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Robin Dolan, Costa Rica

We took a wonderful trip to Costa Rica through Wildland and absolutely loved it. I could write pages about everything that my family loved. But I will summarize some of the highlights.

Our guide Onik was wonderful! Our girls (9 and 6) instantly attached themselves to her. She was phenomenally knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and simply great to hang around. We definitely credit Onik for our new-found knowledge about Costa Rica. Having a guide was an eye-opening experience; one that we would highly recommend.

We loved the zip lines, but who wouldn't? Our Costa rica tour included two zip lines: one at SkyTrek which was rather intense and another in the San Ramon cloud forest. They were both great and very different; my daughter liked the lower key one better (she could hang upside down while zipping).

For families with school-aged children, visiting and donating 30 soccer balls to a local school was a phenomenal highlight for us. We brought them down deflated and Onik helped us blow them up. It is unlikely that our family, the other family we travelled with, Onik and our driver Warner will ever forget the pure joy on their faces when we unloaded all of those balls. It felt like it was meant to be when we pulled up at the school and some kids were kicking around a popped ball. You might spend a few hundred dollars zip-lining, or fishing, or rafting. For the same few hundred dollars, you can also have an unforgettable cultural experience by sharing with the community like we did.

Finally, we would highly recommend a visit off the beaten path to the Osa Peninsula and the Iguana Lodge. Our six-year old cried when we left. It is somewhere between camping and sleeping at a resort. Whatever you call it, we loved it. The small trips in the area are also very interesting, including a trip to the Osa Sanctuary where they rehabilitate wildlife. It was wonderful to learn more detailed information about the animals we had already seen everywhere including what threatens them and conservation programs to protect them. And of course walking down a path with a spider monkey on your shoulder was pretty cool too!

Pura Vida!