Cuba & Costa Rica Blog
About this blog
Written by Cuba and Costa Rica expert Christopher P. Baker, this blog will update readers on life in these two diverse and exciting countries.
- Last blog post on Costa Rica and Cuba
- First-ever group motorcycle tours of Cuba successful
- Cuba’s Mariel port readying for Panama Canal expansion
- Musings on wildlife encounters on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula
- Cuba’s Steam Trains puffing their last gasp
- My top five thrilling activities in Costa Rica
- Cuba’s fun February festivals include Harleys, Books, Cigars
- Five top volcano viewing experiences in Costa Rica
- New road along Costa Rica / Nicaraguan border mired
- Cuba’s Hotel Campoamor at Cojímar to be restored?
- Cuban revolutionary Celia Sánchez honored in new book
- Christmas challenge for Costa Rica’s sexually abused girls
- Costa Rica opens Chinatown in downtown San José
- David Soul films Hemingway’s car restoration in Cuba
- National Geographic Expeditions receives license for Cuba tours
National Geographic introduces exciting new Costa Rica itinerary
For the past five years, I’ve acted as a National Geographic ‘resident expert’ aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion during 7-day “Costa Rica & Panama Canal” adventure cruise-tours.
Now National Geographic Expeditions has launched a new 7-day “expedition”—“Costa Rica: Volcanoes, Jungles and Wildlife”—and I shall be leading five of the nine scheduled departures, beginning with the first departure on January 6, 2013.
As the tour name suggests, this action-packed trip is a, er, triptych taking in the best of three distinct environments, including several of my favorite destinations and hotels.
Xandari Resort & Spa—one of my all-time favorite boutique hotels—makes a great base for exploring Poás Volcano National Park, where we’ll hike the trails and stare down into the bowels of this awe-inspiring, active volcano.
We’ll also visit a traditional coffee estate and La Paz Waterfall Gardens, where we’ll hike amid cloud forest before heading to the Northern Lowlands via the super-impressive Museum of Indigenous Culture. Here we’ll lodge at the deluxe Hacienda La Isla Lodge, the Spanish colonial creation of my friend Jean-Pierre Knockeart (who also founded the Museum of Indigenous Culture).
Situated at the gateway to the lush rainforests of Braulio Carrillo National Park, it’s also the perfect base for our visit to a fruit finca and for whitewater rafting (or a ‘river safari float’ for the less adventurous) on the Río Sarapiquí.
Next we transfer to Tortuguero National Park on a remarkable two-hour boat journey that delivers us to Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, another sublime hotel… this one perched over the waters of Tortuguero Lagoon.
National Geographic has partnered with my close friend Karla Taylor, one of Costa Rica’s preeminent naturalist guides and a native of Tortuguero village. She’ll lead us through the rich and redolent tropical wet forests and swamp forest in search of poison dart frogs, spider monkeys, toucans, great green macaws, and other exotic species… and, by night, to the beach where thousands of green turtles haul ashore to dig nests.
Read more about Karla on my blog post of June 20, 2011: Choosing a personal wilderness guide in Costa Rica.
Also, I’ve been confirmed to lead nine departures for National Geographic Expeditions’ 9-day “Cuba: Discovering Its People and Culture” trips for the coming winter and spring season.
Please join me!
For further information about travel in Costa Rica, buy Moon Handbook Costa Rica
If you're traveling only to San José and the Caribbean, buy Moon Spotlight Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast pocket guide.
If you're traveling only to the beaches of Nicoya, buy Moon Spotlight Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula pocket guide.
If you're traveling only to Arenal and/or Monteverde, buy Moon Spotlight Costa Rica's Arenal & Monteverde pocket guide.
Disclosure: I occasionally accept free or discounted travel when it coincides with my editorial goals. However, my opinion is never for sale. The opinions you see in Cuba & Costa Rica Journal are my unbiased reflection of the good, the bad, and the ugly
Learn more about Christopher P. Baker.
Copyright © Christopher P. Baker