What to See in Costa Rica: Leatherback Sea Turtles,
Rain Forests, Coffee Plantations & Yoga Retreats
Leatherback Sea Turtles - Costa Rica is home to important nesting beaches for the most endangered species of marine turtle, the leatherback sea turtle.
The population of this 65-million-year-old species has crashed dramatically in recent years, and Costa Rica is home to a number of efforts to help the leatherback recover. You can participate in conservation efforts for leatherback sea turtles. Joining a project to protect the turtles is your best opportunity to see these marvelous and ancient animals up close. On nightly patrols of a nesting beach, you’ll be able to work with naturalists, measuring the adult turtles, counting and collecting eggs so they can be taken to the hatchery, and observing the turtles’ behaviour.
Thanks to the protection offered, leatherback sea turtles have a chance to rebound. Hatcheries protect the eggs are protected from poaching and predation, and this potentially helps increase the population significantly. But because it takes up to 15 years for a leatherback to reach maturity, it will be quite a number of years before conservation efforts can be judged successful.
Rain Forest Adventure - The remarkable biodiversity of the Costa Rica rain forest attracts visitors from throughout the world.
The rain forest reserve at Monteverde, atop the continental divide, encompasses 26,000 acres, home to over 400 bird species (including the resplendent quetzal), 120 reptiles and amphibians, over 100 different mammals, and thousands of plants (over 400 orchids among them).
The forest canopy houses its own ecological community, and it is developed for you to see it yourself. You can access it up close and personal if you are in good enough condition to do some climbing; or you can take an aerial tram over the top.
Whether you go to Monteverde or to one of the other forest preserves or national parks, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the rain forest with a knowledgeable guide; it is truly one of the great natural wonders of the hemisphere.
Coffee Plantations - Coffee has a long history in Costa Rica and is important to the Costa Rican economy.
By law, all Costa Rica coffee consists of 100% arabica beans. It grows in several parts of the country, with the highest quality coffees – some of the best-tasting in the world, actually – coming from the high-elevation volcanic soils of West Valley, Central Valley, Tarrazu, and Tres Rios.
An increasing portion of Costa Rica coffee is produced organically and is sold through a fair trade program, ensuring a good return for the grower and a high-quality product for the consumer.
Costa Rica is the first country in the Western Hemisphere to grow coffee, beginning in the late eighteenth century. It has a rich and interesting history. If you are visiting the country, you might want to schedule a tour of a coffee plantation, where you can learn about its cultural importance and see how it is processed after harvest.
Interestingly, because Costa Rica has such a stable and successful economy, few Costa Ricans are employed in the coffee harvest. Most workers are migrants from Nicaragua.
Yoga Retreats - The natural beauty of the surroundings provide a peaceful and relaxing backdrop for year-round yoga and wellness centres as well as for periodic workshops organized by international yoga organizations. You can, of course, practice yoga in Costa Rica no matter where you stay or where you go in the country. Daily classes are available at resorts as well as at yoga centres and schools. However, yoga retreat centres offer holistic packages combining yoga, massage, wellness, and ecotourism in various combinations and styles.
The pleasant year-round climate means that yoga in Costa Rica can be an outdoor practice at times of the year when you’d be stuck in a gym at home. So relax and get away from the stresses of daily life.