely have white on its flipperss and underside. These great mammals of the sea arrive here twice a year from the Northern Hemisphere in January and February and then from the Southern Hemisphere in August and September.  You can sometimes see a pod of 50 or more migrating offshore to the south.  Mothers will bring their calves into the Golfo Dulce to teach their young how to feed on their own and breach.  Sadly, these endangered species are under increased stress due to the acceleration of climate change. Continue reading…

Nature in Balance: The Butterflies of Costa Rica

Posted by on Thursday, August 9th, 2012 with 0

Butterflies

Image Source: Travelinparadisecr.com

Greeks believed butterflies represented the human soul, and for the Chinese and Japanese, butterflies represent the presence of loved ones. These mystical creatures with their delicate wings are insects and one of the many species that inhabitat Costa Rica. Hecale Longwing, Owl Butterfly, Florida White, Ruby-spotted Swallowtail and Blue Morpho are among the many varieties of butterflies found throughout the country’s many microclimates and habitats. Continue reading…

In Search of the Ultimate Wave: Matapalo

Posted by on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 with 1

Surfing Matapalo

Image Source: Homeaway.com

While Pavones is home to the longest left in the world, Matapalo is known for its long excellent rights. When the die-hard surfer wants to escape civilization and catch some of the best rides of his life, Matapalo is the place to go. It is an adventure just to get here since it is only accessible by a rustic dirt road or by boat. Here, you will not find restaurants, bars or shops to distract you but, instead you will discover world-class surfing and inshore and offshore fishing in the middle of paradise. Continue reading…

Point Break Left

Posted by on Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 with 1

Giant Swell

Costa Rica is famous for its surf. Both the Caribbean and Pacific Coasts offer great waves. On the Southern Pacific bordering Panama in Golfo Dulce is Pavones, one of the top ten surfing destinations in the world. This surfers paradise is only accessible by a dirt road or boat. It is a legendary spot that revolves around surfing. Continue reading…

Sanctuary for the Wild

Posted by on Monday, August 6th, 2012 with 0

Osa Wildlife Sanctuary

Image Source: Sailingcamelot.com

Along a remote beach in the Golfo Dulce covering some 700 acres that borders Piedras Blancas National Park and 25-miles from Puerto Jiminez, lies a sanctuary for the wild. Carol Crews is a San Franciscan native who came to Costa Rica only to accidentally find her true calling in life. In 1996, she started the Osa Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is a non-profit supported by researchers, conservationists and volunteers. Continue reading…