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Derek & Lara Bickel were looking for an active vacation to maximize time with their kids and I designed a custom vacation to Costa Rica for them that included adventure for kids & adults, some relaxation time, and exploring new cultures & geography. Here's what they had to say about their trip.
I'm not sure the review below captures my enthusiasm and appreciation. This was the best vacation of my life (honeymoon excepted) and certainly the best with the kids. The itinerary progression was perfect, It started with adventure and moved to relaxation but still included adventure. If I had tried to create my own vacation it would have palled in comparison to this trip. You converted us to have planned vacations from now on. It was the best vacation we have ever had. We loved Costa Rica and we've already told people about Wildland and will continue to do so!"
"We enjoyed EVERYTHING! The activities portion (white water rafting, canyoneering, and zip lining) were perfect for our adventure as parents and for the kids as well. Having Sterling there (our guide) made a HUGE difference. The guide advantage cannot be understated. Sterling was my first-ever guide for an extended time. He was amazing! He connected with the kids and adults really well, and went above and beyond for us. He was always punctual and when he was there we felt very at-ease. When I recommend this trip, (and I have been!) we recommend it with the guide, and hopefully with Sterling.
The horseback riding was only fair - the kids were definitely done before the leaf cutter ants portion. It was interesting but didn't add much value to the day. The organic farm was similarly okay. I wouldn't necessarily skip that, but wasn't nearly the same as the other adventures."
"Tabacon was a very nice resort with nice rooms, but of course the hot springs were the huge highlight. Also, the food at Tabercon was really expensive and not what we wanted for dinners (as opposed to Peace Lodge dinners which were expensive but a great experience). Breakfasts were okay, dinner was really bad, and so expensive. We were tired and just wanted an easy meal, but in hindsight should have gone to town or grabbed food to go."
"Peace Lodge was lots of fun, though we were pretty pressed on time to see the actual park, still I remember being overwhelmed seeing the waterfalls IN the room, and another fantastic balcony. Our first night at Peace Lodge we were surprised by how good the food was, it was truly a great dining experience!"
"The cabin at La Paloma was incredible and the whole resort area was a perfect end to the trip. The balcony there is unforgettable, and I loved the outdoor showers, lacquered floors, and the feeling of isolation as we couldn't see any other structures from our cabin. I liked being so remote in the jungle and able to walk to the beach. I also really liked the family style dining there and interacting with all (both) of the other guests. La Paloma even made separate food for our super-picky kids."
"I found solace in being so isolated & disconnected. Upon returning I've turned off notifications being pushed to my phone and we consciously spend more time with the kids and away from the TV. I also appreciate many things more than I did before, such as living in an area that has very few dangerous animals, commutes that don't include challenging a river or ocean storm, and the open spaces we have near our home. Also, seeing the sense of community in Costa Rica, the healthcare system, and also education approach and emphasis on the environment were all humbling. The kids told me the other day that they notice wildlife more now that they've been to Costa Rica. For those willing, turn off your electronics (or give them up like we did and pick them up at the end of the trip). Enjoy the experience, facebook can wait." - The Bickels
Keeping it wild,