You know we plan unforgettable trips. You know that our travel experts can customize almost anything for your visit to Costa Rica. You know we pride ourselves in our professionalism and innovation. You may even know that we are the experts on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica; a unique trait amongst travel agencies in Costa Rica. But who are we?
We here at Gecko Trail are a small, but diverse group of travel experts that all share a love for the small yet mesmerizing nation known as Costa Rica. Some of us were born and raised Costa Rica, while others moved here from various corners of the world (Switzerland, Germany, United States). We live in different parts of Costa Rica from the Southern Caribbean, the Central Valley and the Northern Zone. And although we may be a diverse group, we can all agree on one thing. We love to customize your Costa Rica travel plans. Since we all have a passion for travel and have extensive knowledge about Costa Rica, it’s only natural for us to think of all of the important details that you will need covered during your visit. We truly do make Costa Rica easy!
So now you know a bit about us as a group, but who are all of these travel experts behind the emails, chats and messages you receive? In an effort to share more of who we are with you, we set up an interview with many of the team members here at Gecko Trail. We asked about various aspects of life and travel in Costa Rica, as well as several team “favorites” since hearing recommendations is always a plus!
For the Costa Ricans – What is your favorite part about being from Costa Rica?
For those from other countries – What made you want to live in Costa Rica?
Megan – I studied abroad here years ago and fell in love with the natural beauty, the beaches, the animals, the people, the relaxed lifestyle; everything! When returning home from my study abroad program, I felt like I was leaving a part of me behind and that I had to return someday. I moved back here in 2013, met the man who is now my husband, and have been here ever since.
Toni – First off all, the fact that Costa Rica doesn’t have an army. Then of course the nature, flora and fauna. The Caribbean Sea. The tranquil lifestyle; Caribbean way. People are generally very friendly.
Johanna – Living in a free country without an army.
Lorena – I love everything about it! One of them is the lovely country we have with such amazing places full of life, nature, animals and PURA VIDA!!! Another very important thing is that we don’t have an army, so that makes us feel very proud and happy. But as I said, I love everything; the culture, the people, our democracy, our freedom. We are a SMALLcountry but with a BIG HEART!
Monika – Love – my husband 🙂
Nina – The tropical climate, easy going lifestyle, being right next to the sea.
What is your favorite time of year in Costa Rica? Why?
Monika – April, May, June, July, August and part of September as there is less dust in Monteverde. Rain starts and all is getting greener and it is not that crowded with people.
Johanna – Christmas because you spend time with family.
Lorena – I love Christmas! The weather is great as it’s summer but with the tradewinds and beautiful sunsets. Also, the people are happy and grateful, the air is full of joy and love. It’s time to be with family friends and also party 🙂
Nina – March-April; sunny days and coolish nights. Also, the sea is usually pretty calm.
Megan – Probably the end of December/beginning of January. Summer is just starting but there’s still a nice breeze in the air. Everyone is in “holiday mode” and in good spirits.
Toni – Honestly, I like it all.
What is your favorite tour for adventure seekers? Why?
Lorena – The Gravity Falls is great and full of adrenaline, the sky drift is a lot of fun, and the rafting (I didn’t do it yet, but I know is great). I normally love the adventures that include water.
Monika – I am not the adventure type, more the nature type who loves hiking and observing wildlife. I also love horseback riding. But I would say for those who are looking for a great adventure, I can recommend the Pacuare rafting as it can be combined to travel from one place to another, and also because of the landscape that can be observed.
Nina – River Rafting on Pacuare is unbeatable for me. Then again, I have not done an adventure tour in a long time. Once you are a mum, life is adventurous enough 🙂
Megan – Definitely the Pacuare River Rafting. It was quite a rush! The zipline was also a lot of fun.
Toni – The Pacuare River Rafting. What I like the most on this tour is that you feel so alive and so connected with the nature. I like the part where they let us jump into the water, especially in the canyon. Pure magic and breathtaking. It brings up your adrenaline and the result is pure happiness. I do want to mention also that it was very well organized and the tour guides are fun and professional.
What is the best advice you can give to someone visiting Costa Rica?
Monika – To visit both coasts as both are totally different, and don’t forget to also visit the mountains.
Toni – Enjoy and relax!
Johanna – Enjoy and relax!
Lorena – Try to see as much as you can, help the people by shopping locally, and don’t spend too much on a hotel. It’s better to have a great tour or adventure to remember than a night in a place that will be only for sleeping.
