Sunday, December 9, 2007

Rara Avis, Costa Rica

Two nights of a recent trip to Costa Rica were spent at Rara Avis, an isolated rainforest lodge located in jungle bordering the Braulio Carrillo National Park

A visit to Rara Avis starts at the base camp where you pack, in your backpack, enough clothes for your two night stay and leaving the bulk of your luggage until you return. You then pick out a pair of rubber boots to wear during your stay, as the area around the lodge is very muddy.

If you want to ride to the lodge, you ride in a covered cart that is pulled by a tractor with huge wheels. The huge wheels serve a very real purpose as the road to Rara Avis (3 hours if all goes well) can be relatively smooth but mostly is either several inches of mud or boulders. The other alternative is to walk, a very difficult hike, through the deep, slippery mud and over/around the 18-24" boulders.

Arriving after dark, we need our flashlights as the only electricity is in the main dining room. No matter what building we enter, we leave our VERY muddy boots outside.

Our rooms are comfortable. They have a kerosene lantern, clean linen and screens on the windows. We have a private bathroom with a shower (no hot water but the water here doesn't get all that cold anyway.)

Our visit gives us an opportunity to learn about the rain forest and conservation efforts. We have guided hikes through the surrounding rain forest, swim in a natural pool at the base of a waterfall, visit their small farm and greenhouse, and partake of locally produced food for our meals. It was a great experience.

Rara Avis links:
Rara Avis home page
Rara Avis fact sheet

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