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Two spots remaining for Costa Rica adventure

By Staff | Oct 24, 2019

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The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum has two openings left on its annual eco tour.

For the second year in a row, the group of travelers will head to Costa Rica to explore several land and marine environments. From Feb. 3-11, the participants will delve into the country’s diverse habitats, national parks and private reserves while observing the abundant marine mollusks on the Pacific Coast.

The group will be joined by Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum Curator Dr. Jos Leal and Outreach Coordinator Leigh Gay, along with guide Erick Guzman, with Holbrook Travel.

“During the upcoming trip, we will be spending a couple of days in the area of the Arenal Volcano, with the remainder of the adventure dedicated to exploring the central and southern Pacific coasts of Costa Rica,” Leal reported. “One of the super-interesting angles I like to approach when discussing the tropical eastern Pacific mollusks and their shells is their relationship to well-known Southwest Florida and Caribbean counterparts. There are many ‘species-pairs,’ one member of the pair from the Pacific, another from the Atlantic. These ‘pairs’ originated from common ancestors that thrived prior to rising of the Isthmus of Panama. The many opportunities for exploration and ensuing science-oriented discussions make the museum trips truly unique.”

Some of the trip highlights include:

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– Explore a variety of parks and reserves like the Danaus Eco Center, a private ecological reserve in La Fortuna, and Marino Ballena National Park, Costa Rica’s first marine park.

– Discuss Costa Rica’s geological history while hiking in Arenal Volcano National Park.

– Go snorkeling at Cao Island to view marine mollusks and immerse one’s self in Costa Rica’s marine habitats.

– Examine issues of conservation and sustainability as they relate to tourism.

– Learn more about local mollusks and other sea life.

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For additional information or to make a reservation online, visit www.ShellMuseum.org/eco-tours or contact Leigh Gay at lgay@shellmuseum.org or 239-395-2233.

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