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19 October 2011
Save the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia


A recap of last night's stellar Meet, Plan, Go! event is coming later this week, but in the meantime I thought we'd keep the travel inspiration going with this guest post from Daniel Quilter of Ecoteer.

Perhential Islands, Malaysia

The Perhentian Islands are renowned for being the most beautiful Islands in Malaysia and this title is warranted. The coral sand beaches are lined by palm trees on one side and fringing coral reefs on the other. If Robinson Crusoe was to be filmed they could easily use the Perhentian Islands as the set.

However below the turquoise blue waters not all is good. The coral reefs are dying fast, mainly due to the hordes of tourists which search out this tropical paradise on a daily basis. Corals grow at fastest just 15cm per year and with hundreds of tourists snorkelling and diving the coral reefs daily the breakage of coral is a big issue.

female turtleThe same goes for the sea turtles of Perhentian. The beaches of the Perhentians are nesting grounds for two species of turtle, green and hawksbill. The number has been slowly declining since 2000. Tourists often seek out nesting turtles and if they get too close they will scare the shy creatures who will then go back into the sea without laying any eggs. If a mother gets to lay her eggs, they then have to evade being collected by poachers who consume or sell the eggs as a local delicacy.

Ecoteer beach cleanupIt's not all bad news though! Reef Check Malaysia and Ecoteer both run projects in the islands and several of the resorts are protecting their own piece of paradise. Ecoteer run the community house which is open to the village children in the afternoon as a youth centre. Ecoteer international volunteers also go into the local primary school twice a week to improve the children’s English and to teach them about the environment.

The Ecoteer House is the base for Ecoteer and provides international volunteers with an opportunity to experience the village island life and to give back to the islands' environment. Reef Check runs extensive surveys to establish the health of the coral reefs in Perhentian.

Bubbles resort


One of the resorts who are doing a lot of good is Bubbles, pictured above. They run a turtle and coral conservation project aimed at protecting the nesting sea turtles and replenishing their fringing coral reef. The seas surrounding Perhentian are very easy for first time scuba divers and during the Bubbles volunteer program you can not only take your first course but the advanced and then become a qualified Reef Check surveyor.

traditional Malay dinner teaching English Shrahul, one of the local kids


The Perhentian Islands need you, otherwise Paradise will be lost!

You can find out more about these projects at www.ecoteerresponsibletravel.com.

Daniel QuilterDaniel Quilter has always been inspired by the words and footage of David Attenborough which has created a love and passion for helping this world. After he finished his studies in 2005 in Environmental Science Daniel went on an adventure to Borneo that changed his life. He lived and volunteered in Malaysian Borneo for eight months which culminated in him starting Ecoteer.com. Six years on and Daniel is still helping the nature and people of Malaysia.




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29 September 2011
How a Career Break Turned My Life Totally Upside Down


Today's guest post is from Stephanie Yoder, one of our Meet, Plan, Go! panelists in DC last year. Steph will not be at this year's event because she's off traveling the world. But if you'd like to meet other inspiring travelers like her who are getting out there and living the dream, come out and join us for MPG DC on October 18!

Steph at MPG 2010Last September, I sat on the panel for Meet, Plan, Go! DC, nervous as hell. I was there to share my expertise both as a blogger and an imminent career breaker. In less than a week I was supposed to be on a plane to Tokyo. From there I would be exploring Asia, Australia and more in what I envisioned would be a year long trip before I came back and found myself a real career.

As I sat near the bar, nervously reciting my reasons for leaving, I felt a tad hypocritical. I firmly believed that may year around the world would be a success, but there was no way for me to actually know what the world had in store for me. In truth, and I didn't dare say this out loud, I was terrified.

Looking back now, a year later, I can now say that my decision to quit my boring cubicle job and fly to Asia was the best thing that has EVER happened to me. My life now looks totally different than it did 12 months ago and it just keeps getting better.

Here are some of the ways by life has evolved over the past year:

A new career
In truth I felt kind of guilty calling my Asia trip a career break as, at 25 years old, I'd yet to come close to finding anything resembling a career. I'd been working in publications, which fit in well with my English degree but bored me to tears, yet I couldn't come up with an alternative that actually sounded appealing.

Months before I left I'd started writing about my travel experiences online. I wrote about my desire to travel, to do something different, about planning and executing a big trip, about how bored I was at home. It took far too long for it to dawn on me that what I really loved, maybe even more than travel, was writing itself! Even better: people seemed pretty interested in what I had to say. It was a leap.... but maybe I could write about travel for a living?

