Accompany environmental scientists on a land and sea adventure, lending hands-on help towards their efforts to study and protect exotic and endangered wildlife.
From the underwater depths of the Golfo Dulce to the sprawling tropical forests along Guanacaste’s wild volcanic mountain range, Costa Rica is home to a variety of micro-climates filled with rare species that few people ever get to see up close. Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo gives you that opportunity with an immersive two-day adventure through land and sea.
The first day begins with a private flight above the Pacific coastline, revealing a bird’s-eye view of dense forests, volcanic rock formations more than 65 million years old, and Central America’s massive mangrove canal system. Upon arrival at the unspoiled Golfo Dulce—home to Pacific green sea turtles, humpback whales, and spotted and bottlenose dolphins—board a yacht to spend the day studying the life and habitat of hammerhead sharks. Led by marine biologists and conservationists Andrés Lopez and Illena Zanella, you’ll help monitor adolescent sharks and learn how to document their activities through the non-profit organization Misión Tiburón. You will have the option to “adopt” and name a shark and receive reports on its travels and growth over its lifespan.
The next day, after a good night’s sleep at the Resort, go deep into the rainforest to play a vital role in butterfly species documentation. After a 35-minute scenic flight along Guanacaste’s volcanic mountain range, you’ll land at Quebrada Grande and head to nearby Santa Rosa to meet Kyoto Prize laureate and celebrated tropical biologist Dr. Daniel Janzen in his lab—home to one of the world’s largest collections of tropical butterflies. Dr. Janzen and his team of specialists will lead you through dense forests, where you will help with photographic documentation and the collection of caterpillar specimens. Discuss your findings over dinner with Dr. Janzen and then accompany him on a moonlit trek into the forest to seek out other rare butterflies and meet more researchers before returning to the Resort.
Experience is weather-dependent, and the sea day is not available in September, October or November. If Dr. Janzen is out of the country, you will meet with one of the senior members of his team.