Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Costa Rica and have lived here my entire life. And ever since I could, I’ve been travelling the world. Soon after I left school, I travelled around Costa Rica and discovered every single part of it! Although, we do have a fairly small country, there’s an insane amount to explore, and I’m still exploring it today, seeking out new hiking trails, new lagoons, different viewpoints, that take you to places you hadn’t even knew existed before, it really is fascinating.
My deep knowledge of countries extends far beyond just Costa Rica as well, I’ve been lucky enough to have a broad knowledge of most of the other Central American countries, as well as, a lot of the South American countries, allowing me to extend tours over there as well.
You might be surprised to know that I started out in a completely different field altogether, I studied engineering at university and worked in this industry for a little while. But, a little while later, due that passion for discovery and exploring new places eating away at me, I started my immersive travel company with a friend (14 years ago to be exact) and began having way too much fun helping people discover my wonderful country and the countries around it, so as soon as the possibility came around I just grabbed it, decided to leave engineering behind and have worked in the industry ever since.
What inspired you to work in travel?
As I’ve mentioned, I do have a bit of an obsession when it comes to showing people the beauty of Costa Rica. But apart from this, I’ve always been very much pro environment and have a keen interest in conservation. One of the best things about travel is that it can have a large component of conservation, at some point before I started working in travel, I thought I would work within conservation. So travel is a great bridge between my passions of discovery and conservation. Because if tourism is done right can help change both people’s lives and the world, and that’s really powerful.
What makes your experiences special?
Firstly, supplier and destination selection is key for us when choosing our experiences. If you get these right, you have a pretty good shot of having a truly authentic experience. So, we choose destinations that are not the same as all the other tour companies out there, those that are emerging or have something special about them, that most people don’t know about. An example would be, Drake Bay in Costa Rica, there’s a few things that everybody does e.g. the Corcovado National Park, a must visit for this area. But the difference between us and the other companies is that we use the local companies, that employ real locals, so this gives smaller companies a chance to compete with the large companies. When we choose hotels, we choose those that are sustainable, away from the normal ones.
And we always ensure the places/people we work with are committed to sustainability, it’s our mission to spread the wealth of toursim, to make sure money just doesn’t go to all the large companies, we think it should be shared equally to everyone in the country. So our suppliers are always real local people, that truly love their country and are trying to make an honest living out of it.