Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What is Speciation?

Costa Rican Tanager's experienced Speciation
People want to visit the tropics on vacations and take an eco-adventure to Costa Rica because of the great bio-diversity there is here in Costa Rica. This makes for a the perfect place for an educational Costa Rica family vacation. One reason for so many different species in the tropics is that Speciation has been alive and well in the last couple of million years.

Speciation is basically the splitting of one species to form two species. One way and most common way in the tropics has been to geographic formations. The rising of the Andes has been the cause of 3 different Tapir species. The Baird's which we find here in Costa Rica, the Mountain which we find in the mountain of the Andes, and the Brazilian Tapir which is on the other side of the Andes. Before the Andes were formed it was all one species and as the Andes rose they started to adapt to their climate zone and breed only among those in that area.

Speciation in Costa Rica

Here in Costa Rica we see speciation with the rising of the mountains and volcanos with many different bird species that today look the same but are actually different species because they are located on opposite sides of the mountain ranges here in Costa Rica.

Note: Speciation is different than a sub-species. A sub-species would be to similar to dogs in being different breeds of dogs but the same species or to humans being different races but still the same species.

Interested in a Costa Rica Adventure?
www.crrtravel.com info@crrtravel.com
Toll Free: 1-855-CRR-TOUR

Monday, November 29, 2010

Basilisk, Jesus Christ Lizard

I was trying to think of a blog topic for today and I was thinking of the new national Stadium in Costa Rica which was an $88 million dollar project by the Chinese. I was driving by there yesterday and was informed that the Stadium seats 35,000 and only has 500 parking spots.

"JESUS CHRIST! I'm walking on water!"  
This morning I was thinking about that and told a friend that squeezing all those cars in there will be similar to the way Jesus Christ fed all those people with such little bread. That is when my topic for today came to me. The JESUS CHRIST LIZARD happens to be one of the most interesting animals in Central America and I have nothing about it in this blog so it is long overdue to write about "The Basilisk" (Jesus Christ Lizard). For gosh sakes the thing walks on water!!!

Probably the best name I've heard given to the Basilisk besides Jesus Christ Lizard is "miniature dinosaurs". When you look at them it really does look as if you are looking at a dinosaur. It is the male species that looks the most like the dinosaur with it's large crest on head and back tail. The lizard can reach almost 1 meter long which is just over 3ft.   This is a species that enjoys being in warmer weather at lowlands. You will hardly ever see one above 1000m (3,000ft).

How do they Walk on Water

Now everyone knows that they are called the Jesus Christ Lizard because this is the species that can actually walk on water. The question is are they really holy lizards sent by Jesus Christ or is there some other reason for this. Depending who you talk to most will say there is some other reason and I think I will go with that also.

The secret of walking on water for these lizards is that they have very large hind feet with flaps of skin along each toe. This is different than webbed feet. Along with these flaps of skin they move very quickly. The smaller Basilisk (Juveniles) can walk up to 10 or 20 meters across water while the larger (Adult) Basilisk can still do it but look as if they are struggling a little more than the youngsters. Sort of like a bunch of 55 year olds playing pick up basketball.

There are four different types of Species of Basilisk. The oldest reported Basilisk can live up to 7 years.

Interested in Learning How to Walk on Water?
Plan an Amazing Family Vacation to Costa Rica
www.crrtravel.com info@crrtravel.com
Toll Free: 1-855-CRR-TOUR

Information for this article was taken from: "Costa Rican Natural History" - Daniel H. Janzen

Saturday, November 27, 2010

High Season for Tourism

If it has not already started for many then it is just right around the corner. The long awaited high season of Tourism in Costa Rica is from December till August with a few low parts but all in all that is when the industry of tourism is really moving and shaking.

This high Season of 2011 is a high season that tour operators, hotel owners, and travel agencies have been more anxious for than all the high seasons in the past. The reason for this is that it is coming off a very hard 2 years of recessions, an earthquake, and swine-flu which all took their toll on the economy of tourism here in Costa Rica. What I have learned is that with all the struggling we have had in the tourism industry it is important that we find the positive in the struggles that we had with the recession and things of such. If we can not find the positive then we essentially struggled for no-reason.

Lessons to be Learned

It looks to be a great year of growth here in Costa Rica. There seem to be many more families coming for a family vacation as compared to the last 2 years.  Who knows maybe there were even some lessons to be learned because tourism was growing at a very fast rate every year for the last 11 years. Maybe the drop that we experienced last year remind us that it's not always about growth, getting bigger, and working like crazy. It is about doing what we love to do and that is working among the natural beauties of Costa Rica and doing it at a first class level.

