February in Costa Rica: Club Veg Vegan & Gluten-Free Nature Tour

Club Veg is hosting a vegan nature tour of Costa Rica this February. Read on for details. To sign up or for more info, contact clubveg@gmail.com.

Dear Friends, Past Participants, and those who are interested in a totally VEGAN Nature Tour of Costa Rica,
For nature vacations some people seek sand beaches with warm water, the adventure of snorkeling in coral reefs or searching for wildlife, including hundreds of kinds of birds. Still others seek the solitude of a million-year-old rainforest or the excitement of looking down the crater of an inactive volcano. In Costa Rica, you can do all of these!

In February of 2000 and again in 2001, groups of vegans and vegetarians gathered in the Central American country of Costa Rica for a Vegan Nature Tour. Costa Rica excels at protecting its wilderness and turning it into an economic asset. Club Veg, a local vegetarian education group based in Binghamton and Ithaca, NY, and Philadelphia, PA, organized the trips. It attracted veggie people from Massachusetts to California. The trip was organized to give vegans a stress-free vacation focused on nature. It’s easy to eat delicious, exciting vegan food in Costa Rica.
Now, Club Veg is offering another trip – this time in February of 2010. Sorry for the relatively short notice, it just took a long time to get it all finalized. We are excited about the trip this year. We are visiting a totally vegetarian resort – Lands in Love. All food will be vegan and gluten-free. If you aren’t gluten-free, don’t worry – it will be delicious.
Families are welcome, children should be well behaved, at least 8 years old, and able to hike several miles. We are still waiting on a children’s price but I did not want to hold up announcing the trip any longer.
Our trips focused on nature, especially birds, including the Resplendent Quetzal, Violet Saberwing hummingbird, Purple Gallinule and the Emerald Toucanet. Many members of our groups were lucky to see these and hundreds of other species, including a nest of baby hummingbirds. We never tired of hiking in the rainforest, which was just outside the lodges that we stayed in. Our expert naturalist guides pointed out wonders like tiny green lizards, giant double-winged damselflies, and towering strangler fig trees. None will forget hearing the calls of howler monkeys or refreshing in the mists of glistening volcano fed waterfalls. Some of us dared to climb into the treetops and glided silently among the lush forest canopy suspended from steel cables on ropes and pulleys. This trip will be no different, and this is what is calling us back for more!

For both past trips, and again on this one, a great experience we had was a visit to La Selva – Organization for Tropical Studies. This is a biological research station where most of the world’s tropical biologists have either studied or taught. While there, we saw some researchers preparing to determine whether there was a net loss or gain of carbon dioxide from the rainforest there. We saw brilliantly colored toucans and peccaries, which are wild pigs. We enjoyed searching for the howler monkeys (and do they howl!) that we could hear and finally locating them. We watched as a 10-foot long green vine snake blended into the background and captivated us as it put on a dance performance! And we were thrilled to see a Poison Dart Frog with its’ bright red and blue shiny body. The trees and other foliage were magnificent. It was interesting to recognize so many plants that we enjoy as houseplants- in their native habitat! We can’t wait to go back.

Lands in Love Vegetarian & Vegan Resort in the Cloud Forest of Central Costa Rica & Whales & Dolphins Resort & Cano Island, Pacific Ocean

Day 1 – Arrival to San Jose – Lands in Love 12/02/10

(D) Our driver will meet you outside the terminal of the airport and drive to Lands in Love, hotel, resort and adventure center right in the center of a cloud forest.

Overnight at Lands in Love – Hotel & Resort – Standard rooms

NOTE: Estimated driving time 2 hours.

Day 2 – Lands in Love – Guided Trails – Combo Canopy 13/02/10

(B, L, D) A day to enjoy the activities that Lands in love has to offer. The region possesses beautiful and varied scenery; this land stays green and humid almost all year round.

After early breakfast at the hotel you will do a guided cloud forest trail tour.

See monkeys, birds, and other kinds of animals while getting explanations from guides about the animals, trees, flowers and orchids. Beautiful views of waterfalls and the river.

Your day will continue with the Combo Canopy tour: you will experience the forest from the top of the trees – more then 500 acres of forest with amazing views, 9 cables, 10 platforms, 3 trails, 2 hanging bridges, 1 Tarzan swing -Total of 845m. Then adventure cables – 3 twin cables for partner’s experience. Longest cable of 750m, steel towers, hanging bridges, high velocity of 80 km per hour, 150m above the hidden valley.

Overnight at Lands in Love – Hotel & Resort – Standard rooms

Day 3 – Lands in Love – Rafting 14/02/10

(B, L, D) Early in the morning amazing unexplored world of tropical wilderness in a deep canyon with waterfalls, exotic animals, tropical birds and plenty of whitewater.

