Giardino di Boboli (Boboli Gardens), Florence, Italy

Giardino di Boboli (Boboli Gardens) in Florence, Italy, is one of the country’s most important gardens, a living history course in Italian garden design from the Renaissance to the 19th century. Like all Italian Gardens, it was designed to show the owner’s wealth and power rather than showcase flowers, with impressive statues and other artwork set among a tapestry of green. Save your feet and take a virtual tour of this 111-acre outdoor museum…

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Coffee Time

We were staying in an area of extensive coffee plantations, so this morning we took the Espírito Santo Coffee Tour to learn about this important crop. Our guide Ronnie first told us about the coffee fruits, which normally have two seeds, but the premium peaberry has only one (a genetic mutation that causes one seed to […]

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Two Beautiful Gardens

Our first stop of the day was at Jardín Botáníco Lankester. This garden, maintained by the University of Costa Rica, is internationally known for its collections of epiphytes, including many orchids. The orchid collection includes over 15,000 accessions from nearly 1,000 species, most of which are native to Mesoamerica. We looked at a few of […]

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Quetzal Quest

This morning we headed further down the valley to Savegre Lodge where we loaded into two small 4WD vehicles for the tour into the forest on a steep, rutted dirt road full of rocks. Each vehicle had two bench seats in back along each edge, facing each other, that could accommodate up to 6 people. […]

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Into the Clouds

It was warm and steamy for our option morning bird walk, where we saw a lot of different things including a double-toothed hawk that posed nicely in the dim light, a yellow-bellied elaenia perched on some wires, then a bright-rumped attila flitting in the foliage. There was a bit of a lull, then we started […]

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Wilson Botanic Garden

We got up early to make the two hour drive south to spend the whole day at Wilson Botanical Garden, the most famous botanical garden in Central America. But before we ever arrived we had an excellent ornithological experience. Just as we were getting ready to move on from a quick bathroom stop where there […]

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Relaxation & Mangroves

The birds were singing before dawn, and the sun rose in clear skies, except for big fat clouds out over the water. Having arrived in the dark, the dramatic view over the dry forest filled with yellow-flowering trees stretching to the ocean was a surprise. It was 100 steps (plus some unpaved trails on more […]

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Chocolate & Crocodiles

Most of us managed to escape the chilly weather in the US to arrive in Costa Rica, but one person had to cancel due to injury and two others are still hoping to join the tour in two days after their airport was closed because of ice. A storm moving through the area here made […]

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The Denver Botanic Gardens

The altitude in the mile-high city isn’t the only thing that will take your breath away in Denver – the wide range of gardens and collections of the Denver Botanic Gardens will do the same. Take a virtual tour of this fabulous public garden focusing on plants of the region and from places around the world with similar climates…

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