Thursday, January 27, 2011

Costa Rica Summer Vacation

For those of you that have visited Costa Rica from mid-December through mid February might have noticed that the kids here are on their summer vacation. This is a time that works out well for the local family because it coincides with the start of the dry season so most families can go and enjoy the many beaches of Costa Rica.

What you may not know is that good beach weather is not the main reason for this summer break. The real original reason for this break is to plan free time for families during the coffee harvest time here in Costa Rica.

The kids here in Costa Rica do not pick as much coffee as maybe their parents did because now you see many Nicaraguans picking in the fields and a lot more Costa Ricans at the beach.

Costa Rican the beach on your Summer Vacation?
Toll Free: 1-855-CRR-TOUR

- Posted using BlogPress from my Jungle-iPad

Location:La Fortuna Costa Rica

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What is up with Arenal?

I am sitting here looking at the famous Arenal volcano which has been erupting since 1968 and has turned the town of La Fortuna into quite the tourist destinaton here in Costa Rica. The main attraction has been the active volcano of Arenal. The only thing is that this volcano which has put on many of night time shows of lava for millions of tourist from all over the world has not done anything in the last couple of months.

Tourism in the area has gone on as is lucky to the fact that the area is developed with beautiful hotels and many other activities t do in the area. Also it is well worth visiting the area just to see the scenery of this perfectly cone shaped volcano.

The question is what is happening with the volcano? Is it going to stay inactive for the next million years or is it just taking a rest until New Years of 2018 to celebrate it's 50th anniversary of activity?

The answer to this is that we do not know and that is the beauty of it. Not to scare people but everyone wants to run to a scientist for answers during these times but if they knew everything we wouldn't need anymore scientist we could just type everything into wiki-volcanos and look things up. This is a perfect example of the many wonders of our planet. I'm sure some sort of study will come out soon giving their best guess of wha is happening and what might happen but until then I'm just enjoying the chatter of people wondering.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Costa Rica Arenal

Friday, January 21, 2011

Nature is Amazing

Ant going to town on butterfly larva
Living and working in the tropics is a real treat. It never seems to amaze me of learning new things that just put you in a position to think "Good Gosh, Nature is amazing...". When doing a tour one of the first things as a nature tour guide in the tropics is to let people know that that tropics is a war-zone of different animals and species of plants all fighting for energy from the sun and other sources of energy in and around the rainforest.

Butterflies, Ants, & Plants

A butterfly lays it's eggs on plants and then when the larva hatches from the eggs it starts to feed off the plant that it's egg was sitting on. It is sort of like giving birth to a baby in an all you can eat buffet and the baby just staying at the buffet eating and eating. They say that pretty much is what butterfly larva is "Eating Machines".

Ants in many parts of the rainforest have a symbiotic relationship with plants. What does the word symbiotic mean? Symbiotic is a close relationship between two species of benefit or dependence. In the rainforest the relationship between the ant and plant in many cases is symbiotic. The ant feeds on the plant at extra-floral nectaries which are basically sugar that the plant is producing for the ant. It is in the best interest of the ant to protect the plant because the plant is the food source for the ant.  In return the ant protects the plant from predators. This is where the plant and butterfly larva come to meet each other.

If a butterfly lays its eggs on a plant that has this symbiotic relationship with an ant species than you can expect the ants to destroy the eggs before the larva has the chance to hatch and start eating the plant would could cause the plant to die. There are many plants in the rainforest with symbiotic relationships with ants. So what can the butterfly do so it does not have it's eggs eaten by ants?

Well the butterfly has had to adapt to laying it's eggs on the tips of leaves where the ants do not visit. When the eggs are place here they are less likey to be discovered and disposed of by the ants. The butterfly also in recent studies has developed a smell that it releases from it's abdomen that tricks the ants into thinking it is really ant larva. Nature just keeps going and keeps adapting to whatever it might be.

Now that is some interesting stuff how nature just continues to adapt to it's surroundings.

Interesing in seeing and learning about Nature in the Tropics?
Toll Free: 1-855-CRR-TOUR

Monday, January 17, 2011


Todays topic is the anteater. We have all heard of one but have you ever seen one? Do you know anything about them?

An anteater does enjoy eating ants but also spends a lot of it's time eating termites. They are found around the world in the tropics. There are four different types of anteaters (echidnas, pangolins, aardvark, and aardwolf). All of these anteaters are practically toothless probably because what they eat is so small. The anteaters have long sticky tongues which allow them to get the ants. The anteater has the largest tongue in relation to it's body size of any mammal on Earth. It's tongue can reach up to 2 ft long. It uses it's claws to dig into the ant hill and then sticks its tongue into the hill up to 150 times per minute. This fast rate of sticking it's tongue in and out makes it difficult for the ants to bite the tongue. Then with no teeth the anteater takes the ants that have stuck to the tongue and crushes them on the roof of his mouth and then swallows them.

Costa Rica has three different types of anteaters. The first is the Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) which weighs up to 45lbs and is a terrestrial forest dweller. The second is Tamanduas (Tamandua mexicana) which are medium sized and scansorial (which means it is capable of climbing). The third and smallest species is the silky anteater (cyclopes didactylus) is always arboreal (in the trees) and is rarely seen.

There you have it those are the three different species of anteaters in Costa Rica. Now it is time to go out and see them in the wild. Join us on a Costa Rica adventure!