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Priscilla was very responsive to our requests and made sure she understood what we wanted to see and do in Costa Rica. We wanted to explore areas of Costa Rica we had not been to on previous trips with a focus on exploring nature, hiking and kayaking.

We started with an extra day in San Jose to ensure that winter travel did not disrupt the main portion of our trip. We had very detailed instructions on navigating immigration and customs and directions on where to go to meet our driver. The Hotel Grano de Oro was converted from a Victorian mansion and was a lovely place to relax before starting the full part of our journey with a rooftop oasis and a wonderful restaurant.

We then started our adventure flying to Golfito in the Osa Peninsula, with a boat ride to an extraordinary experience at Playa Captiva, an eco lodge in the rainforest that offers natural luxury, comfort and service. Everything was wonderful — service, food, lots of hiking trails on the property as well as kayaking and more. In addition to everything at the lodge, we enjoyed kayaking in the Rio Esquinas Mangroves, guided night hike, Piedras Blancas National Park guided hike and more kayaking. We loved everything about this experience and highly recommend.

Next we flew to Tortuguero National Park. The Tortuga Lodge and Gardens was nice with good service and food. Though there is a hiking trail on property, there wasn’t enough to keep us occupied when we were not on excursions. The excursions were wonderful and seeing the Tortuguero National Park by boat and kayaking portions was wonderful for closer views of the rainforests, birds and wildlife. We were entertained by the howler monkeys swinging through the trees.

Next we flew to La Fortuna to the Arenal Volcano region as we had not been here and it was highly recommended. We stayed at the Volcano Lodge Hotel and Thermal Experience. We enjoyed a private patio with a private thermal spa at our room. It’s a larger lodge than the other places we stayed. One day we did the La Fortuna Waterfall Hike, a local farm lunch and then hiked in the Arenal Volcano National Park, which was a wonderful hike including wildlife and great views of the volcano. Another excursion was a guided natural history walk at the Mistico Arenal hanging bridges. The hanging bridges and the views were wonderful and our guide identified many wildlife, birds and plants. We also kayaked in the Arenal Lake which was another view of the volcanoes as well as provided additional history of the area. We were happy to experience this area from the nature perspective away from the more touristy activities.

We then had a driver take us to the Bajos del Toro Valley in the Mist Cloud Forest at the El Silencio Lodge and Spa. This is a wonderful lodge with each room its own spacious bungalow with a nice deck. There are many trails to multiple waterfalls, hummingbird gardens and more on the grounds. We did one excursion off-site at Del Toro Waterfall which was a nice hike and beautiful waterfall. We loved the lodge and the grounds along with the service and the restaurant had excellent food. We could have easily stayed at this lodge and been happy for a few more days.

We enjoyed the whole experience — our first and last locations were our favorites — one very hot and humid (Osa Peninsula) and one cooler in the mountains (El Silencio). Highly recommend. Priscilla, our travel planner — had a very detailed itinerary and excellent communication to get us to the multiple destinations with ease.

My husband and I returned from our Costa Rica vacation two weeks ago. This time has given me the opportunity to reflect on how much we fully enjoyed our experience.

During my initial conversation with Priscilla Jimenez, I expressed my strong desire to see toucans in the wild. Honestly, seeing toucans outside of a zoo environment was the starting point for this trip.

My husband and I wanted a balance of activities and relaxation over the course of our visit to Costa Rica. After a few tweaks to the itinerary and a few toucan videos shared via emails from Priscilla, we booked the trip.

Wow! Priscilla and her team delivered on all of the promised elements of the trip. We received emails from Alberto, the Operations Manager, each day reconfirming details of the next day’s adventure. The first half of our trip was spent in the rainforest at Nayara Gardens. While staying at Nayara Gardens, we visited the Nectandra Cloud Forest Garden, the Arenal Observatory and the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park.

All of the drivers and guides that we met along the way were exceptional. They all were friendly, knowledgeable, engaging and fun. And yes, we saw toucans!! Huge shout out to our ornithologist guide, Margarita, and driver Irma for ensuring that we identified many of the beautiful birds of the rain forest. In the two days we spent together, we identified over 70 species of birds. If you are into birdwatching, Costa Rica is the place to go!

The second half of the trip my husband and I spent relaxing at the Andaz Papagayo Resort. On our way to the Andaz, we had a private boat tour where we saw additional birds, crocodiles, and lots of monkeys.

It was a spectacular trip. The pace of the trip was exactly as we had hoped. We learned a great deal about the country, its geography, climate and wildlife AND we had time to float several days away in the Gulf of Papagayo.

I would not hesitate to book another trip with Priscilla and her team. My husband and I are truly grateful for the assistance in planning and executing this trip, ensuring our safety while visiting Costa Rica and delivering on all of our expectations. We will always treasure the memories of this trip.

Jackie Wiggins | December 14, 2023

We took a trip to Costa Rica from Dec 5-11 and all the details of the trip were taken care of by our trip planner. Our drivers and guides were always early and their English was excellent. Our trip was a bit complicated by the fact that we needed to be transported to and picked up from the Eastern part of Costa Rica for an EARTH University visit, but our guides were very accommodating. For the three days we had remaining, every detail was taken care of, including covering our cost for dinner, since we had lunch on our own. So very kind. Thank you!

Just back from Costa Rica over Thanksgiving week and the trip planned by Priscilla was spot-on perfect. The locations we selected, Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio, gave us three different settings to enjoy and were all easy travel distances apart. We started in Arenal where Priscilla recommended Tabacon Resort — the room was spacious and had a direct view overlooking the volcano, the included breakfast was an incredible selection of continental and Costa Rican cuisine with the freshest, sweetest fruit, and the included hot springs were a wonderful way to relax at the end of the day. She arranged a private driver and guides and nearly all our activities were private too, and this really allowed us to learn more, see more and deeply experience each area. Across the entire trip, Priscilla expertly matched the activities with our desire for an active, high adventure vacation and we enjoyed canyoning (with waterfall rappelling), ziplining, white water rafting and lots of great hikes with hanging bridges.

She made the trip flow so smoothly that even the travel days were filled with fun activities. On the transfer between Arenal and Monteverde we had a private boat ride across a lake and our naturalist guide, Fico (who was with us for 5 days and became like family) pointed out all sorts of wildlife along the way and then we did the most wonderful night hike and climbed a towering tree in the jungle to enjoy the sunset view from the treetops while snacking on Costa Rican treats. Hiking with Fico continued in Monteverde with hanging bridges and lots of bird watching. We saw sloths, monkeys, coati, agouti, snakes and more at every location. I was hoping to see one sloth the entire trip and we must have seen over 20, including one that was right next to us on the ground.

Our driver, Mauricio was also phenomenal and helped my daughter practice her Spanish. On the transfer between Monteverde and Manuel Antonio, we enjoyed a private crocodile boat tour where we saw many crocodiles, monkeys, birds and were slightly scared when a giant crocodile swam right up alongside the boat. Manuel Antonio National Park was the only really overcrowded spot of the trip, but the amount of wildlife we saw there with our wonderful guide Karla and taking a quick dip in the picture perfect, pristine beach were still highlights. Priscilla’s recommendations of Senda in Monteverde and Gaia in Quepos were also wonderful hotels with wildlife on both properties and amazing cuisine at the restaurants. Thanks for a perfect vacation, we can’t wait to see more of Costa Rica.

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