When I was planning for a rainforest trip in Costa Rica, I needed a guide who really understands the depth of rainforest, a man who would not only function as a guide in my trip but someone who has great knowledge about rainforest life. I was looking for someone who could share my energy level. He must be resourceful, energetic and young having a wealth of jungle craft. More importantly, he should be able to read the rainforest environment like the back of his hand.
After a quick review on trip advisor a name came in front “Angelo Campo Bejarano” of Costa Rica Adventure & Guides. He had nothing but five star reviews for his knowledge, courteous services and relentless efforts to make his guest comfortable.
An email addressed by my team asking his interest to be a guide was well received with an answer that ended my search for a tour guide. “I have been brought up in the Costa Rican forests and adventure is in my blood. Showing the best of Costa Rica is my passion, I don’t know myself how many times I have led expeditionteams to the emerald forest, but I do know that there is not a single unhappy face I have seen after my trip. I am happy with the delivery of my service and I promise nothing less than Pure Vida,” communicated Angelo.
Convinced enough, I decided to explore the Costa Rican rainforest as well during my trip to this country. It started with my stay at Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat. It was just for three days, and yet the short stay made me feel as if I was immersed in an ocean of perpetual tranquillity for an eternal span. Honestly speaking, that short stay was so rejuvenating that it made me ready for the rainforest adventure. Angelo visited my resort to pick me up. From his demeanour, I could make out that this person is so well acquainted with every bit of the soil and foliage that we were crossing. I realized that this is the man I was looking for. He has a sea of jungle exposure and his company seems to promise a high possibility of rainforest adventure at its dramatic best!
He made me stay at Mountain Paradise Resort. It is set amid an exquisite fusion of typical Costa Rican rainforest environment and striking modernity. The rooms were well furnished and spotlessly clean. The staffs were warm and homely. The nature was so close that you can practically touch it and feel the essence.
I asked Angelo, “Apart from jungles, what else are there to see in Costa Rica?”He flashed a hearty smile and responded,“Costa Rica is full of tourist attractions and I had been to every corner of my country guiding tourists customizing their trips the way they wanted. There are exotic sea beaches. I know them individually by the colour and texture of the sand”.
He continued, “There are spewing volcanoes. Some of them are pretty active though in a small scale of intensity. You know Mt. Arena? It is the famous of them all. I am currently operating in and around La Fortuna located near this legendary volcanic mountain peak with Montverde close by. There is the pristine rain forest and I have it in my fingertips. Then there are other exquisite tourist spots like Corcovado, Cerro del la Muerta and the Caribbean side. I have led tourists to all these places. I take the liberty to set the itinerary and my plans are pretty flexible. I keep in mind to ensure the tourist makes the most out of every single dime he or she spends on the expedition”.
My curiosity knew no bounds, “What about wildlife? I asked. “I will show you exotic tree frogs and snakes. I know their habitats well. I will show you Tamandua, a kind of anteater. Costa Rica is a home to a number of bird species. There are the exotic parrots, the magnificent toucans and the hummingbirds. My motherland is also known as the hummingbird capital of the world though unofficially.” He replied.
I understood that there must be a lot of truth in his proud declaration.Angelo was unstoppable. He carriedon with his vibrant detailing. “But what will amaze you with its incredible beauty is the gorgeous Quetzal. This is one bird that possible is the most beautiful of all species found in this planet. It is a rare opportunity to have a sight of this angel bird. But I have good success rate. My tourists had been lucky to see them asI guided them to their habitat”. Confidence oozed from him.He added, “If you have luck on your side, you can even have a rare glimpse of sloth of Costa Rica”.
Let me tell you that this small Central American country is the home to a lot of creatures both big and small, and you will enjoy spotting these cute languorous creatures occasionally on tree tops. I also came to know about the Sloth Sanctuary located in the Caribbean Coast that houses injured, orphaned and abandoned sloths. Guided tours are available where you can ride a canoe and observe these creatures in their natural habitat.
It was quite obvious for me to check the credentials of the guide on whom I need to rely fully. Going through them, I found he is a government certified tour guide with exceptional knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Costa Rican rainforest. His knowledge about geology, ancient relics and other places of tourist attractions like museums, monuments, cathedrals and art galleries is reasonably good.
The tourist endorsements raised my comfort level. They describe him as the most reliable, dedicated and knowledgeable tourist guide around. Tourists feel safe as well as gratified in his company. Campos is a caring and responsible tour guide focused on delivering unique exposure to tourists.
I was exploring his credentials absorbed with interest. He must have read my silence in his own manner and assured me of the best package. He added that even if the charges are on a bit higher side, he would offer us the best that others won’t. This time it was an open hearted broad grin of assurance. It lifts your spirit. It makes you feel safe in the company of this man.
I asked, “What else Angeloto do worthwhile in your company?”“Be my guest. I have a comprehensive guided tour packages designed by myself all alone. Years of experience counts you see.” He responded.
Angelo had led expedition teams into deep jungles and said there are thousands of square miles of pristine Costa Rican rainforest still unexplored. And he expressed his deep love for the wild and inclination to know the unknown which exactly matched my desire too.The man was enthusiastic driven by a fiery passion to make a name for himself to become an all time legendary guide ever in Costa Rica. His clients included fun loving tourists, forest hikersand map survey and oil exploration teams. They find him irresistible as an escort.
Angelo enlightened me on a different facet. He knew the local customs well and the local dialects good enough to handle the porters, negotiate their wages, arrange the travel and procure food and water. This was a great relief for me. Guns are a necessity to ensure safety. He carries a license for a gun in the forest. He assured me that he did not have to use this till date. Not only this, Angelo owns a complete kit for animal watching in the jungle. He has an amazing telescope for sighting wildlife and will help us locate lizards, snakes and birds up close which are normally difficult to locate with an untrained eye. He also helped me take micro photos and video photography of the awesome mix of flora and fauna with our own equipments. I appreciated his hawk eyes that could locate the fauna quickly which is otherwise impossible to detect with inexperienced eyes.
He also insisted we take a trip to the Hanging Bridges, Arenalvolcanoand La Fortuna waterfalls and experience the white water rafting expedition. On my trip to Hanging Bridges, hismeticulous supervision ensured that we didn’t miss even an iota of fun. It was a lovely feeling to see a variety of birds from small to large. My photo shoots turned out to be excellent with Angelo suggesting different angles and viewpoints.
At the end of the day, I felt happy that I made a perfect decision to select Angelo Campos as my guide. You see if you hire a guide, you are completely at his mercy, especially in places like rain forests where you don’t have any idea of the right track that you need to follow not only for enjoyment but also for your safety. You really have to ensure that you meet the rightperson who can not only show places and make comfortable arrangements for you, but also to have the onus to go far beyond to delight your senses. Here, Angelo is a special cut above the rest. He knows his land inch by inch and could read the tourist psyche very well. Besides, the man had a unique demeanor that you instantly start liking him at the first sight. This is a great attribute of a tourist guide. There is a strong reason behind writing a review about this Costa Rican guide. It is simply because I had a delightful experience in his company that pushed me to pen a few words of gratification.