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TICO # W1583987

EXPERIENCE ON ITALY BELLISSIMO • DAY 5

To experience Marta’s passion for

ancient Italian weaving and see

how your visit helps preserve this

traditional art form.

Join Trafalgar leads the way on sustainable tourism

with our partners by safeguarding the cultures and

traditions of the places we visit.

The fascinating weaving tradition of Italy is explored

during a TreadRight Cultural Insight and Join Trafalgar

Heritage Initiative project Laboratorio Giuditta

Brozzetti, one of the last remaining traditional wooden

frame hand-weaving workshops in the country.

2018

IT’S TIME

LEARN HOW WE ARE

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

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42 • Vacations

®

Fall 2018

As we reach the end of our hike, on the beach,

we see scarlet macaws swooping among the

palm trees, their massive red plumage a feast for

the eyes. A boat picks us up to take us back to

our tiny resort, far from the reach of roads and

electricity. The boat stops as close to the beach

as possible and we jump out. There isn’t even

a wharf.

The next day, again in a boat, we travel 20

kilometres across the ocean to Isle de Caño

Biological Reserve. Mysterious Isle de Caño

is a protected island with artifacts dating to

pre-Columbian times – though all the indigenous

graves were long ago plundered by pirates

for the gold objects they once contained. We

hike up to the highest point for a commanding

view of the hilly island and the turquoise sea

that surrounds it, filled with coral reefs and an

enormous number of marine animals. On the

way to the beach to go snorkelling, we see

lizards, known as Jesus Christ lizards, skimming

across the surface of a river, as if they are

walking on water.

After snorkelling among a myriad of colourful

fish, we head back across the water to our resort

in Bahía Drake. We see flying fish and a school

of dolphins, and I catch a yellow fin tuna. The

tuna is served for dinner as sashimi and I feel

I am having the best day of my life.

After a few days in the Osa Peninsula, we travel

back to what seems like civilization, to the

capital San Jose, to begin exploring the central

and northern parts of the country. Our first

stop is Arenal Volcano National Park, within a few hours’ drive of San Jose.

The volcano last erupted in 1968, killing dozens of people and spewing a

black streak of lava down one side. The volcano is still active, but carefully

monitored, and there’s lots of geothermal activity resulting in natural hot

springs and even a hot water river.

Hiking up the side of the volcano, our guide spots a green pit viper hidden

among the trees, as well as many spectacular butterflies, including the huge

blue morpho butterfly. Eventually, we come out onto the hardened, black

lava fields and have to be careful because of jagged rocks. The volcano itself

is shrouded in clouds, giving the scene a kind of primeval, Jurassic Park look

and feel.

Finally, our last stop of this trip is to hike the Monteverde Cloud Forest, an

ethereal place shrouded in mists. More than 13 kilometres of trails wind

through this unique ecosystem. We see a very large stick insect, completely

camouflaged among the tree branches, clouds of hummingbirds, and a few

of the many species of glorious orchids that grow abundantly in Costa Rica.

On my last morning in Costa Rica, I open my eyes and see the trees outside

are filled with white-headed capuchin monkeys. They are playing in the

trees, swinging from branch to branch, and calling loudly to each other,

which they often do at dawn. I feel I am in a natural paradise surrounded by

the sights, sounds, and smells of the dense tropical rainforest. My trip was

a great introduction to the natural beauty of Costa Rica, which the Central

American country has gone to great lengths to protect. And seeing those

monkeys is a magical way to end a trip to paradise.

A WALKING PATH IN CORCOVADO NATIONAL PARK

©MARIELLEN WARD

ARENAL VOLCANO ©MARIELLEN WARD

WATERFALL IN CORCOVADO NATIONAL PARK

@MARIELLEN WARD