Meet at the hotel’s restaurant at 7:30 am for a welcome breakfast and orientation briefing with your guide. Our Costa Rica adventure begins with a scenic drive (3 hours approx) through the countryside. At El Bosque, a small town near the Arenal Volcano we visit Don Erasmo Gonzalez, a local farmer who operates his organic farm with his four children.
Depending upon the season, the Country Life adventure begins with a demonstration of sugar cane juice production using a manually-operated sugar mill. While the tour host explains the production techniques guests are welcome to sample the freshly squeezed sweet cane juice. The tour continues on into the cultivated sections of the farm where visitors will see and learn about common Costa Rican crops such as coffee, bananas, plantains, sugar cane, red taro, white taro, medicinal plants, ñampi, tropical fruits, yuca, Chinese “potato”, papaya, corn, rice, ñame, annatto, and more. Also on the farm are various animals including cattle, chickens, sheep, and rabbits, whose organic waste is converted to biogas, organic fertilizer and an organic foliar fertilizer.
At the end of the farm tour, guests proceed to the garden area where they can harvest organic vegetables and bring them to the farm’s restaurant where they will be washed and prepared for lunch. In addition to freshly harvested vegetables, lunch includes a hands-on demonstration on tortilla making which are then served with the meal!
Further into the Central Highlands we hike through a lush canyon for a refreshing swim under La Fortuna waterfall. Then we take a short jaunt around the volcano to Arenal Observatory Lodge, with excellent views of the Arenal Volcano. Overnight at Arenal Observatory Lodge. [BLD]