Costa Rica still receives less tourist than many other parts of the world.  This is one of the best parts that you can still find personalized service here. We need to remember that the beauty of visiting Costa Rica is not only it's nature but the smiling faces in the people and if we get caught up trying to make things bigger and bigger we will not have time to smile and laugh with the most important part of tourism and that is, our visitors.

If you are interested in visiting Costa Rica or just want some advice send us an email or give us a call we would love to chat. To all in the tourism industry of Costa Rica the CRR Team wishes you a very safe and fun high season!

Costa Rican Resource
www.crrtravel.com   info@crrtravel.com
Toll Free: 1-855-CRR-TOUR

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Visiting Costa Rica for a Second Time?

We made this itinerary about a month ago for some clients and the more and more we look at it we love it. This is a perfect trip for those visiting Costa Rica for a second time as you will see many areas that you probably did not see on your first trip to Costa Rica.

Day 1--- Arrive and Drive to Boriquen Resort (Boriquen Resort)

A Mud Bath & a Massage sounds nice... (Those are volcanoes)
Today we will pick you up from the Liberia airport. We will meet you outside and drive to Boriquen Resort. This is a great place a bit off the touristy path and from what we gather a place you will really enjoy. We will be in the northern part of the country. The Boriquen hotel is around 1:15 minutes from the airport. There are a number of volcanoes in the area and you will have views of all of them. The idea on this itinerary is to start north and head down to the Osa Peninsula visitng different areas. (Meals: None)

Day 2 ------ Visit Mud Baths & Horseback Ride (Boriquen Resort)

Saddle up it is time for a little horseback riding. A beautiful ride in a beautiful area we will take off on the horses. But dont worry if you get sore from the horses we have the mud bath set up for you and you will have the chance to take a natural mud-bath which will make you look 15 years younger and help with the pain from riding the horse. In the evenig you can enjoy a great meal at the Boriquen Resort. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 3 ------ Drive to Hideaway Resort (Hideaway Resort)

Great Place for Flat Stanley

Today we will drive to Hideaway. This place is great and is actually the sister hotel of Nayara Resort in
 the Arenal area. Here you will not find the big erupting Arenal Volcano but you will find one of Costa Rica's most best kept secrets and that is Rio Celeste. Ok, it is not a huge secret people know it is there but you just dont see many people there because there is not much going on in the area. What you will be doing on day 4 makes it all worth it though. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 4 --------- Hike to Rio Celeste (Hideaway Resort)

Today we will make the hike to Rio Celeste. This is one of our favorite hikes. It is flat at most parts. We will take our time spending the morning hiking and visiting the different highlights of Rio Celeste. The waterfall is probably the top, and then where the two rivers combined is my second favorite, and then completely natural thermal waters. The amazing part about all this is that the river is sky-blue. It is caused by the nearby volcano and gives this river the most amazing colors even the waterfall is just like nothing you've ever seen. (Meals: Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 5 -------------------- Drive to Villa Blanca (Villa Blanca)

This could be you Peyton!!!
Today we will leave the north part of the country and make our way to the Central area but stop in the cloud-forest. We will be staying two nights in the Cloud-Forest.   Also you will get to see plenty of Bromeliads! Well maybe not quite but one of the most peaceful places I've seen in this country is the Villa Blanca hotel. We will travel from the north and arrive to Villa Blanca just after lunch and enjoy the gardens and take some hikes to stretch the legs. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 6 ----- Zipline & Nature Hike (Villa Blanca)

Before we get started with the hikes we will go on the zipline.  We will take a nature hike in the morning and maybe even one in the afternoon. This is a day that we plan on educating you on the cloud-forest. We also wanted to mention that in the evening there is only one place to eat and that is the hotel. It has some of the best food I have ever had in this country. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 7 ------------ Fly to Lapa Rios Corcovado (Lapa Rios)

Today we will drive to the San Jose airport which is just 1 hour away and then fly South to Corcovado. This is where the adventure begins. You will be arriving to Puerto Jimenez where you will then be transfered to Lapa Rios. The Osa Peninsula and Corcovado happen to be the most bio-diverse place on the planet and from the moment you arrive it is Scarlett Macaws, monkeys, and complete jungle all around. In my personal opinion when you first say Costa Rica and tropical jungle I think Corcovado is what people really imagine. It is such a special place. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 8 -------------------- Day at Lapa Rios (Lapa Rios)

Time to Relax

Full day at Lapa Rios. You will see more Scarlett Macaws today because they are everywhere.  We will be doing some more site seeing of nature. Along with visiting nature we will take the kayaks out into the ocean and do some ocean kayaks. In the evening you will just have time to relax and soak it all in. You want to stay active here to see many different things but you must have some just sit still time also. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 9 -------------------- Relax (Lapa Rios)

Well if you have not had time to finish the book you are reading this is now your chance. This will be a full day of relax and plenty of optional nature tours in the area. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 10 ------------------ Fly Home!

