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  • Costa Rica Gets Two New Hotels
    new hotels the Camino Real San Jose and the San Jose Hampton Inn have recently opened in Costa Rica The Camino Real San Jose an eight acre resort about 10 minutes from downtown San Jose in the suburb of Escazu opened in November with 260 rooms a nightclub casino two restaurants an outdoor pool spa and a tennis court lighted for night play The price for a double room is 150 More information 800 722 6466 The San Jose Hampton Inn a mile from the Santamaria Airport and 10 miles from downtown San Jose opened this month Smoking is prohibited in 75 of the hotel s 100 rooms There is an outdoor pool The rate for a room for up to four people is 65 per night which includes a Continental breakfast free local phone calls and a shuttle to and from the airport Children under 18 can stay in their parents room at no charge More information 800 426 7866 The Melia Costa Rica in Heredia which is 15 minutes from San Jose and the Melia Conchal Beach and Golf Resort in northwest Costa Rica in Guanacaste Province are both scheduled to be open for business this summer Copyright

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/950129.html (2015-06-03)
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  • Costa Rica: Cable car enables tourists to see it like a toucan
    projects with an ecological bent like the aerial tram have triggered a boom in environmentally conscious Costa Rica which is seeing tourism soar 15 to 20 percent a year About 625 000 tourists visited last year The Rain Forest Aerial Tram 50 minutes by car from the capital San Jose opened to the public in early October Visitors who pay the 47 50 fee can take the 90 minute tram ride several times Guides with two way radios in each of 10 gondolas bring the ride to a halt if visitors spy unusual life Toucans the colorful birds pictured on Froot Loops cereal packages are a common sight So are large blue winged butterflies poisonous eyelash vipers giant dragonflies monster tree ferns and hundreds of air plants which grow on other plants Perry said he got the idea for the commercial canopy tram in 1990 when visitors to Costa Rica s La Selva scientific research station kept pestering him for rides on his elevator like chair lift As he rallied some 60 investors Perry and his associates settled on both commercial and environmental aims We wanted the tram to be a way for thousands of people to be in the rain forest to feel it smell it and see its richness We think that by doing this we can play a small role in conserving the forest said Michael Skelly who manages the project But as serious project planning began reality sunk in How could they place the 12 huge cable car support pillars in the jungle without devastation Or make the ride narrow enough to keep visitors close to jungle life At early design sessions all we can envision is wholesale destruction of the forest said Skelly A new design eventually emerged slicing a swath less than six feet wide through the jungle But construction was a back breaking nightmare Workers had to haul in 110 pound bags of concrete for the massive foundation for the ski lift pillars brought from Seattle Getting all the material in here was outrageously difficult Skelly said There s 100 tons of concrete right here in the foundation Then planners had to scour the hemisphere for a helicopter crew skilled enough to haul in and lower the huge pillars through the rain forest canopy Perry s company contracted a huge Soviet built MI 17 helicopter and a crew from Nicaragua s then Sandinista People s Army to do the job It was tricky work Men had to scale into the canopy to place bright flags at tree top level that would alert the pilots where to lower the pillars The pillars had to be suspended by unusually long cables from the helicopter so rotor wash wouldn t damage the trees They were swinging like crazy said Skelly You have tremendous play between the helicopter and the tower Terrain at the 875 acre site is rugged and strewn with ravines but the work went off without a major hitch Meanwhile mechanical designer John Williams

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/950106.html (2015-06-03)
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  • Costa Rica by River, Road and Trail ...
    Real Estate Winter In The Sun Costa Rica by River Road and Trail By Joan Chatfield Taylor The New York Times November 1 1992 BY midnight we were lost creeping along a rock studded dirt road that buckled and twisted through the mountains that plunge down to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica We had no choice but to go on and in the next two hours we fixed a flat tire forded countless streams and a 75 foot wide river made confused forays onto muddy side roads and saw only one other human being a surly guard at a surprisingly lavish country house There were compensations however Even in the dead of night magnificent birds fluttered up into the glare of the headlights their bicolor wings forming bull s eyes against the darkness The vehicle spotlighted a coatimundi sloping along the road in leisurely fashion A few miles later the lights picked up a striped cat slinking along a fence we tentatively identified it as a margay Read more about Costa Rica Joan Chatfield Taylor is the author of Visiting Eden a book about public gardens in Northern California to be published by Chronicle Books in the spring Copyright

