Costa Rica's Natural Treasures
Discover exotic flora and fauna as you traverse treetop bridges, float along the Tempisque River, trek to volcanoes, and take guided walks at Monteverde's biological reserve.
WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY
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This was an exceptional first time tour group experience. Smithsonian gets an A+ for combining learning and fun as a way to see new lands.”
The diverse perspectives and knowledge shared by and with the fellow travelers makes each trip unique, special, and memorable in ways words cannot express.”
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Dennis became enamored of wildlife as a youngster in his native Costa Rica. Living in Central America, it is not difficult to see how biology could become the favorite science for any nature enthusiast, as there are several thousand species in the region. He has a passion for bird sounds and has a collection of them — recently he worked on the creation of a DVD that mixes the piano with the sounds of the birds.
His experience and knowledge has taken him to lead groups in other countries in Central America, South America, Africa, New Zealand, South East Asia, Australia, Russia, Alaska, the Arctic, the Antarctic, and the Caribbean. When he is not lecturing, Dennis travels to remote areas in Central America explaining to young students how fragile the ecosystems are where they live. He also works on several projects to monitor endangered species in order to improve conservation efforts.
Howard Topoff and Carol Simon are biologists specializing in the fields of Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology. After receiving their Ph.D. degrees, they spent their scientific careers as professors at The City University of New York, and as Research Associates at The American Museum of Natural History. Their field research on animal behavior is conducted in Central and South America, Africa, and the southwestern corner of the United States. As study leaders on Natural History tours for over 35 years, they have developed an extensive series of educational and entertaining multimedia presentations, which they offer to vacationing guests who enjoy location-specific enrichment programs.
Bob Szaro grew up fascinated by nature and started bird-watching while in grade school. He has an enthusiastic passion for different cultures, architecture, art, natural history, and photography. His extensive travels and studies have taken him to more than 100 countries. From the warmth of African plains to the frigid Arctic he has had the opportunity to enjoy and study an incredible variety of animals and plants and their interaction with the human cultures dependent upon them. His research has included , biodiversity conservation, bird community dynamics, climate change, forest stresses on mountain ecosystems, ecological approaches to natural resource management, desert and riparian plant ecosystems, and fish, wildlife, and forest resources throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Bob retired in 2008 as Chief Scientist for Biology for the US Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia. Bob received a Dual Bachelors Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from Texas A&M University (1970), a Masters Degree in Zoology from the University of Florida (1972), and a Doctoral Degree in Ecology from Northern Arizona University (1976). He also completed the Senior Executive Fellows program at Harvard University (1993). Bob currently serves as a consultant to the Smithsonian Institution on biodiversity, climate change, and tiger conservation.
A popular and respected naturalist, Patty Hostiuck is well-versed in tropical as well as polar ecosystems. Patty leads trips to the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers, Peru, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, Honduras, the Caribbean, and Baja California, as well as Australia, and Borneo. Patty's high-latitude work has taken her to every northerly nation from the Canadian High Arctic, Greenland, and Iceland to Svalbard, Norway, and Russia. Over 20 trips to Antarctica, Tierra del Fuego, and Patagonia make for a nearly pole-to-pole career!
Patty has led over 50 trips with Smithsonian Journeys. Fun to travel with, she has shared her expertise in mammals, birds, insects, and plants aboard ships and on the trail with thousands of fellow explorers in dozens of remote areas.