Tag Archives: Costa Rica

GreenSpot.travel kicks off tenth anniversary celebration, welcoming new president and managing director

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Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica

Press Release:

GreenSpot.travel, a leading experiential travel designer for custom eco-luxe vacations, has kicked off its tenth anniversary celebration with the announcement that the company has expanded its team, welcoming Jeremy Sampson and Selena Solis to senior leadership positions.

Other announcements for this year include the recent expansion of trips to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, the planned unveiling of a reimagined website featuring GreenSpot’s growing list of destinations, and a special-access custom anniversary trip to be announced in coming weeks.

Galapagos Islands travel

In his new role with GreenSpot, Sampson oversees operations, destination development, and implementation of the company’s marketing strategy. A travel industry veteran who has worked in more than a dozen countries, Sampson balances a diverse set of cross-functional management skills with experience in sustainable tourism, social enterprise development, and community engagement. Sampson joined GreenSpot after a five-year stint at international NGO Sustainable Travel International, where he was most recently vice president of partnership development.

Solis, a native Costa Rican born and raised in San Jose, has worked in the travel industry for more than 25 years, focusing on trip operations and travel planning for upscale travelers and special interest guests, making her an essential asset to the team. Before joining GreenSpot, Solis managed an inbound tour operator and spent time exploring Nicaragua while working at Morgan’s Rock Ecolodge. In her new role, Solis oversees in-country operations for GreenSpot Costa Rica.

Ecuador HummingbirdSampson and Solis join a staff that includes company founders Irene and Richard Edwards, both of whom are Conde Nast Top Traveler Specialists for Costa Rica and continue to play integral roles at the company. GreenSpot is also a 2016 Trusted Travel Expert for Costa Rica on Wendy Perrin’s WOW List.

“We are thrilled to have Jeremy and Selena join the team,” says Irene Edwards. “Their expertise in the tourism industry, strong leadership skills, and deep commitment to meaningful personal and professional relationship building make them both valued assets to our team as we evolve.”

While Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua have been GreenSpot’s geographic focus to date, the company is thoughtfully expanding based on customer demand and enthusiasm for exploring new places. New destinations recently launched include Iceland, the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico), and Ecuador and the Galapagos. All destinations were selected based on extensive research and relationship building that align with GreenSpot’s values, including high standards of quality and social responsibility.

GreenSpot was founded on the idea that travel should support conservation and the well-being of destination residents. The GreenSpot team has deep experience in sustainable travel including community engagement, enterprise development, and best practices in responsible tourism.

“Our wish is that travelers are able to learn about conservation, biodiversity, and culture while experiencing just the right mix of adventure and relaxation they desire from a getaway,” says Sampson. “GreenSpot makes a point of getting to know the communities, companies, and local business people we work with, and we only recommend accommodations and activities that we have experienced and are aligned with our values.”

About GreenSpot.traveltree frog, Costa Rica

GreenSpot partners with travelers through its patented Trip Design approach to design customized vacations and unrivaled ecotourism experiences in destinations like Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Iceland. GreenSpot trips inspire meaningful exchanges with people and places, and leverage the top-rated boutique hotels, eco-lodges, and activity providers. As a result, GreenSpot clients embark on vacations that align with their values, including high standards of quality and social responsibility. GreenSpot has been a Condé Nast Traveler Top Costa Rica Specialist since 2006 and is included on Wendy Perrin’s 2016 WOW List as a Trusted Travel Expert for Costa Rica. www.greenspot.travel

Tips from a Ziplining Newbie

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I’ve experienced my share of adventure – white water rafting, paragliding, canyoning, high-peak trekking, a bit of rock climbing. I had a feeling that ziplining through a rainforest canopy was in my future. It was certainly on my bucket list. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go ziplining in Costa Rica.

One of my travel companions had some ziplining experience. As we ate lunch together she said, “Oh, I don’t want to eat a big lunch before going ziplining.” “Why?” I asked. “It’s a bit scary and might make me queasy.” I sized her up as a person with a bit of a weak stomach and probably scared of heights. I’m not scared of heights.

ziplining Costa Rica

Into a void of green – Costa Rica

We set off and our guide went over all the safety precautions and did a little demonstration. The first zip-line stretched high above a beautiful canyon of treetops and disappeared into a dense void of green. I watched the person before whizz along and when it was my turn, I was ready and couldn’t wait to soar over the trees. I’m sure I had a huge smile on my face.

However, something funny happened as the subsequent platforms became higher and higher. For me, flying high in the air was a piece of cake, but each time I was standing on a platform (albeit hooked onto a safety wire) I felt vulnerable and a little shaky. I hadn’t expected that platform-standing would provide an adrenaline rush.

 

Zipline costa rica ziplining costa Rica

This particular course also comprised of rappelling down the side of a rock cliff and climbing up the other side, which was a fun challenge. We also experienced a “Tarzan rope” that is used to swing from one high platform to another (additionally secured to a safety line, of course). I was first on the Tarzan rope. When I reached the other side, one of the guides thought it would be funny to throw me back over to the other side again. Turns out, it was quite funny, because everyone laughed at my stunned expression.

tarzan rope zip line costa rica IMG_7474 (2)

Here a few tips for the Ziplining Newbie:

  • Keep an open mind. If you think you might be scared, consider a tandem zipline with a professional guide, like in the above photo. On the other hand, if you are a thrill-seeker and don’t think it will be thrilling enough…you might be surprised!
  • It is fun for the whole family, although children should be over 5-years old. Many outfitters will accommodate disabled and elderly people as well.
  • Wear well-fitted clothing and shoes (no flip-flops!)
  • Book with an operator who has researched outfitters with the highest safety standards. (Like us!)
  • Pay close attention to your guides while on the course.
  • Have fun!

