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Costa Rica, Naturally

By John Tierney
The New York Times

February 1, 1998

THE brochure made it sound simple and appealing: explore Costa Rica's rain forests from a cruise ship that reaches pristine coasts normally accessible only by grueling overland treks. But I headed for the jungle with trepidation.

This was, after all, an eco-tour from which there was no escape. And it was in a country that by setting aside more than a quarter of its land in nature preserves, has become Mecca for the ecologically correct. The prospect of being trapped with a boatload of devout pilgrims worshiping trees and flagellating themselves for humanity's environmental sins brought to mind the comedian Carol Leifer's warning about cruises: ''If you thought you don't like people on land. ...''

Read more about Costa Rica.

John Tierney is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine.

Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company

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