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Costa Rica Dive Trip
October 23 - 31, 2004
$1,565

  • American Airlines out of Hartford 6:00AM Return 11:16 PM
  • 8-nights lodging at Playa Ocotal, ElOcotal Resort and Arenal lodge.
    • Double occupancy
    • Full breakfast daily
    • Deluxe 4-star beach front resort overlooking the Gulf of Papagayo,
    • Jr. Suite, overlooking the volcano at the base of Arenal Volcano
    • Best base price with local (off-site) food exceptionally well priced
  • Costa Rica transfers
  • Taxes, except departure tax
  • 5-days of 2-tank boat diving
  • 5-days of unlimited shore diving
    • Good diving with visibility about 60-80 feet
    • Water temperature about 80 deg F (3mm suit recommended)
    • Pelagic activity
    • Most stable weather (no hurricanes in more than 100 years)
    • The Guanacaste Province is dry forest.
  • Optional non-scuba diving - $305. There are plenty of available, non-diving, activities

Costa Rica Eco-Tourism:
Costa Rica is an ideal destination for co-tourism, cultural exploration and adventure activities such as a canopy tour, rafting, biking, hiking, horseback riding, a local wildlife tour, big game fishing and much more. In addition to spending 5 or more days at Playa Ocotal / Playa del Coco, we will likely overnight for two nights at the base of Aernal Volcano and perhaps one final night near San Jose.

Costa Rica possesses a rich and abundant fauna. Scientists claim that Costa Rica has, for its size, more species than any other terrestrial habitat in the world. The sheer number and variety of its species have made Costa Rica one of the most admired territories on the planet when it comes to bio diversity. There are over 200 species of mammals, including six species of wild cat, 160 species of amphibians, over 200 of reptiles, 1000 of butterflies, and 850 species of birds (more birds than in the entire North American continent). We will likely see, Howler and Spider Monkeys, toucans, three toed sloths, crocodiles and more.

Scuba:
Scuba divers can expect to see colorful angelfish, puffer fish, Jewel and Pacific Moray Eels as well as several different types of parrot fish. Divers in this area regularly encounter Mobula and Bat Rays, dolphins, White Tip, Bull, Tiger and Hammerhead Sharks, Ridley and Leatherback Sea Turtles and possibly whales. Occasionally, lucky divers encounter a Whale Shark. At about 50-60 feet, often there are huge schools of jacks, grunts, mackerel or spade fish. I've personally seen all of the above, except the whale shark in Costa Rica.

Politics:
Costa Rica is home to one of the oldest democracies in the Americas. The country has been noted for its friendliness and preoccupation with peace. Its policy of active neutrality has twice earned it the nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. This, the fact that over a quarter of its territory enjoys protection in the ever-growing network of national parks and reserves, its continued dedication to environmental protection, and many other reasons answer why Costa Rica has repeatedly been referred to as the Switzerland of the Americas.
The country has no army -- it was abolished in 1949. Costa Rica is also the region's most sturdy democracy, and the country has a deep-rooted respect for human rights. Ticos -- or Costa Ricans -- love to quote oft-repeated expressions about the country's achievements, such as "Costa Rica has more teachers than policemen" and "Why have tractors without violins?," among others. In education, Costa Rica ranks with many developed countries (the literacy rate is about 93%). Its telecommunications system, although quirky by North American standards, is probably the best in the region, as is its health-care system.

Options:
  • Lots of cultural exploration and adventure opportunities; rafting, zip-line, (Arenal) active volcano, mountain biking, wildlife tours, spa (+$)
  • Playa del Coco, a quaint fishing village (15 min)
  • Add for meals/local taxi to Playa del Coco (~$30/day) - Pay on site, as required.
  • Optional - Add for local car rental, based on 4 persons per vehicle (~$150 / 8-day rental) - Pay on site, as required.
  • Adding about $200 should make this an 8-day trip (Saturday to Sunday) with Anenal Volcano and a Kazm Canyon canopy tour.

Links for additional information
Playa Ocotal, ElOcotal Resort
http://www.ocotalresort.com/photogallery/index.htm
http://www.visitcostarica.com/ict/paginas/home.asp?ididioma=2
http://www.costaricabureau.com/
http://www.costaricaguides.com/hotels_northwest_region_.html
http://www.hemispheresmagazine.com/home.htm (Go to: Three Perfect Days in the August 2004 issue)
http://www.canopytour.com/kazm.html
http://www.monteverdeinfo.com/monteverde.htm
http://www.monteverdeinfo.com/arenal/tabacon/
 


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