Friday, July 3, 2009

Poas Volcano Trip and Coffee Plantation Tour

Posted by Holly and Yvonne on Friday July 3

The day began early as usual. We had an excellent guide named Hector today who told us lots of fantastic information about the wildlife, the geography of the area, and the coffee plantations.
For instance did you know that coffee has three critical needs for optimal growth and flavor (according to the expert at the Doka Coffee Estates)?
1. The coffee needs to grow in elevations of 4000 to 6000 feet.
2. The coffee needs to have volcanic soil.
3. The coffee beans must be harvested by hand since they become ripe at three different times.

Another interesting coffee fact is that the coffee plants are grown w
ith banana trees which aide in regulating the
humidity for the coffee plants and provide a wind break during the windy and dryer winter

Costa Rica also contains approximately 5-6% of the worlds biodiversity. For example all 53 species of humming birds found in both N. America and S. America are also found in Cost
a Rica. We saw one of these beautiful creatures near the Poas Volcano today. We did not see the crater of the volcano itself due to cloud cover at the time of our visit, but we were able to hear the "fumeroles" (escaping gasses) and smell the sulfer that escaped as the gas was released. The sensory experience was still worth the trip?!

We are all seen here in front of the volcano ..... note the white back ground. We are literally in a

Hector gave us a great botany lesson here. Check out the pic of Yvonne in front of the Poor Man's Umbrella plant's leaves. It is considered a jurassic plant.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped at a wood carving and bead making factory. It was
interesting to hear how the Costa Ricans import some of their specialty woods so that they can preserve their own fragile ecosystems and yet make money from their beautiful crafts. This picture is of Sabrina with an ox cart that was on display at the factory. These carts are a symbol of the country and the more brightly and intricately they are painted, the wealthier the family.


  1. Now I know what to use for an umbrella -- it's always raining on the Caribbean side.

  2. Such an interesting post! I'll have to pass this information on to Will, who works at Starbucks!