Simon couldn't wait to finish his education to start travelling the world so after school he spent a year travelling and working in Australia before obtaining a degree in Journalism. After graduating he travelled extensively throughout the world and discovered his love of Latin America.
After being seduced by the beauty and the culture of the Andean countries and much of the rest of the continent Simon returned to the UK and immediately embarked on a career as a specialist of the area with a rival travel company. His personal highlights include Ecuador's incredible Galapagos Islands, hiking through the Andes and haggling in enticing highland artisan markets.
Since joining Audley Simon has had the opportunity to not only re-visit Ecuador but has also been introduced to Central America, and his new favourite country, Costa Rica. He was absolutely thrilled by the beauty, diversity and mostly the wildlife of this small country when he recently travelled extensively through the length and breadth of the country.
My Most Memorable Experience
"For me, a moment I'll truly never forget was whilst snorkelling in Darwin Bay near Genovesa Island. In the shallow, crystal clear waters of a small inlet, a two metre hammerhead shark appeared in front of my eyes barely five feet away from me.
It was one of those moments where you might not have a camera at the ready, but the memory of that magnificent shark will never leave me. Just incredible! "
My Favourite Destination
"Flying into the rainforests of South-West Costa Rica in a light aircraft really does feel like you've arrived on the edge of the world. Believe me, the views on the flight alone are worth the visit! The Osa Peninsula is one of Costa Rica's most remote areas and if you make the effort to travel to this corner of the country, you'll be rewarded with some of Latin America's most amazing wildlife opportunities.
A real highlight for me were the majestic scarlet macaws which fly overhead regularly here. It's also the best spot in the country to see larger tropical mammals, if you're lucky this might include Peccary, Tapir, Margay, Puma and even Jaguar.
And the best thing is that even right out in the pristine rainforest there are some absolutely beautiful, high quality lodges with their own private reserves and trails with access to some of the best beaches I've ever seen, usually completely deserted with the dense jungle and palms overhanging the sand."
My Favourite Accommodation
"I think La Leona Eco Lodge embodies exactly what this special area of Costa Rica is all about. The Osa Peninsula is about being close to nature in a remote setting, experiencing the best of Costa Rica's sustainable tourism and seeing amazing wildlife. There is no road or even a track to La Leona. The only way of reaching the lodge is a 3 ½ km walk along a stunning rainforest fringed beach. Your luggage is pulled along the beach behind you by horse and cart!
It is basic, undoubtedly, but the raised tents are charming, views unbeatable and the staff create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere serving up hearty food around communal dining tables so the small number of guests can exchange stories from the day. There are more luxurious options on the Osa Peninsula of course which are beautiful, but for getting close to nature and getting away from it all it's perfect. I loved it! "