And that's what I do now, against all odds. I am a self-employed travel writer and blogger. The money isn't super but the intangible rewards are out of this world. I used to hate getting up and going to work in the morning but now I've become a workaholic!

A new community
When I began blogging and planning my big trip I started tapping into the online travel community -- a fascinating place full of backpackers, career breakers, travel professionals and more. It was so encouraging to meet so many people who also felt passionate about travel. I now have friends all over the world! Sure I haven't met all of them, but it's a great resource.

Steph and Mike

A new love
In the months leading up to my big trip I'd pretty much given up all hope of having a love life. The career-oriented guys I would meet in DC just looked at me like I was a lunatic when I told them my plans. I'd planned to do this big trip solo anyways and I was pretty okay with that.

Then, mere weeks before I was set to leave, I met a really cute guy. Not just any guy, a free-wheeling fellow travel blogger who was headed to China to teach English for the next year. In most situations that would be a pretty big inconvenience but for me it was perfect.

We spent the next nine months hopscotching around Asia. I'd go to visit him in Xi'an, he'd use his vacation time to island hop in Thailand with me. It wasn't easy but a jet-setting, continent hopping romance did feel pretty glamorous. Plus I was in love, with someone who actually understood the restlessness of my soul.

A new energy and purpose
When I was working in DC, wasting away my hours answering corporate emails I felt like I could spend an eternity just whittling my life away without any chance of escape. Now, anything seems possible. If I dropped everything and flew across the Pacific, what else could I do?

After 9 months of backpacking around Asia and Australia I came home for a couple months, to get ready for the next step. In my case, the next step is to head down to South America (I leave this week!). The boyfriend and I are making a documentary about technology and travel. After that, who knows?

I'm not writing all of this to brag, although my life IS pretty sweet. I know that most people who take a career break end up returning to the traditional work force and not becoming free-wheeling backpack hippies like myself. Even so, nobody comes back from a year of travel exactly the same. That's a scary thought, but also kind of an awesome one.

I now know what all that fear was about -- it was about change. Change is scary, but it was absolutely what I needed in my life. Massive change was the only thing that was going to get me on the right track, the one where I belonged.


Stephanie YoderStephanie Yoder is a girl who can't sit still! She blogs about her adventures at Twenty-Something Travel and tweets a LOT at @20sTravel. You can read more about her documentary project at Everywhere Connection.





Meet, Plan, Go! DC on October 18

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20 September 2011
Raising Travelers


Today's guest post is by #DCTravelTweetup regular and Meet, Plan, Go! Ambassador Jennifer Parker (bio below). If you'd like to meet fellow travelers like Jennifer who have great advice, tips, and tricks to share, come out and join us for MPG DC on October 18!

If you’re a traveler and a parent, there is no doubt you struggle to manage your love for both. Balancing that trip to Europe against the rising costs of day care seems a daunting task. Not to mention the plain day-to-day monotony of life…soccer games, piano practice, school work, etc. I know how you feel. I did it for 23 years and have just recently come out the other side with my youngest now in college.

Bottom line, you should make every effort to remain true to your passions (travel and your children) and make it happen! You will want this for your kids; they will thank you for it later. Personally, we raised our kids traveling their entire lives. Exotic destinations and visiting new places was how our family spent our time. Whether it was local or international, my kids were traveling. As an individual, I have traveled to over 14 countries and many, many of those were with kids in tow (and sometimes in lead!).

TulumIndulge me for a few minutes while I share the fabulousness that comes out of raising travelers. My kids are the most socially adjusted kids you will ever meet; they don’t know a stranger and adjust to all levels of conversation. It’s beautiful to hear them order food in Spanish and then watch them plan trips with their friends. Our daughter, now 23, is taking a year off to live abroad before moving to New York after college. I might add that she knows absolutely no one in New York. She has targeted Paris for that year in between. Knowing how expensive Paris can be and how dirt poor she is, she still has no hesitations, “I will just make it work, Mom.”

Our son, upon graduating from high school, decided to travel through Europe for 2 months (on his own dime I might add) prior to beginning college. He is not traveling with companions; he is comfortable that he will meet people abroad traveling through local hostels. And, of course he will. I came home from work one day to find had planned his entire trip, day by day.  He is starting in Portugal, on through Spain, then up to France and finishing with a stint in Germany. All planned out down to the Euro rail stop in each city.  He put together a budget of the costs (breaking it down to the daily meal level and Euro pass costs) and determined a monthly savings plan for himself between now and his departure.

