Giant Beautiful Kapok at Hacienda Barú Wildlife Refuge

Giant Beautiful Kapok at Baru Wildlife Refuge

By Jack Ewing The most noteworthy old tree that has passed on at Hacienda Barú was an enormous old kapok or ceibo tree (Ceiba pentandra). It once dominated the skies near what is today the El Ceibo Service Station. Its familiar form, tall straight trunk and umbrella top, was a well-known landmark for travelers and […]

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Adventures From Above

~ by Jack Ewing In 1996, at Hacienda Barú, we built a platform 32 meters above the ground at the top of an huge rainforest tree, and inaugurated the Canopy Platform tour. Even though it took place in the treetops, far above the rainforest floor, it was really about ecology, not adrenaline. However, the biggest […]

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Adventure in the Cerro Chirripó

~ by Luis Gutiérrez GaleraIt is still not dawn, and the mist is laying on the lush Talamanca mountain range; it is just before sunrise, but the adventurous tourists are ready to begin the walk to conquer the highest summit in Costa Rica. This journey will take about 8 hours, through paths that may prove to […]

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The Fate of the Chonta Palm

By Jack Ewing “Look what I found,” beamed the tractor driver, “a palmito from a chonta palm.It’s the first one I’ve seen in a long time.” The cylindrical palm heart about a meter long rested on his shoulder. He didn’t seem the least bit troubled that the tree he had destroyed to acquire the palm […]

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Food from the gods (Theobroma cacao)

Cocoa was very significant to Native Americans and now days, it is highly valued by the modern consumer. The cocoa powder is made from the seeds of the plant that grows wild in the forests of the South Pacific of Costa Rica, and it is mainly used to produce chocolate. The fruits can reach up […]

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Cannonball Tree (Couroupita guianensis)

By Dagmar Reinhard During the Spheres´ Festival at the Palmar Sur Park, we were fortunate to admire and enjoy this evergreen tree, which is native to the tropical northern South America, Central America, and the southern Caribbean. The beautiful tree grows 20-35 m tall; its alternate leaves seem to spiral down from the branches. The […]

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