Flora + Fauna in Costa Rica with Carol Shelkin and Pam Goode
January 9 – 17, 2016
San Ramon Area, Costa Rica
$1960 per person, Double Occupancy; $2360 Single Occupancy
“Up at 5:45, and I’ve already missed the sunrise. I go to breakfast early to do some writing, and all nine of us are already there, ready to take on the day. We scarf down eggs cooked with tomato, beans and rice, half-dollar-sized cornmeal cakes, rustic bread, buffalo cheese (fabulous), buffalo yogurt, and carambola (starfruit) jam. As soon as I finish, I miss the tastes. By 9:00 we’re gathered for our tour of the organic farm, and before we hit the path, our guide Ishmael has already shown us a tree full of toucans (yesterday a flock of parakeets flew overhead); jackfruit, which can weight up to 75 pounds and often hangs bulbously and pimpled in an unseamly flop between forks in the tree; and the fruit of the Lipstick tree, a beautifully freakish hairy and crimson pod used to color lipsticks, cheddar cheese, fingers (oops) and cheetos. Just beyond, Ishmael moves beneath a large bush, reaches both hands overhead to grasp an oblong yellow fruit, and begins twisting it on the stem until it snaps. About a foot long, this is cacao, the mother of chocolate. Smashed once against a trunk, the pod opens to reveal a white slime, which we’re encouraged to taste, and it is deliciously sweet/tart with the faintest hint of bitter chocolate. Later Ishmael hands us the halves of several nerf-ball-sized green orbs with fleshy spikes, with a thicker white goo-ish interior. This is anonas, or custard apple, also known as ice cream fruit, and the most sublime mouthful I’ve ever tasted. I eat more than my share, scooping out the custard with my fingers and licking it up eagerly.” ~ Pam Goode, Costa Rica Retreat, 2013
Costa Rica, how we’ve missed you! Our 2016 retreat will combine onsite organic farm and rainforest tours, an adventure or two (think water safaris, hot springs, butterfly gardens, lava hikes), and a possible community outreach project in a neighboring village. Accommodations will be at glorious Finca Luna Nueva (New Moon Farm), a sustainable rainforest ecolodge and certified organic biodynamic farm with single or double lodge and cabin accommodations (triples and quads also available), fabulous organic food grown and prepared onsite, panoramic open-air workspace, wifi, ionized pool, jacuzzi, and spa. Optional activities at an extra cost include guided Arenal Volcano Lava Hike, Butterfly Garden or Cloud Forest Tours, Zipline Canopy Tour, Rafting, or Hanging Bridge Canopy Tour. And surprise! There’s a new baby ocelot wandering around :)
- Transfer from Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose to the Lodge and Return Transfer
- Eight Nights Accommodation (rooms will be assigned in the order received)
- Seven Breakfasts, Seven Lunches, Seven Dinners
- One Guided Farm Tour
- One Guided Rainforest Tour
- 5-Day Mosaic Workshop and Open Studio Time
- Access to the Secondary Rainforest and Primary Rainforest
- Airfare To and From Costa Rica
- Optional Tours and Activities
- Transportation for Optional Tours or Local Transportation (Arrangements Provided)
- Offsite Meals
- Trip Insurance (Recommended)
- Departure Tax of $29
- Alcohol, If Available
- Optional activities at an extra cost include guided Arenal Volcano Lava Hike, lunches and dinners in town, Butterfly Garden or Cloud Forest Tours, Zipline Canopy Tour, Rafting, or Hanging Bridge Canopy Tour.
- One Day will be set aside for on-your-own adventures. We will choose as a group, but additional free time during the week is always an option.
“The river is magnificent. The banks are almost vertical for twelve feet in many places, and covered with ferns and far too many tree species to taken in, several easily 200 feet. The occasional bamboo stand seems to have been caught in a cyclone, with every trunk twisted counterclockwise from the ground up into one reedy giantess, her broad stride twisting to a skinny waist and then flayed out against the sky again. We see a large family of howler monkeys noisily leaping through the trees, and a pair of white-faced capuchins, a fairly rare sighting here according to our guide. A snowy egret on the bank holds a flash of silvery fish at the tip of his beak, his black legs and bright yellow toes a vibrant contrast to his starkly white curl of a body. I anticipate that, like me, most of the wildlife will choose to shelter deep in the trees until the rains pass, but when we spy flocks of birds, they’re almost always outlined against the clouds on leafless branches, one breed with fabulously outstretched wings at rest, as if ready to take off and soar when they hear the call. I think I have a new animal spirit.” ~ Pamela Goode, Costa Rica Retreat 2013
NEED TO KNOW
- Retreat has a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10. Please reserve early, but don’t make flight reservations until notified that we’ve met the minimum.
- Participants will bring their own materials; details to follow. Packing Tips here.
- Photos from our 2013 Retreat are here.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Temperatures for January average High 73, Low 59, with .4″ of Rain
- Central Standard Time
Latitude: 10° North of the equator, with equal hours of light and darkness
- Currency: US dollars are accepted pretty much everywhere, including tips
- Electricity: 110, with standard US plugs
- Fast Facts: Literacy rate 96.3%; Military abolished in 1948
- Costa Rica is among the countries with the highest amount of protected land in the world; 25% of the nation is dedicated to park systems, reserves, or natural wildlife areas
- Bridging the northern and southern most points of the two American contents, Costa Rica is the meeting point for a variety of cultures and a density of plant and animal species said to be unlike any other country in the world
- Approximately 850 bird species, 9000 plant species, 34,000 insect species, 205 mammalian species, 220 reptilian species, and 160 amphibian species
- Read more about Carol Shelkin here. Contact Carol here.
- Read more about Pam Goode here. Contact Pam here.
ABOUT THE ACCOMMODATIONS
- Read more about Finca Luna Nueva here.
Contact Pam here for a reservation form.