Some spectacular waterfalls at the base of Poas Volcano.
I think my first trip to Costa Rica was in 1986. By this time I had already traveled to at least a dozen countries but I had yet really experience a true "eco" destination. I had just finished Daniel Janzen's Costa Rican Natural History treatise and was blown away by what that country appeared to offer. I knew I had to get there immediately! I thought that a trip to Costa Rica would be a great start to my ecotravel career! The one glich was that Lien didn't want to come along. We went back and forth for some time but she decided that she did not want to travel there, but made it clear that it was cool that I went alone. This definitely had its pitfalls...
My main emphasis for this trip was to try to visit as many habitats in order to collect as many bugs as possible! I read everything available on the subject and I started to plan a one month expedition in to the jungles of Costa Rica. Looking back on it, I can believe how much luggage I took there. Had three huge bags of collecting gear and supplies. There is no way that I could ever travel like this today. The trip was basically a success. I did some collecting in such places as Santa Rosa National Park and Monteverde Preserve as well as several other locations. I did score a few cool bugs but I found out the hard way that December is not really the best time to collect there as the May rainy season is the best time this activity.
Later in 1988 I was able to finally talk Lien in to traveling to Costa Rica. We had an amazing time there. We traveled to many of the same locations I had been to before and many more. The three week trip involved a lot of trekking and nature watching and even some bug collecting. One of the more interesting events during the trip was when I debated the harmful impacts (or lack thereof) of insect collecting with the famous David Suzuki, the host of many nature specials that come out of Canada and the US. He and his wife were staying at the same Monteverde pension while we were there and we basically ate breakfast together daily for about a week. I had no idea who he was until we got back home and were watching a PBS special and Lien said, "isn't that the guy you were arguing with in Costa Rica!?" I wonder if he remembers....
In the ensuing years, I had the luxury of traveling to Costa Rica at least a couple more times designing and implementing La Selva Expeditions programs. These were great but not as special as my 1988 trip.
Click the links below to see more images from the Galapagos and South & Central America
Animals of South & Central America
Birds of South & Central America
South & Central American People & Places
Here are some images of my Costa Rica adventures!