Rainforest expedition in Costa Rica

Price:
From £1460 - £3100 (4 weeks) excluding flights
From £1460 (4 weeks), £2280 (8 weeks), £3100 (12 weeks) excluding flights.
Vouchers: accepted
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Reviews:
1 review4 star rating
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Rainforest expedition in Costa Rica

Responsible travel: Rainforest expedition in Costa Rica

Working in conjunction with COTERC (The Canadian Organisation for Tropical Education and Rainforest Education), MINAE (Costa Rican National Parks Board), CCC Caribbean Conservation Corporation major universities in Costa Rica and various independent researchers. This expedition plays a vital role in the development and management of long term wildlife conservation and community education programmes.

By working in conjunction with MINAE and the CCC, we aim to undertake an ambitious sea turtle (seasonal) survey work on the North Tortuguero Beach as well as assisting in obtaining vital data which aids in the management and ultimately the conservation of the majestic jaguar (Pantera onca). All data for this project is used by our local project partners to help raise awareness of the threatened sea turtles and to compare with the CCC data collection over the past 35 years.

In addition all volunteers have the opportunity to support local communities by offering basic English lessons. The long-term aim is to provide community members with English language skills which in turn should increase the chances of working in sustainable tourism, an alternative to forestry and the poaching of turtles.

The story of the provider of Rainforest expedition in Costa Rica

The owner of this company did a gap year trip in the early 90s which involved building a bandstand for a small village in Patagonia. While he was there, he realised the project was only helpful in developing the Western traveller as the village didn’t want a bandstand and only argued about who owned it. And so he set up a volunteer organisation which is useful to communities and provides them with resources and help with funding. Today, his projects offer travellers an opportunity to fully integrate into communities and to make a real long-term difference to the local people’s lifestyles.

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Rainforest expedition in Costa Rica

You can trust responsibletravel.com reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.


5 stars
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
4 stars
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
3 stars
Very enjoyable
2 stars
It was OK
1 star
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed 24 Apr 2006 by Dominic Greves4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Three hours into a long, dark, sweaty walk on my first turtle survey a mighty Leatherback turtle suddenly looms into view on the beach ahead. We crouch down out of sight behind her and count the number of eggs she lays into a pit in the sand. When she’s done we tag a rear flipper for tracking purposes, take her measurements and record other data. Having covered the nest she doesn’t wait around. Hauling herself back down the beach she slips back into the ocean. We’re all a little awestruck.

On the Jaguar/Turtle Predation Survey in the final week of the expedition we follow jaguar tracks in the sand along a 15 mile stretch of beach. At one point a fresh set of tracks leads us into the forest undergrowth where vultures circle overhead and watch us from their perches in the trees. In a small clearing we find the decapitated body of large Green turtle. The kill is obviously only hours old and we scan the bushes warily, the adrenaline pumping. Tortuguero’s jaguars have developed an expensive taste in another endangered species and it’s fascinating to witness and document the results for this research project.

This expedition in the ‘Land of Turtles’ isn’t only about turtles. Paddling a canoe along the narrow forested waterways of the Tortuguero National Park whilst recording the incidence of native bird life on the Tourist Impact Survey was enormous fun after the hours we’d spent learning to recognise the numerous species back at base. Even on the morning that it rained so hard the boat began to fill faster than we could bail out, it was an experience not to be missed. The sense of satisfaction you get after planning and teaching a successful English lesson in the nearby village of San Francisco in the evenings is also difficult to beat. Oh, and the Howler Monkey dawn chorus has to be heard to be believed! Unforgettable.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for constant heat and humidity. The pre-expedition field manual the organisers send you contains all the advice you’ll need. They strongly recommend you should try to learn the native bird species before you set off as it’s much more rewarding (and helpful to everyone else involved) to know what you’re looking at from the start. Having said that, it does take a bit of practice in the field too once you get there.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes. I’m sure that the projects we worked on in conjunction with local partners will contribute to the preservation of the local environment and the livelihood of the local people who depend on it. The English language teaching programme has an immediately obvious impact on local people which is great to see.

The people who manage the expedition base camp are careful to maintain a small “footprint”. Water, gas and electricity are used sparingly; cleared areas are kept to a minimum and the site is concealed amidst the forest as far as possible; environmentally friendly products are used and waste materials are disposed of responsibly. Local people are employed on site and the expedition frequently uses local shops, services... and drinking establishments!

4. Any other comments?


4 stars. I had a thoroughly enjoyable five weeks on this expedition and met a fantastic bunch of people. The expedition in Costa Rica had only been going for a year or so when I was there and as it evolves it will doubtless get even better.
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