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2016-NC State Extension Gardener Study Tour Costa Rica

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2018 NC State Extension Costa Rica Study Tour Info

map of Costa Rica

image from Wikipedia

2016 NC State Extension Gardener

International Study Program
February 24 – March 2, 2016

Results of Evaluation
24 of the 25 items scored 5/5 and the other 4/5

Quotes from Participant Evaluations

“Absolutely Phenomenal”
“The trip was amazing in every way!”
“The best and most fun activities ever! Well planned and executed. . . really hard to choose a best because each outing was so much fun.”
“Wonderful! Great learning experience!”
“Couldn’t be happier. A wonderful experience. Took just over 1,000 photos

TRIP FULL – Check our International Travel Page for future opportunities

Costa Rica, ‘rich coast’ in Spanish, has a wealth of natural diversity — over 10,000 plant species and more than 850 species of birds, including many found nowhere else on earth. This 8-day study program will introduce you to a stunning array of exotic tropical plants and animals, the ecology of the rainforest and other ecological habitats, and tropical horticultural production.

This site contains information on:

  • Where we will go
  • Introduction to our guide
  • Resources of interest
  • Immunizations and health
  • What to pack
  • Preparing to travel

Itinerary – Costa Rica2016 Costa Rica itinerary cover

Specifically developed for Gardeners this trip will focus on the amazing plants & gardens of Costa Rica.

We will visit outstanding public gardens as well as stunning private gardens. We will tour ornamental as well as edible crop production. We will explore some of the best national parks in the world and seashores without compare. Below are links to a few of our destinations.

Some of the places we will go:

2016 NC State Extension Gardener Costa Rica Study Tour

  • Else Kientzler Botanical Garden:
    garden path

    Else Kientzler Botanical Garden

    This 17-acre garden with a vast array of orchids and other tropical plants is nestled at the foot of Volcano Póas in Costa Rica’s Central Valley and is part of Innovaplant of Costa Rica, an agricultural company that produces and exports ornamental plants.

  • waterfall

    La Paz Waterfall Gardens

    La Paz Waterfall Gardens : Walk through beautiful orchid and hummingbird gardens on your way to the magnificent waterfalls. Three kilometers of serpentine paved trails allow visitors to experience and photograph the forest as they wind through both cloud and rainforest. It has the world’s largest enclosed Butterfly Observatory covering 18,000 sq ft with many species of colorful native Costa Rican butterflies, plants, and animals. In addition, you will likely see jungle cats, hummingbirds, and other birds, snakes, frogs, monkeys, and more.

beauty, bounty, and biodiversity. Wind-sculpted elfin woodlands, rainforests of tall trees adorned with orchids, bromeliads, ferns, vines, and mosses. Parasitic, Hemiparasitic, Epiphytic, and Symbiotic relationships abound. Monteverde is home to 2.5% of worldwide biodiversity, hosting 3,000 plant species (500 of them are orchids), 500 bird species, 120 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 130 species of mammals. 100% of the incomes collected by the entrances and other services are designated for education, preservation, and research programs. It is one of the best examples of sustainable tourism in the world.

  • Sibu Chocolate logoSibu Chocolates Join us for a trip through time as we taste our way through the history of chocolate.
  • Arenal Rain Forest Hanging Bridges Get up
    hanging bridge

    Image by dconvertini CC-BY-SA

    close to the exuberant primary jungle on Arenal’s hanging bridges, one of the greatest ecological touristic projects of Costa Rica – a complex of trails and bridges through the rain forest in a private nature reserve of almost 250 hectares that is home to a high diversity of Costa Rican animals and plant species.

Meet Our Guide

tour guide

Ficco Chacon

Federico Chacon, or Fico as he prefers, became a nature guide at the same time he started his studies at the University of Costa Rica. Over the past 12 years, he has progressed from one day nature tours to extended tours all over Central America, specializing in Costa Rica and Panama.

Fico continues to deepen his knowledge and stay current on the latest information through courses in biology, natural history, geography, and interpretive guiding with the University of Costa Rica and the National Institute of Learning. His fascination with nature is contagious.

He has a great sense of humor that he uses skillfully to share his knowledge. He loves bird watching, hiking, reading, traveling, and especially ultimate frisbee. His love for travel has taken him to visit the USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Galapagos, Cuba, England, and Norway.

Tropical Plants of Costa Rica cover

We will meet with Willow Zuchowski, author of Tropical Plants of Costa Rica, and have an opportunity to work with her on a service-learning project in the rainforest.


What to Know Before You Go