University of Florida

The Neighborhood Gardener:
Costa Rica Trip—Spring 2009

By Tom Wichman, Statewide Master Gardener Program Coordinator

On April 22, twenty-two Master Gardeners departed with me on a study tour of the gardens of Costa Rica. During this twelve-day trip, we visited both public and private gardens, enjoying the incredibly beautiful tropical foliage and flowers. We visited two volcanoes, Volcano Irazu and Volcano Arenal, the latter of which has been continuously erupting since 1968.

We saw plenty of wildlife on our river boat tour of Cano Negro, as well as on the walking tour in the cloud rain forest and the crocodile boat tour. The boat tour gave us the chance to see macaws and giant crocodiles in their native habitat. All the places we stayed were lushly landscaped and very comfortable, each with its own flavor and appeal. The meals almost always contained black beans, rice, and plantains; the tropical fruit and fruit drinks were not to be missed.

Everyone on the trip learned a great deal about Costa Rica. Our guide stayed with us the entire time, answering questions and providing necessary background. Most Master Gardeners brought back mementos, such as wooden bowls or T-shirts, plus coffee and chocolate for friends and family. We all took lots of photos so we could be sure to remember yet another outstanding Master Gardener trip!

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