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Costa Rica & Panama
Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members are invited to experience the Central American tropics firsthand. The College has made arrangements with Costa Rican Adventures, Inc. for a spring break trip (March 13 - 23, 2013) to Costa Rica and Panama. The tentative itinerary (pdf) includes the following:
- Hiking in the rainforest. Explore wet lowland and coastal rainforests. Experience the overwhelming diversity of tropical plants and wildlife during several hikes led by experienced guides. Observe scientists in action at La Selva, one of the world's leading centers of tropical biological research.
- Snorkeling through a coral reef. Watch the colorful display of reef corals, fish, and invertebrates as you swim through the crystal-clear waters of Panama's Bocas del Toro Islands. Observe mangrove life, manatees, and dolphins from a boat as you cruise among the islands.
- Whitewater rafting through the rainforest. Raft through virgin rainforests on the Pacuare River, which plunges through mountain gorges that drop waterfalls right by the raft. Rapids are rated Class 3 and Class 4.
- Interacting with the Bribris. Spend a day with the indigenous people of the southern Caribbean coast. See their crafts and customs, and the ecological and environmental threats to their way of life. Share a typical Bribri lunch, served on a banana leaf.
Interested individuals may receive three hours of academic credit (BIOL 2703 Topics in Tropical Ecology -- approved for General Education Natural Sciences credit) for participating in the trip and completing pre- and post-trip assignments. Full-time students at Alfred State College for the spring semester may register for this course as part of the spring load, without payment of any extra tuition charges. The course will be coordinated by Professor John Buckwalter, Physical & Health Sciences Department, who led similar trips in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009 (see photos from the 2005, 2007, and 2009 trips). Professor Buckwalter will be on sabbatical for the fall 2011 semester, but will be returning for the spring 2012 semester. The only cost will be the trip fees explained below.
The cost will be $2,500. Round-trip airfare from Buffalo airport. The trip cost is all-inclusive of the following:
- Accommodations: First class hotels and lodges, with private bath, based on two to four persons occupancy. Single accommodations will be supplied for an extra fee. One night will be spent in a bunkhouse on the beach with shared bath facilities.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included each day. All meals are first class with local flair.
- Transportation: All surface travel in Costa Rica and Panama, including airport transfers, will be provided by insured, reputable bus and boat companies. A college van will be used for transportation to and from the Buffalo airport.
- Entrance fees: All sightseeing arrangements and entrance fees are included, and knowledgeable local guides are used.
- Tips and taxes: All government taxes and services imposed for hotels and restaurants are included, except a $26 Costa Rican departure tax, which must be paid by the traveler (US$) at the airport.
A deposit of $500 is due when registering (deadline Oct. 15, 2012). The balance is due in two installments: $1,000 by Nov. 5, and the remaining $1,000 by Dec. 3. You may register for the trip by printing the registration form (pdf), completing, and mailing or bringing it, along with your $500 deposit check (made out to Costa Rican Adventures) by Oct. 15 to:
International Student Services Office
Student Development Center
Alfred State College
Alfred, NY 14802
Phone: (607) 587-4059
More information may be obtained from the following Web sites or by contacting Professor John Buckwalter or Tricia Herritt:
- Costa Rican Adventures
- Official Costa Rica Tourism Board Web site
- Wikipedia article on Costa Rica
- WashingtonPost.com travel page on Costa Rica, including recent news stories, US State Department Notes, and weather
- US State Department's Consular Information Sheet on Costa Rica
- CIA's World Factbook page on Costa Rica
- CDC's Health Information for Travelers to Costa Rica
- Costa Rican Embassy in Washington
- Photo-journey through a Costa Rican rainforest
- Yahoo 's Costa Rica collection of Web resources
- Google 's Web directory of Costa Rica resources
- COCORI: the "COmplete COsta RIca" site
- AM Costa Rica -- daily English language webzine from Costa Rica
- Maptak -- interactive maps of Costa Rica
- Map of Costa Rica with detailed links to regional information