Tell me about yourself and your experience in the travel industry?
I first traveled to Costa Rica in 1984 when I was a stockbroker based out of Miami, Fl. My client base here enabled me to spend a lot of time in the country and get to know it and its' people well.
Needless to say I fell in love with the place and in 1995 I moved here permanently, bought a Bed and Breakfast in Moravia and founded Rain Forest Tours. We were one of the first three agencies in the country to be 100% virtual. Since 1994 my love for the country and my desire to share its' beauties with guests has only grown stronger.
What is your position at Rain Forest Tours?
Founder, CEO and General Mgr.
What do you love most about your job?
Meeting with our clients when they arrive and seeing them excited about their plans. By the time most of them arrive we have been communicating for many months so it seems like old friends. It's very nice to finally put a face to the many letters. Then when they leave and write back telling me how much they enjoyed their trip and thanking me for our help, it's very satisfying and gratifying.
What do you love most about Costa Rica, what makes this destination special?
Another easy one, by far the people are what makes Costa Rica such a great destination and why so many foreigners have decided to move here. They are warm, hospitable and fun loving. It's a true indication of their character that the typical answer to a " How are you" is "Pura Vida", literally translated meaning "pure life". This "joi de vivre" that unfortunately has died somewhat in the hustle and bustle of other countries is alive and well in Costa Rica. Of course the natural beauty of the country cannot be overlooked and I often tell people that it´s one of the few places in the world where you can experience such a variety of activities and very different ecosystems in a short vacation. We have two oceans to choose from, active volcanoes, roaring white water rivers, tropical rain forests, cloud forests, savannahs, etc.
What travel advice do you have for our clients on Costa Rica?
Do your homework, research the country for areas and activities that you like, and work with a local travel agency (hopefully Rain Forest Tours) that is familiar with the country's infrastructure. When planning, don't be misled by distances on a map. What normally might take a drive of 2 hours on European and North American super highways, might take all day on our bumpy roads.
What's your favorite Costa Rican dish?
Hands down, my favorite is "boca" (local name for appetizer) called "chifrijo" which is a combination of rice, beans, pieces of pork, chopped onions, tomatoes, parsley and hot sauce to your liking. Hard to beat, write me and I will gladly send you the names of my favorite places to try out this delectable concoction
What's your favorite tourist attraction in all of Costa Rica?
There are so many beautiful areas that it's hard to pick just one, so I will pick two. The Atlantic/Caribbean area has a charm unlike any other area of Costa Rica and I often tell guests that it's like getting two for the price of one. Because of the rich African influence in the area, it often seems that you are in another country. The beaches there are some of the most beautiful in all of Costa Rica. The other area that is an absolute must for any visitor coming here is the Osa Peninsula / Corcovado National Park. This is an undeniably beautiful place, considered to be one of the most important natural preserves in the Americas and what most imagine when they think of a Tropical Rain Forest environment. Fortunately, in this case reality exceeds expectations. Any serious naturalist, birder, photographer, will do themselves a disservice not visiting this unique part of Costa Rica. For divers, Caño Island just off the mainland is an underwater paradise.