Nina – Come with an open mind and heart and you will love it!
Megan – Bring an open mind and a sense of adventure and you will have an unforgettable visit!
What are your 3 favorite beaches in Costa Rica?
Lorena – Punta Uva in the South Caribbean, Avellanas, San Juanillo, Conchal in Guanacaste. In the Central Pacific, I would say Manuel Antonio inside the national park, In the Southern Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Teresa & Montezuma. In the South Pacific, Piñuelas, Playa Arco, Matapalo (Osa). I’m sure there are more amazing beaches!
Toni – Punta Uva, Manzanillo, Punta Mona (Puerto Viejo area)
Johanna – Playa Panama (Guanacaste), Playa Punta Uva (Puerto Viejo), Playa Manuel Antonio (Puntarenas).
Monika – Playa Samara, Playa Carrillo and beach at Isla Tortuga.
Nina – Playa Negra (Puerto Viejo), Playa Samara and Santa Teresa beaches
Megan – I can’t choose just 3. In the Caribbean, I love Manzanillo, Punta Uva and the beaches in Cahuita National Park. On the Pacific side, I love any beach in the Corcovado National Park, Montezuma, Carrillo, San Juanillo, Conchal, San Miguel de Bejuco, Bahia de los Piratas, Penca, and so many others.
What does “Pura Vida” mean to you?
Lorena – Pura Vida is a lifestyle for me! It’s how I feel in my life with everything I do, I have and I give!
Johanna – Be happy.
Toni – Take is easy. All good. Have a nice day. You’re welcome. It is what it is. Whatever.
Monika – A way of life; a relaxed, simple way of looking at life. No worries, no stress.
Nina – An overall good life in one of the prettiest countries with adorable people
Megan – Pura Vida is a mindset and a way of life. It’s about not sweating the small stuff; no stress, no worries. It’s a more positive way of looking at life.
Where is your favorite place in Costa Rica? Why?
Megan – There are so many options. I would have to say Drake Bay/Corcovado National Park in the Southern Pacific. It’s nostalgic for me as it was my first trip ever in Costa Rica. It’s also the most naturally beautiful place I’ve ever seen. 5% of the world’s biodiversity is found in this small peninsula and I saw so many different types of plants and animals there that I never even knew existed.
Nina – Playa Negra, Puerto Viejo – it is home…
Toni – The Puerto Viejo area because of the amazing rainforest, nature, and diverse people (there are around 50 nationalities living in this area.
Johanna – Puerto Viejo de Limon; it’s a beautiful and peaceful place
Shantala – Puerto Viejo. Is my hometown. It’s the best place in the world
Lorena – Every place in Costa Rica with a beach is perfect for me!
Monika – There are too many to just mention one! Drake Bay because of nature and it’s less touristy. La Fortuna because of the volcano and hot springs. Rincon de La Vieja as it is great for hiking, and Puerto Viejo because of that typical Caribbean feeling.
What is your favorite restaurant in Costa Rica? Where is it located?
Lorena – This one is hard, but I will say Go Fish in San Jose. I love seafood! Also, Vista Mar in the Central Pacific. In the Caribbean, I love Bread and Chocolate and also Ghetto Girl for the rice and beans with chicken. I like more places but these are great for me.
Nina – Since I became vegan, this is a hard one to answer! I love the Bambu Restaurant on the N32 (highway), next to the Earth University. They have great local food, fantastic homemade tortillas, and all for very little money. In Puerto Viejo I like to eat at Stashus ConFusion and Madre Tierra.
Toni – Lazlo Catch of the Day in Puerto Viejo. They have the best fish.
Monika – Restaurant Tramonti in Monteverde
Megan – There are too many to choose! There is a restaurant in Heredia with the best Caribbean Rice and Beans of Costa Rica (I swear) called Don Albert. Entre Nous (San Jose/Heredia/Alajuela) has great breakfasts, lunches, coffee and smoothies. I like El Mestizo in Plaza Tempo Escazu because there are options for so many different types of food under one roof. In Jaco, I really like Clarita’s Beach. In the Puerto Viejo area, I can’t miss the rice and beans at Ghetto Girl and breakfast at Pan Pay or Bread and Chocolate.
Hopefully you feel like you know us here at Gecko Trail a little better and also received some amazing travel tips at the same time! Until next time; Pura Vida!