Tag Archives: Costa Rica

Long Island to Arenal: One Wildlife Refuge Helping Another

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Let me start this entry by whole-heartedly saying, Greetings from Costa Rica!

We here at The Springs Resort & Spa have decided to change our approach to this blog and  bring our past, present and future guests closer to our own little universe here at The Springs Resort & Spa.


Stopping to pose after a somewhat soggy birdwatching tour.

Last month, we had the pleasure of hosting a group of ten, mostly college-age, veterinary volunteers visiting Costa Rica from Long Island, New York’s Sweet Briar Nature Center. While here, they gave us some much-needed feedback on our two newest tours-in-the-making: the first being our Birdwatching Tour and the second, our Medicinal Plant Tour. 


With half the volunteers working on habitat landscaping, everyone else spent the day in the wood shop.


But, most importantly, on their last day they all got their hands dirty helping to landscape and build new enrichment toys for the animals of our Wildlife Refuge at Club Rio Outdoor Center.

Janine Bendicksen, Sweetbriar curator and volunteer group leader, first brought students to Costa Rica six years ago with the intention of working alongside the various wildlife refuges that pepper the countryside. While this type of volunteer trip might have been a first for us here at The Springs, it was a huge success and most certainly won’t be the last.


All nine volunteers plus our veterinary staff (and myself) proudly showing off the two boxes that were used for feeding for our adult puma, Guapo and enrichment play for our small group of Capuchin monkeys.

“I want to open their eyes up to a new world,” Bendicksen explained. “I want to give them a meaningful experience by taking them out of their comfort zone. As a regular tourist, you don’t have the opportunity to see as much as you would as an insider. Working with your staff at the Springs gave them that opportunity.” 

Half the group spent their last day at the resort building catwalks (yes, literal “cat” walks) and hanging swinging coconuts for our most energetic resident, Simba, the adolescent male puma. They also had the opportunity to work with our veterinary staff, Roberto and Victor, to prepare meals in our clinic for the jungle cats, toucans and sloths.


A hearty helping of “Two-Toed Sloth chow.”

Meanwhile, everyone else found themselves frantically measuring, hammering and operating an array of power tools in a frantic effort to finish a few, overly-complicated woodworking projects. Luckily, we were able to finish with the help of the hotel’s skilled carpenters.

Before the sun started to sink, we were able to build and implement an enormous scratching post for Simba along with two, very unique, wood and rope boxes — one of which was filled with plants and hung from a tree in the Capuchin monkey habitat. The other was filled with chicken and placed in the habitat of Guapo, our adult male Puma, as a sort of large-scale “Kong Toy”.


Simba doing what he does best: killing coconuts.

As exciting as everything was for us humans, the animals obviously enjoyed everything even more, and all positively responded to their new toys and altered habitats.

As an employee of almost a year, I can honestly say that working to benefit these animals was one of my most rewarding work experiences to date.

“I want kids to find something they are passionate about, and want them to learn to do good for others,” Bendicksen said. “Give back. Pay it forward. Because, isn’t that why we are all here?”

I speak for The Springs when I say it was our pleasure to share our hotel and get to know and work with everyone involved in this trip. We wish them all the best in their future travels and hope to see them soon.

Thanks to volunteer/photographer, Dery Keretic, I was able to piece together this small video of some animal curiosity that day. If you’ve visited us before, you’ll see some familiar faces here:



Vacation In Costa Rica

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banner-principal9You can choose to vacation in Costa Rica if you are looking for a romantic getaway, eco-tourism or want to have a fun filled time with family or friends, or just want to unwind and relax. Costa Rica has something to offer to all types of travelers.  You can choose to enjoy the clear blue ocean, dense rainforests, mountains, volcanoes and wildlife that is found in abundance in this beautiful country. Continue reading

Resorts In Costa Rica

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banner-principal4Costa Rica is one of the most exotic countries in the world, and each year, hundreds of tourists visit this beautiful country to enjoy the lush green forest and a coastline that seems to extend forever. It is one of the most popular travel spots in the world and the many resorts in Costa Rica provide a happy and memorable experience for the tourist. Continue reading

Resorts Costa Rica

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room-img-09When you are going on a vacation, it is important that you are not overly worried about the place where you are staying. Resorts offer great value for money and when you book in advance you may be able to get some amazing deals. Resorts of Costa Rica can enable you to have a world-class travel experience with your family and friends and you can come back with a lifetime of cherished memories. Continue reading

Resort In Costa Rica

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DPP_0448Costa Rica is a dream destination for all travelers as they can relax and have fun in the natural and beautiful scenic beauty of this amazing country. When you book a resort in Costa Rica, you are assured of an experience that you may cherish for a lifetime and wish to relive again and again. Continue reading

Luxury Boutique Hotel

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DPP_0448Whether you prefer active volcanoes, quiet beaches, lush green rainforests or wild rivers, you can choose a luxury boutique hotel in Costa Rica and enjoy all of this and much more. You may be able to get an exclusive experience when you choose to stay at these hotels. Continue reading

Hotels In Costa Rica

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banner-principal3If you are planning a vacation in Costa Rica, one of the first things that you need to address is your hotel accommodation.  As there are many hotels in Costa Rica, you may find the decision of choosing the best hotel to be a bit overwhelming. It is important that you select a hotel in an ideal location if you want to enjoy the beauty of this amazing country. Continue reading

Hot Springs Costa Rica

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banner-hotsprings01Costa Rica has a large number of volcanoes that cover its rich landscape. The Costa Rica hot springs are a result of these volcanoes, and they are dotted all over the country in different size, shape and temperatures. While some of the hot springs are private and luxurious, others are accompanied with other activities like massages and mud baths. Continue reading

Costa Rica Wedding

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cakeCosta Rica is one of the most exotic countries in the world and many couples plan their wedding in this beautiful country.  When planning your wedding in Costa Rica, you should ensure that you choose wedding plan services that can ensure that the entire process is completed smoothly and leaves you with happy memories that can be cherished for a lifetime. Continue reading

Costa Rica Honeymoon

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banner-principal8Many of us have a different concept when it comes to selecting the perfect destination for honeymoon. You may choose to spend your honeymoon in a secluded spot or have a luxurious experience.  Irrespective of what your choice of honeymoon is, there are many amazing places in Costa Rica that can offer the best experience for couples. Continue reading