A Go See It People Interview
We can't be everywhere, though goodness knows we've tried! So we love to tell other people where to go! Occasionally, they even listen to us! Let me re frame that. The Feifer's are a wonderful family of 4 from New England, Two busy professionals and their teen son and daughter who love adventures where they can take time to connect and be active. We met the Feifers in Ecuador, on an adventure to the Galapagos Islands. At the time, I referred to them as the "brochure family"; meaning that their family looks like they match perfectly and are always having such great fun, that they could be used on a travel brochure to advertise the destination! So when Mom Marianne approached me about an idea for their next big trip, I could just picture them on a brochure for a trip to Costa Rica! I gave Marianne some advice on her itinerary and she very generously shared her story and photos of her family's adventure. I hope you enjoy all the vicarious thrills the Feifer Family did, and we thank them for sharing their adventures with us!
How did you decide on this destination? Why did you want to go?
Over the years, we have discovered that we really enjoy active vacations and seeing wildlife. Can you say Galapagos?
Ed. Note: We met the Feifer Family when we shared an amazing Galapagos adventure together...if they weren't into wildlife before that trip, they certainly were afterwards!)
We were also looking for a location that did not take a day to get to as we only had about 6 days to spend anywhere. We thought about Yosemite, as well, but we couldn’t find either a group tour or a private guide whose timing worked.
2- How did you plan your trip? Did you use a travel agent or tour?
We had some good friends who recommended a private guide and tour company. It worked well since they were able to accommodate our timeline and activity level. We spoke with the tour company owner who came up with an itinerary for us. Costa Rican Resource
3- What did you do while you were on this trip?
Oh boy...what didn’t we do?
● Rafting down the Pacuare River to the ecolodge. (Short hike up from the river to the lodge)
● Stayed over at the tour company’s private ecolodge, no electricity. (Woke up to seeing toucans on the porch and turkey vultures sunning themselves.)
● Ziplining under the canopy.
● Full day of rafting down the Pacuare on class III and IV rapids. (This is where I got the black eye.)
● Stay at the beautiful Nayara Resort in Arenal
● Canyoneering Adventure included repelling down waterfalls, some hiking in water, and a few zip lines over the water. I LOVED this as it required physical fitness and using your brain to figure out where to put your foot next.
● Trip to Danaus Reserve where we saw sloths, red eyed tree frogs, and many different birds
● In the evening, we visited a Hotspring.
● Ziplining above the canopy where we could see the Arenal Volcano.
● Hike in Manuel Antonio National Park. We saw sloths, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys.
● At our hotel (Arenas del Mar), we got very close to a sloth and were able to watch him move and were greeted by capuchin monkeys.
4- What surprised you about this place? Is there a "don't miss it" attraction?
There’s more than one don’t miss it.
● Stay at an ecolodge.
● Raft down the Pacuare
● Canyoneering (adventuresome!)
● Manuel Antonio National Park
5- What tips would you give for someone who wants to visit? Anything special you should pack?
● Mosquito Repellant! Well, you are travelling into a rain forest! Given the recent rise in Zika (although we weren’t in areas that were especially effected at the time). Before the trip we bought a product that you sprayed on your clothes to make them bug repellent. And, we still brought lots of bug repellent and sun screen.
● Also, we checked CDC recommendations for vaccinations. We were able to use the oral typhoid vaccine.
● Water shoes that you are comfortable hiking in.
● Light rain gear.
● Pack light
● Be prepared to get wet and wear helmets. :)
6- is there anything else you'd like to tell us about your trip?
Our guide is also a known birder in the area. He had a fabulous camera as well as binoculars that we could use. He shared pictures with us AND showed us how you can take really great pictures with your iphone through binoculars. He also got as excited as we did when we saw some wildlife - like the spider monkeys!
If you’ve never had it, try the guanabana juice.
(Ed. Note: This is a delicious fruit we discovered while traveling with the Feifers in Ecuador. I had a terrible time pronouncing it- I bet you were about to google it too! Here's a hint, it rhymes with the lyric in this Muppet Show song, which Marianne and her family would sing out loud whenever I would struggle to order may favorite fruit juice!)
Say “Pura Vida” a lot!
Thank you Marianne, and the Feifer family, for sharing your adventures with us! For more on Costa Rica see more GoSeeItTravel posts here...