Costa Rica

Growing up in Nicoya, Costa Rica as the son of a botanist and anthropologist, Jonathan Sequeira comes by his love of nature honestly. After heading off to Sri Lanka to get his PhD in Alternative Medicine, he headed back to his native country, where he balances life as a naturalist guide with breeding poison dart frogs and growing medicinal plants on his property in Sarapiqui. Here, we catch up with IE’s beloved expedition leader to learn more about his passion for plants, animals and people.

April 25, 2014

Hello Heliconias

Heliconias are a common flower in the cut flower industry but most people have no idea where they are naturally found. Heliconias are found throughout the Neotropics as well as on many Pacific Islands west to Indonesia. Because of the beautiful, often long draping flowers of the heliconias, the plants are also very desirable as garden plants in regions where it does not get cold.

Poison dart frogs may be observed in many of International Expeditions' Neotropical destinations. Our Costa Rica tours and Amazon cruises are two of the best trips to observe these amazing little frogs in their natural environment.

The spiny-tailed iguana is a large iguanid but it is not the same as the green iguana that many people are most familiar with. In Costa Rica, both green iguana and spiny-tailed iguana are common, but the spiny-tailed is certainly more abundant - and much more conspicuous - on the Pacific coast.

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If you’re looking for the perfect adventure to expose your children to nature travel, Costa Rica should be at the top of your family travel bucket list. The combination of a short flight, comfortable resorts and ecolodges, adventure activities and rich biodiversity make Costa Rica an ideal first international trip for families. To test out the kid-friendly potential of this small country, one of the IE staff spent a week-long Costa Rica tour with her nine-year-old son.

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When I was young, family travel was a simple endeavor. Three generations of family, crisscrossing the eastern US and periodically venturing farther north. As minor travelers, my parents were not even required to show photo ID for us, much less spend months applying for passports and acquiring notarized permission letters from other custodial parents. Travel has always held a special place in my soul, and working with International Expeditions has afforded me an opportunity to share my wanderlust with my own child. For us, travel isn’t just vacation.

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The white-faced capuchin is a medium sized primate with a white or sometimes yellowish head neck and lower shoulders and a black body and tail. Occasionally, the face may be bright yellow, reddish or any other color depending on the color of the flowers and pollen that the monkey may have been feeding on. 

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Having grandchildren and watching the movie Finding Nemo more times than I have counted, always brings to mind the numerous animated sea turtles riding the Gulf Stream, at a tremendous rate of speed.  In watching this, I can’t help but think of the tremendous distances that some species of sea turtles travel in the course of a year — even more astounding the distance traveled over their life time. 

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International Expeditions' staff member Emily Harley talks about her "happy place" - a small spit of white-sand beach on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, where she went on a custom Costa Rica tour 

January 29, 2013

Costa Rica's Best Volcanoes

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Many people frequently ask me: “Should I go to Belize or Costa Rica, and what is the difference”? Well, the two countries, though not separated by a tremendous number of miles, are as different as night and day. One of the major differences, are the presence of volcanoes in Costa Rica along the central spine of mountains running northwest to southeast from Nicaragua to Panama.

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