When Tom Lichty gave a Costa Rica adventure as a gift to his partner in June they had seven months to look forward to it, but since everything in Costa Rica is made out to sound so idyllic, they were dubious. But they had a positive outlook, they felt that even if the trip was a bust, at least they would get seven months of anticipation out of the deal.
We had huge expectations for the trip. All of the literature made it sound idyllic. We were set to be let down. I knew that when I signed on but figured that the anticipation was half the program but it wasn't a bust! In fact, it was better than we expected. Costa Rica is a wonderful place. There was nothing we didn't enjoy. We are thrilled customers!
We saw the requisite monkeys, tucans, quetzels, caymans, lizards, frogs, butterflies, and bats. I dangled my feet in the Caribbean. We hiked through three rain forests, climbed two active volcanoes, and took three river trips, one of them at night. We saw coffee, pineapple, and banana plantations, thousands of acres each. We were especially impressed with our guide William. He really does a great job and was the best part of the trip. He was personable and exceedingly well informed. I am planning to write you a letter of commendation about him.
We drank incomparable coffee (and ate bananas or plantains) with every meal. We became addicted to blended drinks of milk, ice, and fruit that are served with lunches (of beans and rice) like a Coke with a Big Mac. Although, the food in Costa Rica isn't like the food in, say, France, we ate at great restaurants at every meal and had the best, I feel, that the country had to offer. There certainly was no hurting for quantity. Our health improved while we were there and we returned home with tans.
We learned to say "pura vida," which translates roughly to the French "la dolce vita." Costa Ricans say it in place of hello, goodbye, and everything in between. They know how good they've got it. They have good teeth (products of a nationalized health program) and they love to smile. I never heard a single one of them swear. (Read more about "pura vida")
Ticos are a happy people. They live in a climate where there's no need for windows and -- once you leave San Jose -- there simply are none. There's no need for screens either: for some reason, there aren't many bugs. Every restaurant we ate in was al fresco: only the kitchens were indoors. Every room we stayed in offered only wafting curtains and there were no keys for the doors. Every hotel was first class.
Comparing Wildland staff with agents of other travelers we met, you guys are saints. We were especially impressed with the checklists (and the maps and t-shirts). We were thoroughly prepared, and hardly packed anything that we didn't use.
Thanks Wildland for a wonderful time and a job
- Tom Lichty
Keeping it wild,
Your travel family at Wildland Adventures