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New Meetup: Club Veg Vegan Nature Tour of Costa Rica

From: Wendy
Sent on: Friday, January 15, 2010 6:10 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The Albany Vegetarian Meetup Group!

What: Club Veg Vegan Nature Tour of Costa Rica

When: February 12 - February 21, 2010

Join Club Veg for a Vegan and Gluten-Free Nature Tour of Costa Rica next month. Deadline for reservations is by Wednesday, January 27th.

Imagine leaving the frigid winter weather behind one morning and entering the serenity and beauty of a Cloud Forest in Costa Rica in the afternoon. Lands in Love is a vegetarian eco-resort run by a group of friends from Israel who packed up their lives and moved to Costa Rica to renovate and operate Lands in Love - the Animal Friendly Zone. For our first full day there, we will enjoy the excitement of zipping through the tree tops at Lands in Loves Combo Canopy Tour. Here experience the canopy in a safe and fun way that builds friendships and creates group cohesion. If this isn't quite your style, there will be wonderful hikes and bird watching instead.

The next day we will go to Cano Negro, a wildlife refuge teaming with birds, monkeys, sloths, and other wildlife. Near the border of Nicaragua, Ca?o Negro is one of the hardest places in Costa Rica to travel independently. We will explore the area by boat. Most tours begin on R?o Fr?o, where visitors glide through green river canyons toward lake Ca?o Negro, an area similar to the Florida Everglades in its appearance. In the case of this tour, getting there is half the fun. There are literally thousands of birds, plants, fish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. (If you are lucky, the fin of a freshwater shark may slice the water surface.) Our boat tour will provide an excellent opportunity for spotting any or all of three species of monkeys that frequent the river's banks. You will literally feel like you have entered paradise.

On the fourth day of the tour we will go to La Selva Biological Reserve, the place where most of the worlds tropical biologists and students have either studied or worked. La Selva Biological Station is located in the Caribbean lowland at the northern base of Braulio Carrillo National Park and recognized internationally as one of the premier facilities for rain forest research.. Accompanied by one of their own guides, we may be serenaded by dancing snakes (yes, this happened on my trip there in 2001 and it was fascinating), see wild boars, toucans, monkeys, and any number of birds. La Selva is 3,988 acres of old growth and disturbed tropical wet forest. Species diversity is spectacular, including more than 1,850 species of plants, 350 species of trees, 448 species of birds, and approximated 500 species of ants. I was in awe of the place and it is an experience not to be missed in Costa Rica.

The next day we pack up and drive to the warm Pacific waters to visit Marino Ballena National Park. There we may see Humpback whales, green marine iguanas, bottle nosed and common dolphins, corals, sponges, anemones, lobsters, trunkfish, frigate birds, brown footed boobies, pelicans, and ibises. We can snorkel from the shore, especially if it is low tide when we get there. It is hard to believe how wonderful the warm blue water feels unless you have been there before. Just floating in the water brings a new appreciation for relaxation and our beautiful planet. We will spend this and the next two nights, for a total of three nights, at Cuna del Angel.
Cuna del Angel (Cradle of Angel) is an exclusive and cozy boutique hotel amidst the surroundings of exuberant tropical jungle forest, in the lobby of the Earth?s most ecologically diverse area. Cuna del Angel is the realized dream of Tom, a German from Munich, who came to this land and instantly fell in love with its tropical surroundings and the relaxed way of living.
Astonishing views, all along the South Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, are the red carpet that leads the way to this intimate and warm construction in Colonial and Native Costa Rica?s style; a celebration of the encounter of cultures, where the best of both worlds meet, keeping the glamour and elegance of a modern and civilized world, and evoking the spiritual world of the indigenous cultures that inhabited our small yet rich country.

On the sixth day of our tour, in the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean, offshore from the Osa Peninsula at Drake Bay, Isla del Cano or Cano Island is an amazing marine biological reserve in Costa Rica. Isla del Cano is an island of considerable geographical and archaeological importance. Evidence of this island?s history is the incredible stone spheres that have been found here, all of which are hand carved and perfectly rounded. On the island itself, not much wildlife or fauna is found. However, Isla del Cano is often used as a migratory passage of birds who fly to warmer climes from the northern hemisphere during the winter. Aside from the evergreen forest found on the island, the only other trees growing out here include the rubber tree, the wild cocoa tree and some shrubs and bushes. Besides birds like the osprey, black hawk, cattle egret and phalarope, some common animals and reptiles on the island are; pacas, boa constrictors, possums, tree frogs, pigs, moths, beetles, bats, mosquitoes, rats and lizards. The real beauty of Isla del Cano is not found on its land, but underwater. This island?s virgin waters are some of the bluest in the country, and are home to a spectacular variety of stunning marine flora and fauna as well as some gorgeous coral reefs. Rated as being one of the best underwater adventure diving spots in the world, the Isla del Cano Biological Reserve is also home to a huge variety of fish, whales and sharks. Snorkeling there is also wonderful, and the variety of underwater life we will see will be thrilling. With fantastic underwater visibility, one can see on any given day, sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, manta rays, moray eels, barracudas, tuna, snapper and grouper swimming alongside a variety sharks and humpback or pilot whales.

The next day we will tour Mangrove swamps and then spend the afternoon at the beach. On the Mangrove tour, we'll see incredible variety of birds and other wildlife. Mangrove Swamps are one of the richest natural environments in the world. This special habit has the Mangrove trees, the only plant that thrives in salt water. You will have chances to see a great variety of birds in the swamps including: Bare-Throated Tiger Heron, Little Blue Heron, Three and Two-Toes Sloth, Northern and Crab Eating Raccoons, and White Nosed Coatis. Some of the most commons reptiles in the swamp are the Green Iguana, Jesus Christ Lizard, Boa Constrictor snakes and six different species of crabs. On this tour we will kayak around the swamp.
On the way back to Lands in Love, we will stop at Carara National Park. Birdwatchers are interested in the Carara National Park area because it presents two life zones and a variety of birds, including one of the largest remaining wild populations of Scarlet Macaw in Costa Rica.

For our last full day in Costa Rica, we will relax at Lands in Love or do something nearby in nature. Then, on day 10 we will head back to the airport, wishing we could stay longer, and vowing to return.

Details are below, along with the day to day itineraries. All meals will be vegan and gluten-free. All inclusive including meals, transportation within Costa Rica, and entrance fees to parks. Guests are responsible for their air fare, tips, departure taxes, souvenirs, and alcoholic beverages. Not having to worry about money every day will only add to the beauty of the trip.


If you would like the itinerary or have any questions, contact Amie Hamlin,[masked] or email at [address removed].

NOTE: Please notice that check in for International flights must be done three hours prior departure. Estimated driving time 3.5 hours


Total Price Per Person group 14-20 pax Price

person in a double room
$[masked]

person in a single room$[masked]



? Prices per person in US dollars subject to changes without notice (if group is less than 7 people, the price will be increased by $120 each).
? Program subject to availability at the services offered at the time of confirmation, prices might vary if any is not available




Does not include:
? Personal expenses & tips
? Optional tours and activities
? Departure taxes ($26.00 per person at the time of quote

Learn more here:
http://vegetarian.meetup.com/405/calendar/12331884/

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