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/921101.html (2015-06-03)
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  • The Quest for a Pacific Beach
    Park a woman sells juice Little capital investment has gone into this business a booth a glass juice squeezer for oranges a machete to cut coconuts constitute the operation The woman twists and presses the oranges for me with wholehearted vigor I hope her hands are clean because I really want this juice It s hot and I have to cross some open beach and wade a stream to reach

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/891001.html (2015-06-03)
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  • Costa Rica's Quiet Beaches And Lush Land
    next TicoNET Real Estate Costa Rica Real Estate Costa Rica s Quiet Beaches And Lush Land By James Lemoyne The New York Times January 24 1988 DIPPING and bobbing in their awkward way the flock of shimmering green parrots swept into the bare Guanacaste tree where they cacklingly congratulated themselves on their abrupt landing All beak and feet large parrots are poor airmen who seem ridiculously relieved to arrive anywhere at all The noisy comedians of Latin skies they flap madly through the air until they crash into a friendly tree almost always with a shriek of gratitude Landing procedures completed the flock settled down to preen sending emerald flashes from feathered backs rippling through the clean clear tropical light that prefaces nightfall in Central America The Pacific rhythmically molded glassy waves in the bay below then casually tossed them onto the rough volcanic shore where they shattered in sudden white fragments Against the rising breeze that carried the rich primal scent of genesis that only the sea can offer three fishing boats pushed home Read more about Costa Rica James Lemoyne is the Salvador Bureau Chief of The New York Times Copyright 1988 The New York Times Company Real

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/880124-a.html (2015-06-03)
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  • From bugs to boas, Dan Janzen bags the rich coast's life
    stock in trade Most biologists develop a hypothesis and then use nature to test it I get my theories and my results from walking through nature What I see are interactions beyond imagination complex ideas and interactions one couldn t dream up Stumbling upon an intimate relationship The ant and the acacia are a case in point Janzen noticed that the ants occupied the trees but made no sense of it until he accidentally removed an ant colony that lived in an acacia s thorns and serendipitously encountered the hapless tree weeks later with its leaves eaten off by insects Then he found that an English mining engineer Thomas Belt had seen and concluded the same thing in Nicaragua in the mid 19th century Both men were taken by the sugar producing nectaries on the acacia leaves the large inflated thorns that the ants had converted to dwellings right and the protein rich food bodies on the leaflet tips Janzen observed that species of ant harboring acacias suffered far less leaf damage from other predators than did naturally ant free acacia species In an elegant series of experiments in Mexico and Santa Rosa he showed that ants repelled insects and encroaching plants on the acacias in which they lived He theorized in an influential 1966 paper that this relationship was an example of co evolution He explains One organism has changed in response to another which in turn has changed in response to the first The ants can t live without the acacias nor the acacias without their ants Such one on one examples of evolutionary adaptation are most conspicuous in the tropics but some are close to home such as the cow s rumen full of protozoans that do most of the digesting for her Janzen s discovery was at the roots of a host of new theoretical inquiries into the workings of evolution The importance of the ant acacia study was noted in the wording of the Crafoord Prize for imaginative and stimulating studies on co evolution which have inspired many researchers to continued work in this field Janzen however in typically blunt terms says his contribution is highly overrated I didn t discover the ant acacia relationship Belt did And co evolution is of no large significance It is just a human way of relating to evolution animals protect plants like we protect domestic animals I don t think I have much to offer theoretical evolutionary biology To him all the ant acacia story does is allow one to see what happens to plants that don t have chemical defenses Ants are analogous to the tannins in oak trees but you can t take those away and see what happens to the oak Poking my way through complex interactions telling stories and reporting natural history are what interest me says Janzen And the story of ants and acacias is but one of hundreds in his repertory His tales have been reported in some 250 scientific writings ranging from perhaps the shortest paper in the history of science a whimsical Yes No in the journal Biotropica to one of the most thorough collections he was editor and chief contributor among 174 authors in the 816 page Costa Rican Natural History He writes nature stores as he tells them in an uncommonly lively style quoting Pogo on the chief enemy of rain forest survival He is us and providing an evolutionary answer to Pooh s question on herbivory Why do all the good things which an animal likes have the wrong sort of swallow or too many spikes Herbivores selected the plants to be that way he writes The questions large and small but never obvious that Janzen asks himself while looking at the forest become the subjects and titles of his papers Why Don t Ants Visit Flowers perhaps because the flowers produce nectar with substances noxious to ants he postulated How Accurate Was the Carat he weighed hundreds of carob seeds the original basis for the 200 milligram measure and found that only 78 percent were carat weight Why Tropical Trees Have Rotten Cores may have to do with the hollow boles attracting animals that defecate nutrients The answer to Why Food Rots is that microbes have evolved to work quickly and unpleasantly to beat animal competitors to the prized food source Though he s researched in the rain forests of Cameroon Malaya Uganda Mexico and Australia most of Janzen s papers begin with observations he makes at Santa Rosa though they can end very far afield One of the most far ranging of his hypotheses was that giant and now extinct mammals of the Pleistocene age and earlier were by their fruit eating and seed distributing habits responsible for much of the past structure of American tropical forests The relative scarcity today of the large fruited trees beloved by bygone behemoths is directly related to the animals extinction 10 000 years ago He came to this sweeping conclusion while poking through the dung of a large mammal the horse and finding seeds of tropical tree fruits eaten many miles and months earlier This Pleistocene megafauna story like many of his other published notions has met with some opposition from colleagues While once viewed as simply tossing off his ideas Janzen is now seen as one who backs up his theories with abundant field data Some of his early stuff may have been half baked says an admiring E O Wilson but a lot of the criticism now mayarise from professional jealousy over how much he publishes To a former pupil World Bank Senior Environmental Affairs Officer Robert Goodland he is a theoretical Johnny Appleseed planting more ideas than a hundred other biologists Some of them don t take but most of them do Janzen s greatest contributions to tropical biology may be the scientists he has advanced In his first year in Costa Rica 1965 he designed the course in tropical biology an eight week field