Another example of the beauty of raising travelers is an Italian exploration story. I am divorced (now remarried for 11 years) and the kids traveled with their father to Italy last year. They were 22 and 17. I will never forget receiving that call, “Mom, we are in Venice!” As the conversation progressed I realized the group they were traveling with had decided to stay in for the day. My kids, realizing they only had one chance to experience Venice, took off on a train to conquer it alone. Hearing this, I literally must have fallen out of my chair and immediately went into “mommy” mode. Do you have a jacket? Do you have a map? Where are you going? Do you need me to google anything? They laughed at me and said, “Mom, we got this!” And, so they did. They called later to talk about all of the places they visited and the bar they drank in…uh-hum! They had discovered Venice together, like a sister and brother should. I remember hanging up the phone and thinking that I have never been more proud of them!

ChicagoAs a traveler and parent, this is absolutely what you want for your kids. And, you already know they learn through our guidance. Therefore, it is almost your job to introduce them to the world so that they learn the skills and get comfortable in a travel setting.

So, what next, money? Yes, the big thing is the cost. I am not going to say it’s easy, because it isn’t. It takes a bit of planning, prioritizing, budgeting and watching the specials. You will have to budget at home during the year to make travel happen. And, you may have to cut things out. Don’t think of it as “cutting,” think of it as trading.  Trade a little shopping, a few nice dinners stateside for dinner in Belize….it’s worth it!

Yes, there is more airfare involved when the whole family travels together, but hotels are the same cost for one king versus two doubles. Meals can be somewhat reasonable by finding bargains. Eat from street vendors; it’s typically cheaper and tasty. Consider getting a VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) or house swap, instead of a hotel. If you buy groceries, after you land, you can eat breakfast before leaving each day and occasionally, after a long day of exploring, make a dinner or two. 

ZorbOther ideas of how to not break the bank are to have picnic lunches on the mountainside and hike around town instead of going to the theatre. Lay on the beach with crackers, cheese and wine (for the parents). Also, enjoying some of the little local amusement parks in Europe always brought us tons of joy at a reasonable price. We ended up meeting really great people and explored funky rides like a flying Panda bear ride in Germany or large water filled orbs that bounce down the side of the mountain in New Zealand.  

At the end of the day, you may not be able to attend all the plays, eat at every restaurant and take in all of the guided excursions. However, you are doing something so much bigger. You are introducing future travelers to the world.
When your kids are married and have children of their own, just think of the amazing experiences you can have together raising another generation of travelers!

Enjoy and relax – you and your kids deserve it!

Austin

Jennifer ParkerJennifer Parker is a recovering corporate executive who loves to travel the world with her family. She has reviewed hotels and writes travel related articles for various sources. Her passion is expanding the minds and educating people to explore the world outside their own front door. She has traveled to 14 countries and over 440 cities around the globe. Jennifer is an endearing wife, loving mom, travel addict, friend to many, wine enthusiast and a career gal who has never met a stranger. Catch up with her on Twitter at @jenniferparker3 or via her blog Traveling Through Life.

 
 

Meet, Plan, Go! DC - Oct 18, 2011

 

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18 August 2011
Take a break at the virtual Photo Art Café!

Today’s guest post is by fellow traveler Petra Schultze, who just started up a new project combining travel and photography: Photo Art Café.
 
El Drugstore in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay 
El Drugstore in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
 
One of my favorite student travel memories was a monthlong train trip through France. I’ll never forget the simple youth hostel above the small town of Cassis. From the train station you hiked uphill on a trail in the dry heat. But once you arrived you had a glorious view from the cliff top site over the Mediterranean. The other reward was sitting at long tables with humorous Brits sharing bottles of cheap red wine late into the night. The Brits’ humor was guaranteed entertainment that beats any TV comedy channel.
 
Since I attended university in Freiburg im Breisgau in southern Germany for 5 years, traveling in Europe meant just hoping on a train with a discounted youth ticket. But as a small city next to the Black Forest and sunniest spot in Germany, Freiburg itself was a worthwhile destination. One of the key practical features I remember from student days was the “Dampfross” – a bar less than 100 feet from the main lecture hall – beer aplenty and large plates of garlic “Pommes” or “Fritten” (fries) at a frugal price. Tip: if you’re in a generally expensive travel region – go where students go!
 
