The nonprofit university called EARTH (Escuela de Agricultura de la Región Tropical Húmeda, or Agricultural School of the Humid Tropical Region) researches medicinal plants and forms of sustainable tropical agriculture, including the production of bananas that are less pesticide dependent. The university graduates some 100 students from Latin America and Africa each year. EARTH's elegant stationery, calendars, and other paper products are made from banana stems, tobacco leaves, and coffee leaves and grounds, and are sold at the on-site Oropéndola store and in many tourist shops around the country. The property encompasses a banana plantation and a forest reserve with nature trails, and it's a bird-watchers' favorite; some 250 species have been spotted here. Lunch is available ($12). Though priority is given to researchers and conference groups, you're welcome to stay in the school's 50-person lodging facility, with private bathrooms, hot water, and ceiling fans, for $80 a night, which includes the use of a swimming pool and exercise equipment. Reservations are required for tours or accommodations.