Spotlight on Costa Rica

Wildlife enthusiasts visiting Costa Rica may awaken to an alarm clock provided by Mother Nature.

Tourism guide Michel Aranda told a Wednesday Toronto Costa Rica promotion that some Costa Ricans awaken to early morning calls by howler monkeys, famed for their far-reaching vocalizations.

And that, he said, underscores one of many interesting natural aspects to the country.

“Wherever you walk around there’s greenery. Wherever you walk around, there’s forest. Wherever you walk around there’s birds chirping,” he said of a country that has 6.3% of the world’s biological diversity and more bird species than all of Europe.

Indeed, the country has 52 species of hummingbirds alone, he added.

Those snorkelling off Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast may suddenly see whales leap up, Aranda added.

Marine life enthusiasts may also be able to spot some of the five species of sea turtles found in Costa Rican waters.

Aranda cited a host of other attractions that can be found in the Central American nation, among them volcanoes and different climatic zones.

Much of the country’s tourism trade now revolves around the northwestern region of Guanacaste, home to large all-inclusive resorts.

But Aranda noted the Caribbean coast is also welcoming tourists, some drawn by nature preserves, while the community of Puerto Viejo is popular with young tourists, some drawn by surfing opportunities to a town home to reggae bars, thanks to many of its residents being descended from people from Caribbean islands.

The audience was also told that those travelling from Toronto to Costa Rica with Aeromexico can leave Toronto’s capital at night and arrive in San Jose just before noon, enabling them to enjoy the afternoon in Costa Rica. Free Mexico City stopovers are offered as well.

Pictured are Aranda, Yvonne Duarte of Grupo ProImagen; Juan Carlos Jouvin of PoloTravel; Hilde Cloet of the Tango Mar Resort; and Cesar Alvarenga and Michele Martinson of Aeromexico.


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