Of course a camera is one of the essentials on any packing list. My first camera as a kid was a small Vivitar point-and-shoot camera that used 110 film cartridges. Does anyone even remember those 110 film? I guess that places me in a generation that wasn’t exactly born holding an iPhone. For a trip down memory lane, this is what the film looked like.
 
After college when I had a bit more disposable cash I bought a manual Nikon film camera (the FM model), which I brought along on trips in the US, Canada, Caribbean, and Europe. At some point several years ago I transitioned to taking more pictures with a digital camera – currently the Kodak EasyShare Z740. The biggest decision for anyone who enjoys photography as much as travel seems to be: how much photo gear do I bring? My definite preference is for traveling light, so I am currently exploring some of the Panasonic Lumix models – known for good quality without being too bulky.
 
In those “too long” breaks between trips I find myself still dreaming about my next adventure. Some of the time I’m planning my next trip. But several years ago I decided to poke my traveling toes into the business side of photography – at least on a small scale. I began to make photo greeting cards and framed some enlargements – and attended a couple of local craft fairs in Virginia. And now I finally have opened my Photo Art Café on etsy!
 
Having grown up in DC and having lived in this area since after college, I’ve also traveled around the US quite a bit. For natural scenic beauty, the national and state parks can’t be beat: Acadia National Park in Maine, Northern California Parks that boast both redwoods and rocky coastlines, and the fantastically unspoiled Oregon – with 363 miles of public coastline which is sprinkled with numerous parks. I’ve been to this region twice now in the past few years and for anyone who wants to get active when they are no longer parked in an office chair, I recommend the book “Day Hiking the Oregon Coast” by Bonnie Henderson for lots of fantastic trail tips!
 
Of course overseas destinations continue to call my name. In the summer of 2009 I went on a 1-week “fair trade” reality tour to Guatemala. The trip was led by California-based Global Exchange together with the organization Rights Action. Our group of seven traveled in a van led by our fearless Canadian guide Karin and our Guatemalan driver Martin. In talks by in-country experts we learned a ton about Guatemalan history, economics and international trade. We visited weaving and sewing craft cooperatives, as well as two coffee cooperatives, and the indigenous Mayan communities near the Marlin Gold Mine.
 
Community House and Dorm at Santa Anita de Union cooperative
Community House and Dorm at Santa Anita de Union cooperative
 
At Santa Anita de Union fair trade coffee cooperative our visit included spending the night in the colorful community house dorm. We heard a history talk from a Guatemalan ex-guerilla combatant, toured the coffee plantation, and went on a waterfall hike. To read more about this cooperative, check out their website in English.
 
This is where your morning cup of coffee starts!
This is where your morning cup of coffee starts!
 
So take a break, grab a cup of fair trade coffee, and stop by my virtual Photo Art Café and stroll through the gallery while you brainstorm your next travel plans!



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07 December 2010
Career Break Boot Camp
realize your extended travel dreams!


Today’s guest post is by Sherry Ott (bio below) and provides some info about the upcoming Career Break Boot Camp. You may recall that I helped host one of the inaugural Meet, Plan, Go! events in September. In the interest of full disclosure, please note that I’m part of the Boot Camp affiliate program, so if any of you sign up, I get a spiff. Regardless, this is something I heartily believe in and would encourage folks to do, no matter what!

Career Break Boot Camp - sign up today!

Sometimes preparing to leave is the hardest part when it comes to extended travel. The to-do lists, the questions, packing, itineraries, and insurance decisions…it’s hard to know where to start. However, I think more people struggle with the hidden ‘monsters’…the ones that question your motives and moves. The little guy that sits on your shoulder and whispers in your ear, “Are you crazy, what are you doing this for? Why are you causing yourself all of this stress? Are you REALLY going to do this?”

Even more important than the planning details, you should ask yourself: why are you doing this? What is it that you want to really get out of your extended travels?

Career Break Boot CampThese are all the typical hurdles a career breaker or extended traveler goes through. It’s amazing any of them actually leave at all as it sometimes feels like the bricks of societal pressure and doubt are stacked against you.

We want to relieve the pressures, and make the travel planning process fun again! The people who brought you the in-person travel events, Meet, Plan, Go! are now bringing you another way to motivate you to take a career break and do extended travel! The Career Break Boot Camp will kick off in January 2011.

