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Friends of the Children's Eternal Rainforest (FCER) - Costa Rica Tours

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In 2002, the non-profit Monteverde Conservation League U.S., Inc. (MCLUS) was formed to “support, protect and expand the Children’s Eternal Rainforest”.

MCLUS changed it's name in 2011 to Friends of the Children's Eternal Rainforest (FCER). FCER leads tours to Costa Rica each year. The Children’s Eternal Rainforest, is a pristine 54,000 acre preserve high in the Tilaran Mountains of Costa Rica. Our eco-tours include access to our biological field stations in this rainforest as well as activities in other rainforest ecosystems.

FCER leads tours to select locations in Central America. Our main focus, the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, is a pristine 54,000 acre preserve high in the Tilaran Mountains of Costa Rica. Our eco-tours include access to our biological field stations in this rainforest as well as activities in other rainforest ecosystems.

Pocosol Trip 2013 - Atlantic Slope Adventure

Price: $2,145(not including airfare)

When: June 14 – 22, 2013

This trip is a photographer’s dream. We start in the capital city, San Jose, with a visit to InBio Parque, established to convey some sense of the enormous biodiversity of this country. It provides many opportunities to view wildlife up close, from crocodiles, jacanas, and herons, to butterflies, blue-crowned motmots, and sloths. Then we drive north in our private coach, stopping first at Braulio Carrillo National Park to hike a trail and ride an aerial tram through the canopy for our introduction to the Atlantic slope. We’ll tour an organic pineapple farm before checking in to Tirimbina Rainforest Center, where we will make our own chocolate from roasted cacao beans. A guided nocturnal prowl through the forest tops off our first full day.

Subsequent days will be equally enticing, from floating on the Sarapiqui River to spot iguanas and other wildlife (if we are lucky maybe even a pair of rare great green macaws!), climbing up a lava field onto the shoulder of Arenal Volcano for a view of Lake Arenal, tree-planting at our environmental education center Finca Estellar, touring a wildlife rescue center to see peccary and white-faced capuchin monkeys, among others, soaking in thermal hot springs, and spending a few days at Finca Luna Nueva, a lodge with an organic farm and excellent wildlife viewing, along with a very inviting swimming pool! Another lodge we stop at, Rancho Margot, is a model of almost total sustainability and self-sufficiency, generating all its own power and growing the food served, in a beautiful setting complete with a grotto pool.

The highlight of the trip will be a few precious days at the Pocosol Field Station in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. We leave our coach behind and transfer to 4x4 pick-up trucks, in which we climb the winding mountain road and cross a suspension bridge to reach the field station. During our stay there, we will enjoy a hike up to the bubbling mud pots of the Zamia trail, take a night hike to look for frogs around the lake, mist-net bats in the evening and birds in the morning, enjoy views of a waterfall, and experience complete sensory immersion in the magic that is this unique rainforest. Our trip back to San Jose will include a shopping opportunity in the artists’ community of Zarchi. In addition to our own driver, we are accompanied by a local expert guide and naturalist, as well as a FCER group leader Maggie Eisenberger.

San Gerardo Trip 2013

Price: $1,945 (not including airfare)

Dates: July 12 – July 20 2013

Nine days filled with rainforest hikes, waterfalls, mist-netting for bats and birds. Experience wildlife encounters, from hummingbirds and butterflies to hundreds of species of tropical flowers and birds, frogs, and monkeys, all in the misty cloudforest and montane rainforest of the Tilaran mountains around the Costa Rican continental divide. Zipline over the canopy or walk a series of suspension bridges to view life in the treetops. See why this 55,000 acre reserve, the largest private reserve in Central America, hosts unimaginably high biodiversity and is so important to conservation. Do your part by participating in a few hours of service, which might be tree-planting or trail maintenance, whatever is needed when we are there. Visit a women’s craft cooperative for unique souvenir shopping. Savor the flavor (guanabana, mora, or other tropical fruits, or just the most heavenly vanilla on earth) at the Cheese Factory, where they make the best ice cream in the world! For those who are fortunate enough to be able to stay longer, we can arrange an extension to suit your preference.

Interested? Check out our website for more information and itineraries at: http://friendsoftherainforest.org/eco-tourism/ or call our office to request a registration form 314-941-1257.

School and Family Eco-Tours

Your school or family can enjoy a fully customized eco-tour around your special interests. Come to Costa Rica to visit the Children’s Eternal Rainforest – a 54,000 acre preserve in the mountains. We have had groups from ages 8 - 85 delight in their shared experiences. For more information contact our office at 314-941-1257 or send us an email at: info@mclus.org. We would be happy to assist you in planning a unique, educational, inspiring trip to the rainforest!

All trips include a $200 tax deductible gift to the Monteverde Conservation League U.S., Inc. to support the Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica.

Eco Policies

FCER eco-tours have embodied principles of eco-tourism since 2002. Our trips to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest (CER) in Costa Rica, and other Central American locations, are designed to teach travelers about tropical ecology and to build cultural awareness and respect. FCER travelers regularly share that our trips have given them a new view of their role in preserving our planet. We include community and service activities so that travelers get acquainted with social issues facing local citizens. For example, our trips include visits to women’s co-ops, coffee co-ops and organic farms to learn about social issues and sustainable versus unsustainable agricultural practices. Travelers join in activities which foster discussion on land use ethics. Because of MCL’s preservation of this pristine rainforest which provides protection of a critical watershed for downstream communities, there is increased understanding of water issues. A highlight of each of our trips is an opportunity to participate in service projects that support the rainforest or community.

Our goal is to keep the money at the local, community level for Costa Ricans. We also choose local service providers for lodging, food, transportation and all other activities. Our local guides teach travelers that they are guests in the forest. Hiking is restricted to trails. There are opportunities for photography, but no collecting is allowed. Our sister organization, the Monteverde Conservation League (MCL), which administers the CER, is known for exceeding local labor standards for fair treatment of its employees. In Monteverde, MCL has a reputation for being a fair and desirable employer and its long term employee relations testify to this.

As a non-profit, FCER asks for a $200 donation from every traveler which goes directly to the CER and also give all of our trip profits to the CER. In additional MCLUS’ activities in the St. Louis, Missouri area educate about rainforest conservation. We collaborate with the Missouri Botanical Garden in providing rainforest teaching kits for area teachers.

National Geographic recently selected MCL as one out of 100 non-profit organizations world-wide to launch its new website "Action Atlas" this fall. It was selected based on its solid 25 years of conservation work in Costa Rica.


“My trip to Costa Rica was an experience of a lifetime, and I don’t say this lightly, having lived in Venezuela and Uruguay and traveled extensively around the world. Sponsored by the Monteverde Conservation League U.S., Inc and led by Maggie Eisenberger, I knew I would be getting a quality experience, not just a tourist visit. It was filled with many hikes led by expert local naturalists into the depths of the forest in the Monteverde Region and the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. We were able to observe the amazing and unique plants and animals of the forest as well as interesting facts about the animals. I wanted to choose a highlight, but as each day ended I remember thinking, “This was the best day ever!” How could I decide on a highlight when I’d have to choose among experiencing the peacefulness and power of a waterfall pool, the brilliant iridescence of the morpho butterfly’s wings, the frisson of delight at catching sight of an agouti or coati at the station, the primal wonder at playful monkeys in the branches overhead, the silent grace of a swallowtail kite soaring in the sky, the exquisite delicacy of the tiniest orchids and hummingbirds, the spiritual connection I felt during my solo time on the trail – I think you get my drift! The rainforests of Monteverde are like no where else on earth!”

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