The Life Extending Magic of Pura Vida in Costa Rica

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Pura Vida Costa Rica beach

Playa Samara, Costa Rica at sunset

If you have traveled to Costa Rica, you have heard the term “pura vida”. Literally translated, it means “pure life”, but most foreigners transform it into a chilled-out, surfer expression meaning, “life is good” or something to that effect. However, if you listen closely, you notice that Ticos (Costa Ricans) use it as a greeting, in gratitude, to explain how they are feeling or even to describe a person’s character. You begin to realize that “pura vida” has a more profound meaning than you thought.

Fresh fruit, Costa Rica

Fresh fruit after kayaking

Sitting on a beach in Nicoya, our local guide explains that we are currently in one of five ‘blue zones’ of the world. For those who don’t know (I didn’t), blue zones are longevity hotspots – Five precise points on the globe where people live the longest. Costa Rica already has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, but the Nicoya Peninsula goes beyond that, as one of these hotspots, with high statistics of people living up to 100 years old.

Costa Rica beach and palms

Costa Rica beach and palms

Subconsciously, I inhale deeply, as if the humid and salty sea air will infuse a little of this magic into my body. Perhaps the magic isn’t only in the clean air they breathe. Like the saying goes…there must be something in the water. In Nicoya, that something is calcium – lots of it. This helps fight heart disease and build stronger bones. Furthermore, all those volcanoes produce sulphur-rich, anti-bacterial mud, which does wonders for the skin. The humidity is good for the respiratory system and ample sun provides vitamin D. So, it is no surprise that this is a popular spot for wellness journeys, such as yoga retreats and spa vacations.

Volcanic mud baths in Nicoya, Costa Rica

Volcanic mud baths in Nicoya, Costa Rica

According to the blue zone study, there are many more factors, such as diet, activity level, ambition, socialization and much more, that make up this remarkable statistic. I am sure the pura vida philosophy has something to do with it too. No doubt, there is a life-loving state of mind in Costa Rica.

As we traveled through Nicoya for a few days, we sampled a bit of the blue zone lifestyle through the food we ate, the activities we enjoyed and the people we met. I am guessing that one visit to this bright and breezy country is probably not going to extend my life. However, I am quite certain that a little bit of magic penetrated into my sun-kissed shoulders or stowed away in my sand-filled suitcase, because I feel healthier and more relaxed upon my return. And if it wasn’t enough, I guess I’ll just have to go back for another dose.

To get your dose of pura vida, longevity magic, contact us.

 

Postcard from Costa Rica

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We’re thrilled to be sharing another postcard from a trip we arranged for Zaria and her family to Costa Rica:

“Irene planned the PERFECT trip for my father and I! We had the perfect mixture of adventure and relaxation, jungle and beach. My family has traveled extensively all over the world, and our trip to Costa Rica was certainly one of the very best.

We stayed at Finca Rosa Blanca in their GORGEOUS master suite, overlooking their organic coffee plantation. We went to Arenal and stayed at Kioro Hotel, enjoyed their wonderful spa, hot springs, an insanely gorgeous and CLOSE view of the volcano, zip-lining, hanging bridges, and horseback riding to a beautiful waterfall. We had a wonderful, intelligent, sweet guide named Donald for our 3 days there.

We then drove down to Nosara and spent a week at the Harmony Hotel which I could not praise enough… Irene was spot-on with all locations and hotels.. and was extremely helpful in the planning process. Always efficient and attentive to emails, and always making herself available for questions/concerns. Thank you Irene!!!!”

ZARIA

A Postcard from Costa Rica

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Another lovely trip review we received from a guest visiting from Europe:

“Irene Edwards arranged a beautiful trip for me and a friend to the wonderful country of Costa Rica. Knowing a lot about the country herself, she made a program for us that combined nature and culture. She put a lot of effort in the realisation of our specific wishes and found the most wonderful and exciting places to stay. We enjoyed nature in the rainforest, spent a few nights in a hotel with a view of an active vulcano and enjoyed the wildlife in the peninsula. Thank you very much for that experience, Irene!”

Mieke – The Netherlands

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Iceland 🇮🇸 - Hot springs in the middle of nowhere! ... See MoreSee Less

15 hours ago  ·  

Tingles.
Every morning, our team wakes up thinking that if we do our best work and put our passion for Costa Rica 🇨🇷 into planning your trip, we’re all going to benefit together. In this case, we got tingles reading Eric’s thoughts.
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16 hours ago  ·  

#WOWweek tip for getting great deals on amazing experiences. Book your trip for July or August for this view. Lower season prices, and most folks are thinking it’s rainy season. Weather in #ManuelAntonio that time of year is gorgeous in the morning. Then it clouds up for afternoon showers, before the clouds part for sunsets like these!! What are you waiting for?
Look for more of our Wendy Perrin’s #WOWlist members’ tips all week.
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1 day ago  ·