- Dates: Mar 06 - 14, 2024
- Duration: 9 days, 8 nights
- Trip Level (1-4):2
- Arrive: San José, Costa Rica
- Depart:San José, Costa Rica
- Priced From: $3,960
This tour departs in
- Discover a paradise of biodiversity and spectacular natural beauty – just a 2.5-hour flight from Miami
- Walk hanging bridges among the treetops in Arenal Volcano National Park
- Explore Santa Elena Cloud Forest in Monteverde, keeping an eye out for colorfully plumed quetzals
- Enjoy birding and wildlife spotting with our expert naturalist guide, including on a boat tour through the Abagnale’s River Mangrove
- Experience three nights of uninterrupted stargazing from the private grounds of our Star Lodge
- Take in superb views of the southern night sky (weather permitting), exploring the Southern Cross, Carina Nebula, Omega Centauri, and countless Milky Way gems surrounding Scorpius and Sagittarius
- Partake in a special Introduction to Astrophotography workshop hosted by your Trip Astronomer will give you handy pointers on how to set up your camera, and take dramatic pictures of the heavens above
Exploring Costa Rica and the vast southern sky
Follow rainforest paths in search of tropical wildlife. View a magnificent cone-shaped volcano from the treetops. Spot countless water birds among the coastal mangroves. Plunge into invigorating hot springs in a jungle clearing. Then, for three memorable nights, scan the southern sky from an ideal vantage point on the Pacific coast, for a wonderland of southern stars, deep-sky objects, and the winter Milky Way.
TravelQuest offers you all of this and more on our new March 2024 adventure: Jewels of Costa Rica and the Southern Milky Way. Come and see why travelers from around the world celebrate this beautiful country in the heart of Central America for its rich biodiversity, dramatically varied landscapes, and for the warm hospitality of a people who love to share what they call la pura vida – “the pure life.” From Arenal Volcano and Ecotermales Hot Springs, to Monteverde and the Santa Elena Cloud Forest, experience the best of this safe, accessible paradise on North America’s doorstep, and cap off your adventure with three nights of incomparable stargazing at our exclusive plantation retreat, Star Lodge.
Cosmic splendors not seen from Home
More than half of the brightest, largest, and most dazzling clusters, nebulae, and galaxies are visible in the southern sky. So, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, traveling southward to see the spectacle for yourself is well worth the journey, at least once in a lifetime. We’ve timed our three nights of Milky Way stargazing to coincide with both the New Moon and the driest part of the year in western Costa Rica. This should ensure the greatest number of clear, star-filled nights – viewed from an open grassy area on the grounds of our lodge, with wide views of the southern horizon. Our Trip Astronomer will be able to take you on a joyride around the galaxy with an Explore Scientific 16-inch Truss-Tube Dobsonian telescope, with a 2” 82° apparent field 30mm eyepiece, akin to peering into a large cosmic porthole. You will find the Southern Cross, Carina Nebula, Omega Centauri and other wonders perched high up in the sky.
Discovering life on Earth
Costa Ricans are dedicated to conservation and environmental education. Our naturalist guide will show you the best of the country’s diverse ecosystems – from primeval rainforests to mangrove-lined waterways along the Pacific coast. Spot monkeys and sloths in the forest canopy, crocodiles and exotic frogs in the wetlands, myriad species of jungle and water birds soaring overhead – not to mention a host of plant life, from orchids and bromeliads to mosses, ferns and flowering vines. Our guide will masterfully locate otherwise-missed species in veiled dwellings and teach you to recognize concealed shelters and telltale signs of life in some of the most fascinating natural habitats on the planet.
Right place, right time
It’s easy to forget how accessible Costa Rica is – only a 2.5-hour flight from Miami. In fact, it’s on Central Time, so there’s none of the usual jet lag that comes with crossing multiple time zones. Other aspects of everyday life are equally simple, whether it’s the standard North American AC voltage (no need to pack adapters) or the fact that US dollars are accepted virtually everywhere. Best of all, it’s one of the safest and most hospitable destinations TravelQuest journeys to.
March is the perfect time for a tropical escape from the northern winter, exploring some of the world’s most striking natural wonders and gathering with a small group of intrepid sky watchers to see what secrets the southern sky reveals.
Join us and discover the Pura Vida lifestyle in one of the most awe-inspiring places on Earth!