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/861201.html (2015-06-03)
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  • Costa Rica's Jungle Train
    novelist Anthony Trollope went to Costa Rica from the West Indies in 1858 he was determined to traverse the all but impenetrable route from San Jose to the Atlantic The portly Trollope working as a postal inspector found the going hard A continued seat of five hours on a mule he wrote under a burning sun is not refreshing to a man who is not accustomed to such exercise It was not until 1890 when a rail line built to ship the coffee crop to the sea was completed that a direct route was established The track offers a splendid introduction to the magnificent jungle clad mountain landscape of Costa Rica The line with its 100 miles of embankments and dizzying trestles took 20 years to complete Malaria dysentery and heat exhaustion are said to have buried 4 000 men who worked on it Chinese Italians and Hondurans more even than the cutting of the Panama Canal and only the laborers brought over from Jamaica proved strong enough to survive the punishing work But when the track was opened it shortened the trip to Europe which had until then included a trip round Cape Horn by three months Read more

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/850728.html (2015-06-03)
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  • Best Places to Retire Abroad Costa Rica
    so much more By Barry Golson AARP The Magazine September October 2010 issue Costa Rica is where you go to live the lush life It is lush with nature misty rain forests extraordinary wildlife active volcanoes and fabulous beaches as well as such comforting amenities as malls supermarkets restaurants museums and social clubs U S retirees have flocked here for years drawn by its mild climate its prosperity relative to other Central American republics its literacy rate its health care and significantly its stable government with no army Another plus Costa Rica s commitment to a thriving natural park system that is second to none in Latin America This is as biodiverse a country as you ll find anywhere Whereas many beach loving expats have settled in the resort towns and villages along the Guanacaste Gold Coast on the Pacific the majority opt for the Central Valley which is home to the capital San Jose and 70 percent of the Costa Rican or Tico population The outlying towns and villages of the Central Valley offer temperate dry days and natural beauty as well as the culture hospitals and shopping of nearby San Jose Regarding the weather expats here like to

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/real-estate/readings/1010.html (2015-06-03)
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