All you need to know about Costa Rica’s new ‘Fungi Trail’

Oropopo Experience and Funga Conservation have together designed the conservation-focussed Fungi Trail for locals and tourists arriving in Costa Rica.
Fungi trail
Costa Rica now offers a dedicated nature’s trail exploring different kinds of mushrooms! Image: Iva Alvarado.

While hiking through the rainforests near the equator, you will find some of the highest mushroom biodiversity on Planet Earth. And with 25 per cent of it protected by national parks and reserves, the rainforests of Costa Rica are always teeming with life. The Central American country, offering a wide suite of adventures in the great outdoors, is an ideal pick for brisk high-altitude trails and hikes in misty tropical woods surrounded by sleepy volcanoes.

If you wish to be a part of one such nature’s adventure, join Oropopo Experience and Funga Conservation in their ‘Fungi Trail’. Costa Rica’s first-ever wild mushroom trail is aimed at nature enthusiasts and travellers find, identify, photograph, and in certain cases, even taste some of the most unique fungi types.

Fungi trail
Find, identify, and photograph wild mushrooms along the Funga Trail. Image: Iva Alvarado.

Keeping in mind that a large population in the country is still mycophobic (i.e. wary of exploring or eating mushrooms), the two organisations came together to help change hearts and minds around these tiny but rather important members of the natural world. The trail features recreational and educational activities curated to promote the conservation of wild mushrooms at the local level through responsible and sustainable tourism. Local communities are involved and integrated into the entire experience as well, making sure their indigenous knowledge on the subject is put to good use.

The guided excursions on the Fungi Trail has already begun, and will run all the way through December this year, but it is best enjoyed during the nation’s rainy season. More so, because this is also when most traditional tourism offerings in Costa Rica decrease, making this a perfect opportunity for domestic and international tourists to explore the rainforests at their own pace. Some events even include the opportunity to forage and cook what you find in the woods!

Fungi trail
The tropical rainforests of Costa Rica are home to variety of fungi species. Image: Iva Alvarado.

On June 25, Oropopo Experience and Funga Conservation started the experience by hosting Bosque del Niño, a day-long walk on this Costa Rican hiking trail focussed on discovering more about a mature Central American oak forest and the specific fungi associated with these trees.

Talking of upcoming excursions, you can join them in the La Selva Biological Station experience from August 20-21, focussed on searching for fungi that host insects and spiders. Then later, join The Fungi Festival, a free event to document the fungi of Bijagua alongside members of the local communities, on August 27-28. Furthermore, find bioluminescent and cloud-forest fungi in October, explore agricultural forestry systems in November, and experience the rare delights of edible fungi in December.

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