For those seeking a career break or sabbatical, it’s not just about the trip planning – it’s about the life planning. Boot Camp is an online course and social learning platform where people with the dreams of taking a career break or sabbatical to do extended travel can come together in a community learning environment. Michaela Potter and myself, the founders of Briefcase to Backpack , teamed up with certified travel coach Tara Russell to design this one-of-a-kind 8-week course. These travel experts will provide inspiration, structure, community, resources, tools and motivation.

Registration for our Inaugural Course starts on December 8, 2010 and class begins on January 9, 2011. Because we believe so much in the community aspect, spaces are limited. As an added incentive, the first 20 people who register will receive a $100 gift certificate towards the Unconventional Guides by Chris Guillebeau and every person who registers will receive a free copy of his book, The Art of Non-Conformity.

To learn more about the course, community, curriculum, and instructors, go to Meet Plan Go Boot Camp and report for duty!


Sherry OttSherry Ott is a refugee from corporate IT who is now a long term traveler, blogger, and photographer. She’s a co-founder of Briefcase to Backpack, a website offering career break travel inspiration and advice. She also runs an around the world travel blog writing about her travel and expat experiences at Ottsworld. She is one of the driving forces behind Meet, Plan, Go! events across the country to inspire more people to get out and travel.


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17 September 2010
Photo Friday: my night with oktapodi


Mama Love & Oktapodi during daylight hoursToday’s guest post is courtesy of the always-delightful Mama Love, who took a brief but eventful sojourn around Center Camp with Oktapodi during Burning Man 2010. I’d originally intended to just post the pics, but thought you might want to hear about the adventure in her own words, and get a small taste of what it’s like to meet and greet the public when accompanied by America’s favorite bath toy.



the artwork that started it allThis night at Burning Man started out like no other night, which at Burning Man is how every night starts out. I found myself in the area called Center Camp waiting for something to happen. I was looking at an art piece when my friend Forward told me “Mama, that should be your refrigerator magnet”. I needed a photo of this to make his statement so. I found my sweet Sonia and requested the use of her camera to capture the moment. As I walked back towards the art piece, I realized that I had a little hitchhiker with me: my ol’ friend Oktapodi. Oktapodi and I had shared our 2008 Burning Man experience in a very intimate way, but that’s another tale, and yes there are documented photos of our love! On this particular night, I felt Oktapodi was searching for some human burner connections.


oktapodi and the lantern
He and I decided to take a swirl around Center Camp to fulfill his need.
We started by energizing his soul with the lantern light.
 

who doesn't love some electrolytes?
This seemed to dry him out a bit and luckily we ran into this extraordinary creature who was willing to share her straw of magical electrolytes with him. 
 

oktapodi in a California Threesome
He became so excited he jumped into the middle of a California threesome. A video was also taken, and can be purchased at www.Pulpology.com for a nominal fee.
 

ooga-shaka, ooga-shaka
Oktapodi’s thirst was not quenched by this interaction and he moved in search of warm flesh over wooden clothespins. Next thing I knew he was being fondled by a pair of cavewomen. 
 

lusty and dusty!
He was insatiable and this is when I found him squeezed in between these two dusty-lusty women. 
 

Barbielicious
A little taste of burner love and he was inspired to attempt manifesting his dream girl, Barbie. 
 

snowbound
He ended up with a Snowbound Burner instead but I don’t think he was disappointed. 
  

distracted by shiny objects
It didn’t take him long to move on to the next shiny thing… He attached himself to the backside of a girl in the marching band. 
 

trombone!leader of the band
There was a competition going on and he jumped from the trumpeter to the hat of the very perplexed conductor. The chase was on! He is a very fast little cephalopod. 
  

oktapodi learns about the 10 Principles
Just as Okapodi reached the edge of the dome with The Man and the free playa in view, he was snatched by the green-painted, dreadlocked crossing guard. He read Oktapodi the Ten Principles of Burning Man and instructed him to go forth and radically express himself. 
 

oktapodi makes some art
Oktapodi immediately began putting sticks together
to create a reef to share with all of Black Rock City. 
 

everybody poops
The night was young but the siphon was full, so a quick stop to the Okta-porta-pottie was in order. 
 

cephalopod love
Mama Love and Oktapodi still have that spark!


Check out more fabulous travel photos at Delicious Baby's Photo Friday.


