Costa Rica

Published on August 5th, 2011 | by Mark Chesnut

New Latin America Travel Options for 2012, from Smithsonian Journeys

The Smithsonian Institute is known for its broad array of museums and collections, and its travel program, called Smithsonian Journeys, follows suit with a diverse travel portfolio for 2012. 

“We are thrilled to branch out to different styles and modes of travel to serve our clientele while maintaining what Smithsonian is best known for: lively and engaging educational content. Smithsonian Journeys provides more ways than ever to experience the cultural and natural treasures of all seven continents,” said Amy Kotkin, director of Smithsonian Journeys. 

The options for 2012 feature more than 200 departures to 80 countries worldwide. These tours are enhanced with behind-the-scenes access and top experts who provide in-depth commentary designed to increase visitors’ understanding of their destination.

A couple highlights of the Latin America tours; all trips described are limited to groups of 16 to 24 people. 

Costa Rica‘s Natural Treasures is a tour led by (depending on the date) a Smithsonian Study Leader, the curator of mammals at the National Museum of Natural History, a research zoologist or a professor emeritus of aquatic sciences and biology. The trip includes visits to the Poas and Arenal volcanoes, the Monteverde Cloud Forest and a “float trip” on the Tempisque River in Palo Verde National Park. Prices start at $2,895 for 11 days. 

• Legendary Peru: World of the Inca and Machu Picchu includes visits to Machu Picchu before the day crowds arrive, a midday meal in the home of a Cuzco family, a native ceremony in Cusco and a tour of the historic center of Lima. Prices start at $3,495 for 10 days. 

For the trip of a lifetime, Smithsonian Journeys will offer two new, unique private jet adventures in 2012. “Heaven and Earth” (Oct. 31-Nov. 20, 2012) is a top-of-the-line, around-the-world adventure that features the Earth’s natural wonders and ancient treasures and highlights the powerful influence of the heavens on world cultures. A special highlight is traveling with Smithsonian astronomy expert David Aguilar and witnessing a total solar eclipse in Australia. Stops in Latin America include Tikal, Guatemala, Cuzco and Machu Picchu, Peru, and Easter Island, Chile. Prices start at $63,950. 

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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