We will be taking a flight to the San Jose International airport.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cats of the Tropics

When you think of cats in the wild the first thing that comes to mind for those that have not spent much time in the tropics are lions, tigers,  & cheetahs. It turns out that the cats in the tropics can get very big like the lions and tigers and even have the same spotted print like the cheetah on some like the Jaguar and smaller ocelots.  But their style of survival is very different when you start to look at the details. Take a look at some of the main differences I've noticed.

The lions and tigers of Africa are considered to be an extremely social cat hanging out together while the cats of the rainforest are almost always solitary.

When you think of the cheetah you think of it hunting it's prey at high speeds while the cats of the tropics are more sneaky where they can sit in one spot or slowly approach their prey and then quickly attack in a small area.

Many cats of the Tropics come out at night making them nocturnal. This is different than the cats such as lions, tigers, and cheetahs which make their rounds during the day.

These are just a few simple facts that came to my mind this morning when thinking about cats. If you want to see some Jaguars on a family adventure to Costa Rica you will have to really find your way into the jungle. We can make some itineraries that will allow for the chance of seeing these cats but we can make no promises.

www.crrtravel.com info@crrtravel.com
Toll Free: 1-855-CRR-TOURS
US: 352 694 3462  CR: +506 2266 1559

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How do Monkeys Not Fall?

I'd like to see you swing through the trees Mr Human
The question I was asking myself the other day when I saw a number of monkeys jumping from high in the canopy and catching on to branch after branch and making it look as simple as if a human was taking it's next step was, why don't they fall?  I wanted to do a little research on, why this was so easy for them because any other species on the planet it would be considered suicide trying to make this happen.

When I was watching this I was not thinking of their prehensile tail which some monkeys have basically as a 5th hand. What I was thinking about is their ability to judge on the dime everytime the distance of each branch and jump.

What I found out in reading "A Neo-Tropical Companion" was that monkeys without the prehensile tail actually face a smaller lifetime reproductive success because of the risk of falling. I have never seen this but YES monkeys do miss calculate, fall from trees, and become part of the decompisition of the eco-system.

Monkey's 3D Vision

Then I found the answer that I think I was looking for:  Monkeys have Stereoscopic Vision. This is basically 3-D vision which allows the monkeys to measure depth perfectly traveling at high speeds. This allows the monkey not only to be able to judge the exact distance they jump but also the exact size of the branch they plan to lend their life to as they grab on to it.

Costa Rica Family Vacation

Costa Rica has four different species of monkeys and if you want to see them all then join us on a family vacation!

Costa Rican Resource
Family Adventure Experts
www.crrtravel.com info@crrtravel.com
US: 352 694 3462  CR: +506 2266 1559
                                                              Toll Free: 1-855-CRR-TOUR

Monday, November 8, 2010

The CRR Office

Adventure Senor Tomas

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Soccer Game in the Village in the RAIN!

With our student travel groups that want to get a taste of the culture we always suggest a night or two in our Sitio de Mata Project. The stay is amazing and one of the highlights is the soccer game play with the locals of Sitio de Mata. Take a look at just how fun a soccer game can be in the pouring rain:

Student Travel Costa Rica
Costa Rican Resource
US 352 694 3462   CR  +506 2266 1559

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blogging for Properties in Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio
Yes, we are a travel company but we also have excellent ties with one of Costa Rica's most respected real estate companies www.propertiesincostarica.com (Number one on google for "Costa Rica Real Estate" for the last 6 years). The opportunity has come where we will be helping with the blogging on their website. Having spent 9 years here in Costa Rica watching the real estate market, politics, and the overall development of Costa Rica (along with moving my retired parents down & helping out with other family members build their dream vacation home) we feel that our blogs can have a lot to offer with the overall interest of Costa Rica when considering an investment or a second home. If you wish to visit the Properties in Costa Rica blog and pass it on visit: http://blog.propertiesincostarica.com/

The only change you might see from the crrtravel.com blog is that we post maybe 3 or 4 times a week now as compared to our 6 or 7 times a week posting before. Anyone who has an interest in Costa Rica or maybe just the curiousity that one day you might want to consider an invesmtent then the Properties in Costa Rica post are definately worth taking a look at. We plan on posting them all on facebook along with the crrtravel blogs.

We hope this adds to our followers that we have now as you will get a chance to take a look at a different side of Costa Rica, learn more about this amazing country, and who knows maybe one day we will be neighbors.

  Family Vacation Specialist
www.crrtravel.com  info@crrtravel.com
US 352 694 3463   CR +506 2266 1559