Costa Rica

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What do you think of when you think about Costa Rican cuisine? Just because it's considered Latin America, doesn't mean that Costa Rica is the land of tacos, quesadillas, and burritos. Costa Rica's food features many types of cuisines that you've probably never even heard of, let alone actually tried. While you may find variations of it in other Latin American countries or specialized restaurants, there is a uniqueness to Costa Rican cuisine.

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Tortuguero National Park, one of Costa Rica's most famous wildlife refuges, is best known for the thousands of turtles that flock to the beaches to lay their eggs each summer. However, there are also many other unique species of animals and plants living in the region. Many trails wind their way through the park, and the El Gavilan Trail is just the ticket if you want to catch a glimpse of the park's wildlife and still get a chance to see turtles nesting on the Caribbean shore.

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Judith Schenck has just returned from our February Costa Rica ecotour — her first journey with International Expeditions. Ms. Schenck had some definite expectations about her travels. So how did IE fare against her checklist?

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All of the Monteverde Reserve is a gorgeous paradise, but one species there may be especially eye-catching to birders on International Expeditions’ Costa Rica tours.

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Birders and intrepid travelers looking for a new nature travel destination in 2012 should add Costa Rica to their list. Here, they can visit the La Amistad International Park and the Cerro de la Muerte region for immersion in a lush, tropical wonderland.

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The Arenal Volcano is one of Costa Rica's most extraordinary sites, drawing thousands on Costa Rica tours every year. This nearly-perfect, conical volcano reaches 5,357 feet into the sky and for the past 40 years has offered regular eruptions that fascinate locals and visitors alike.

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Trying the regional dishes is one of the most fun – and tasty – ways to be immersed in the local culture when you travel. That’s why International Expeditions includes excursions to local restaurants and meals at leisure during our itineraries. Recently, our Costa Rica tour naturalist Jonathan Sequeira told us about one of the most frequently asked guest questions during meals out: “What’s this sauce?”

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No one travels to Costa Rica to see the same species they encounter in their backyard…which is good since Costa Rica is one of Earth’s richest displays of biodiversity!

“We were so impressed by the beauty of the lush plants, beautiful birds, flowers and the friendliness within the hearts of those who served us, much respect was shown to their country and to us as tourists,” said Costa Rica tour guest John Tracht of Huron, Ohio.

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Heavy on rice and beans, Costa Rican cuisine also incorporates ingredients native to the country like beef, chicken and fish.

Costa Rican cuisine is known for being simple and not highly seasoned, which, for some, makes it less than memorable. But as you travel throughout Costa Rica, foodies can find an infusion of flavors from around the world. Whether looking for a French, Italian, Peruvian or Japanese dish, it can be found on your Costa Rica tour!

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Wildlife enthusiasts on a Costa Rica tour often hope to glimpse sea turtles, but the country is also home to a bright green lizard that can run across the surface of water at the rate of five feet per second.

While it was named for its resemblance to the legendary monster, the green basilisk lizard is more commonly known for its ability to run across streams and puddles, earning its evocative nickname.

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