Overnight at Lands in Love – Hotel & Resort – Standard rooms

Day 4 –Lands in love – Poas Volcano – La Paz 15/02/10

(B, LB, D) After breakfast we’ll head to the Poas Volcano, it has some of the world’s largest geysers with an awesome crater, over 1.5 km wide. The volcano is active, but completely safe for viewing. Then you will go La Paz Waterfall Gardens, these are absolutely spectacular! This large property features the world’s largest butterfly observatory, hummingbird and orchid gardens and perfectly designed safe trails along the La Paz River with 5 large waterfalls. Many of our guests have commented that it is exactly what they envisioned Costa Rica to be: lush, verdant green rainforest, lots of colorful birds, flowers and butterflies.

Overnight at Lands in Love – Hotel & Resort – Standard rooms

Day 5 – Lands in Love – Caño Negro 16/02/10

(B, LB, D) The Caño Negro wildlife refuge is considered as one of the richest sites of bird watching in the continent and many other animals such as: monkeys, sloths, caimans, lizards, bats and a variety of native flora of the wet land.

3 hours cruise from Los Chiles (a rustic town 5 km from the border of Nicaragua) Río Frio.

A professional guide will explain about the plantations flora and fauna of the region. At the end of the tour you will be heading to Arenal area which is located in the northern part of the Alajuela province, close to the Nicaraguan border. This region possesses beautiful and varied scenery. Refreshed by gentle tropical rains, this land stays green and humid almost all year round. The lowlands host gushing rivers, hot springs, lagoons, remote national parks, and plentiful wildlife.

Overnight at Lands in Love – Hotel & Resort – Standard rooms

Day 6 – Lands in Love – La Selva Biological Reserve 18/02/10

(B, LB, D) Today we’ll go to La Selva Biological reserve, this reserve has around 1,000 tree species found throughout the 3,700 acre (1,500 ha) park as well as 420 documented bird species that soar within the station borders. Around half of the mammal species found in Costa Rica and the majority of the butterfly varieties can be observed at La Selva

Overnight at Lands in Love – Hotel & Resort – Standard rooms

Day 7 – Lands in Love – Marino Ballena National Park 19/02/10

(B, LB, D) Upon your arrival, the guide will take you to do hiking in the Marino Ballena National Park, where you will enjoy the nature around the place.

Overnight at Whales and Dolphins – Superior Standard rooms

NOTE: Estimated driving time 4.5 hours

Day 8 – Caño Island Biological Reserve 19/02/10

(B, L, D) Early in the morning we will visit Caño Island Biological Reserve for snorkeling. The border of the island has white sandy beaches and a well protected inshore reef making it the best snorkeling or scuba diving spot in Coast Rica.

Overnight at Whales and Dolphins – Superior Standard rooms

Day 9 – Mangrove Tour 20/02/10

(B, L, D) Mangrove swamps are one of the richest natural environments in the world. Mangrove trees are the only plant that thrives in salt water. You’ll see a great variety of birds in the swamps including: Bare-Throated Tiger Heron, Little Blue Heron, Brown Pelican, Royal Tern; and mammals including White Faced Capuchin Monkey, Three and Two-Toed Sloth, Northern & Crab Eating Raccoons, and White Nosed Coati. Some of the reptiles indigenous to the swamps are the Green Iguana, Jesus Christ Lizard, Boa Constrictor snake and 6 different species of crabs.

Overnight at Lands in Love – Hotel & Resort – Standard rooms

NOTE: Estimated driving time 4.5 hours

Day 10 – Departure to San Jose 21/02/10

(B, LB) According to your international flight departure schedule transfer back to San Jose to the international airport.

NOTE: Please notice that check in for International flights must be done three hours prior departure. Estimated driving time 1.5 hours

Total Price Per Person group 14-18 pax
Person in a double room $1482.00
Person in a single room $2024.00
Child (ages 7-12) sharing room with parent – Still waiting on price

· Prices per person in US dollars subject to changes without notice
· Program subject to availability at the services offered at the time of confirmation, prices might vary if any is not available

Accommodation Hotels Included in the Price of the Trip

7 nights at Hotel Lands in Love, standard room

2 nights at Hotel Whales and Dolphines, superior standard room

Meals Included in the Price of the Trip

As specified in the program (B= breakfast, LB=Lunch box, L= lunch, D= dinner). All meals will be vegan and gluten-free. The trip organizer has requested that all guests maintain a vegan diet on the trip, even if it is possible to get non-vegan foods, in order to maintain the intent of it being a vegan vacation, and for the comfort of ethical vegans.

Tours Included in the Price of the Trip (private guide from day 4-10 included):
· Guided Trails
· Combo Canopy
· Rafting
· Poas Volacano
· La Paz Waterfalls
· Caño Negro
· Selva Biological Reserve
· Hiking – Marino Ballena National Park
· Caño Island Diving
· Mangrove Tour

Transportation Included in the Price of the Trip:
Private transportation from and to the airport to Lands in love on days 1 & 10
Private transportation from day 4-10 for all transportation within Costa Rica, senior with 26 seats.

Price Does not include:
· Personal expenses & tips
· Optional tours and activities
· Departure taxes ($26 per person at the time of quote)
· Airfare to and from Costa Rica

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