Doing the Right Thing: Forest Conservation in the Osa Peninsula

Posted by on Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 with 0

 

Osa Peninsula Forest

Image Source: Farmcostarica.com

Forest conservation efforts in the Osa Peninsula are critical to ensuring the balance of the planet’s ecosystem and species survival. The forest are the earth’s lungs.  The Osa Peninsula is one of the most biologically intense places in the world. Preserving the Osa’s forest is critical to the many species that live in this area.  Tropical forest cover less than 2% of the planets surface but are home to more than 50% of existing species. Osa Conservation and The National Resource Defense Council partnered up to undertake expansive reforestation efforts in this region to preserve this habitat for the incredibly rich diversity of plants, fauna and species that call this home. This Southern part of Costa Rica contains the last remnants of Central American Pacific tropical rain forest.  71% of the forest in the Peninsula is protected including Corcovado National Park and the surrounding reserves. Continue reading…

Striking Gold: Cultural History of the Osa Peninsula

Posted by on Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 with 0

Gold Panning

A favorite thing to do when visiting the Osa Peninsula is taking a day hike ecotour to the Tigres Rivers, a former gold mining spot in Corcovado National Park. Exploring this former gold mining area is an adventure back in time. The region was a thriving area for gold prospectors who came here in droves to strike it rich beginning with the early settlers. Named by Columbus, “The Rich Coast,” the Osa Peninsula was famous for its abundance of gold deposits.   In the 1930s, the discovery of gold triggered an economic boom.  The Peninsula was one of Costa Rica’s largest gold bearing regions until the 1980s.  At 21 karats, it is some of the world’s most pure gold.  In the 1970s gold mining was declared illegal with the creation of Corcovado National Park. Continue reading…

Jumping off a Waterfall: Rappelling in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula

Posted by on Friday, August 24th, 2012 with 0

Waterfall Rappelling

Image Source: Reefstorockies.wordpress.com

For the adventurer ecotourist, Costa Rica is a prime spot for rappelling and if you are feeling super adventurous there is nothing like the rush from waterfall rappelling in Costa Rica.  The thrill of jumping off a cliff with water rushing over your head is a once in a lifetime experience. Costa Rica is a world- renown haven of caves, beaches, mountains, waterfalls and endless trails.  Hiking through a rainforest to a secluded waterfall where you ascend some 100ft to jump off a cliff into the water rushing down by a rope. The tougher the challenge, the bigger the rush.  Rappelling is not for the faint hearted and definitely appeals to those with an adventuresome spirit. Continue reading…

Guaymi Indians: Teach Us for The Future

Posted by on Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 with 0

 

Guaymi Indians

Image Source: Southerncostarica.biz

Bordering Corcovado National Park is the Guaymi Indian Reservation.  Located in the clouded forest high in the mountains, the Guaymi Indians have lived in this region for thousands of years. They moved to the reserve in the 1970s. A nomadic people, the Guaymi Indians occupied southern central Costa Rica and Western Panama.   Today they sill live a semi-nomadic life, despite their permanent settlements.  They strive to retain their cultural traditions. Fortunately because of the remoteness of the Osa Peninsula, they have preserved their cultural heritage.  The Guaymi Indians are the largest surviving indigenous population in Costa Rica. Continue reading…

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…

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…