RELATED LINKS:
* browse all 2008 Burning Man pics
* read all Burning Man blog posts
* Burning Man website


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08 September 2010
Guest post on Briefcase to Backpack

Briefcase to BackpackWe're still making our way home from Burning Man (I'm typing this from 10,000 feet, courtesy of some free WiFi coupons I got at TBEX... thanks Gogo Inflight!) and you can expect many many many stories and pics in the weeks to come. In the meantime, though, I wanted to invite you to check out my guest post on Briefcase to Backpack: "Letting Go: Making Other Plans."

Thanks to Sherry & Michaela for giving me the opportunity to post. And big congrats to them for getting coverage in USAToday's travel section about Meet, Plan, Go! The nationwide movement marches on!

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13 November 2009
Guest Post: Arenal Volcano


This is our first guest post, by our friend Marina Villatoro of Travel Experta (her bio is below). If you're interested in contributing a guest post to Pulpology, drop us a line!

The Arenal volcano is a 1,633 meter high mountain with a perfect conic shape and a crater of 140 meters. It is geologically considered a young volcano and its age is estimated to be less than 3,000 years. The locals also know it as "Arenal Peak,"  "Pan de Azúcar," "The Canaste Volcano," "The Costa Rica," "Río Frío Volcano" or "The Guatusos Peak". It is located in the northern region.

arenal volcano

It was asleep for hundreds of years and had a single crater with minor fumaroles covered by dense vegetation. In 1968 it had an eruption that created three more craters on the western flanks but only one of them exists today. Arenal is considered to be Costa Rica's most active volcano and almost every night the crater offers a spectacular show of lights with its explosive eruptions, creating the most amazing views. Although the main attraction is the Arenal Volcano, the area offers much more:

Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park
Arenal Volcano is actually part of this national park. There is also a second volcano called Cerro Chato, which has been inactive for around 3500 years. The park is part of the Arenal Tilaran Conservation Area that protects 16 protected reserves in the region between the Guanacaste and Tilarán mountain ranges including Lake Arenal.

Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal
Lake Arenal was originally a small lagoon, but in 1973 the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity built a dam and within three years, this became the biggest lake in Costa Rica with a surface of 88 square kilometers. It is a wonderful place to windsurf or do some sport fishing.

La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall
This is the most popular excursion in the area, after Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. The waterfall is reached by a 5.5 kilometer gravel road. On foot it takes about an hour to get there, but you can also visit it by horse or by car. Bird watching is also very popular in this area. Once you have reached the waterfall, you can take a trail that will lead you to a natural pool where you can go for a swim.

Arenal Hanging Bridges

The Arenal Hanging Bridges
Here you will find eight bridges measuring between 8 and 22 meters and six hanging bridges that vary between 48 and 98 meters. From there you will have a great view of both the Arenal Volcano and the lake. Some of the most popular activities here are the natural history walk, early morning tour, bird watching and night walks.

Venado Caves

The Venado Caves
The Venado Caves are located in the village with the same name, about an hour by car from La Fortuna, to the north of Arenal Volcano. Water is what formed the caves many million years ago. Presently, the caves consist of limestone rocks, stalactites, stalagmites and corals. It has a total length of approximately 2.5 kilometer with 10 large quarters. During the rainy season the tunnels can get filled with water. This is the reason access by visitors is forbidden in this season.

Cano Negro

Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
The 10,000-hectare reserve of Caño Negro has the most biological diversity in Costa Rica. There are trails and paths, but the easiest way to access it is by boat. The Rio Frio flows through it and during the wet season it becomes an 800 hectare lake. The reserve is especially popular among birdwatchers and sport fishers.

Penas Blancas

Peñas Blancas Wildlife Refuge
This 2400-hectare refuge was created to protect plant species and the watershed of the rivers Ciruelas and Barranca. The river canyons were formed million years ago when Central America was covered by the sea, by unicellular algae that built up deposits and transformed into chalk like stone.


Marina VillatoroAbout the author: Marina has been living in Central America for over 7 years and her site Travel Experta is all about traveling in Central America. Marina loves to help people plan the perfect vacation to this amazing part of the world! You can sign up for her RSS feed and join the fun on her Facebook fan page and follow her on Twitter at @MarinaVillatoro.

 

 

Related posts:
*
Spelunk! tales from the Venado Caves
* Waterfalls and volcanoes and hot springs, oh my!
* Adios PSE, and on to La Fortuna!

 

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