David, Costa Rica & Ecuador Specialist
I learned very early in my travels that the people of a country can drastically affect your experience there. I absolutely fell in love with the locals during my first visit to Ecuador for a volunteer service trip. I had never felt more welcomed and embraced by people I barely knew. I quickly became interested in the Latin American region as a whole and planned a trip to Costa Rica soon after. I was amazed at how seeing wildlife in the dense rainforest can make you feel just like a little child again. I have been recruiting friends and family to visit Latin America for years now and feel so lucky to be able to do so professionally as an Audley specialist.
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Q&A with David
What’s the best local dish you’ve tasted?
I absolutely love the traditional breakfast of Costa Rica. The meal revolves around gallo pinto which is a combination of black beans, rice, peppers and onions, with a touch of the local hot sauce, Lizano. It is usually accompanied by eggs, fresh fruit, avocado, cheese, corn fritters and a deliciously sweet grilled plantain to finish. You’ll find this traditional breakfast on most typical menus and you really shouldn’t leave the country without trying it. It’s a great start to a day and will set you up for any amount of exploring.
What’s your most vivid travel moment?
I have never experienced anything quite as memorable as my stay in the Amazon rainforest while visiting Ecuador. Just to get to the Napo Wildlife Lodge I took a two-hour canoe trip through the jungle. I was paddled by a local guide and saw a very rare and endangered species of otter, caiman, three species of monkey, sloth, and too many types of birds to count — and this was all just part of getting to the lodge. I will never forget the sounds of the jungle engulfing me and the deep appreciation I felt for the beautiful world we get to live in.
Where would you love to travel next?
Cotopaxi, an active volcano in the Andes Mountains, is revered as a top destination for hiking and biking. A friend described it as, ‘unpredictable but reliably spectacular’, which instantly piqued my interest. I look forward to being able to say that I officially biked to the top of a volcano.