Travel Consultant Nicola Goldie shares her experience of joining our Tanager: Flora and Fauna of Costa Rica group tour.

What country did you visit?

Costa Rica

How did you get there? I took the direct British Airways flight from Gatwick to San José, departing London in the morning and arriving in the afternoon.

Where did you go?

I joined our Tanager: Flora and Fauna of Costa Rica group tour. This takes a circular route from San José to Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast, then inland to the national parks of Sarapiquí, Rio Celeste and Monteverde before ending with two nights in Carara near the Pacific Coast.

Have you been before?

Yes, but on a family holiday when I was 12 years old.

Any noticeable differences?

From what I remember of the first trip, not much. The people were just as friendly, and the country was just as verdant and exciting to explore.

Which was your favourite...

Place: Tortuguero National Park. It was full of monkeys and only accessible by boat which added to the adventure

Hotel: Celeste Mountain Lodge. Architecturally impressive with lovely views.
Excursions: The Rio Celeste Hike.

What was your most memorable moment?

Difficult to choose, so I'd have to pick kayaking beneath a sloth on a low-handing branch in Tortuguero and spotting a Resplendent Quetzal in Monteverde cloud forest.

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What tips do you have for travellers wanting to visit the same destination?

Costa Rica is a great country to travel in as it pairs exotic surroundings with excellent standards of hygiene and infrastructure. Anyone with an interest in nature would relish time there - you don't have to be a keen bird watcher. If possible, avoid the rainy season (May-Nov) as when it rains, it pours.

Is there anything indispensable to pack or prepare for?

An essential item to pack is a (good) pair of binoculars, as these will make all the difference to your appreciation of the wildlife. Take insect repellent as Costa Rica has plenty of mosquitoes, but don't be put off by this - they are not everywhere and enjoying the nature there is worth a few bites!

Sum up your trip in a sentence?

A wonderful 12 days spent outdoors enjoying sun, palmed-fringed beaches, jungle and innumerable birds, bats, monkeys, butterflies and more!

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