I was born and raised in northern Sweden. At the age of 18, I had the privilege of doing a high school exchange year in Costa Rica. I fell in love with the country, the people, and well, my husband-to-be too!
As soon as I left, I wanted to come back, and after a while, I did return to study at the University... Nearly 30 years have passed now, I am still here, and I have no plans on leaving Costa Rica to live elsewhere. I have built my life in this incredibly beautiful country, and I love the Pura Vida!
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"I specialize in designing personalized travel itineraries for all of Costa Rica (both fully guided private trips, and independent style trips), accommodating special interests, special needs, and specific preferences. There is no preset route or schedule, I will start from scratch every time, to make sure every client makes the most out of their vacation. I love to include unique adventures and interesting nature encounters, and also to encourage my clients to visit rural areas together with local guides, to get to see the "real" Costa Rica and meet the local people."
How did you get involved in travel?
"I love traveling, getting to know new sites and different cultures. Before settling in Costa Rica, I traveled around the world. During my years in Costa Rica, I have extensively explored the country, and I am always amazed and delighted by the variety of experiences available in such a small area. I love my job because I get to facilitate life-changing experiences for my clients. I have been working within the tourism sector my whole professional career. "
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"I will never forget the first time I saw a Leatherback Turtle (or Baula) nest on Playa Grande in Guanacaste. As she came out of the ocean in the moonlight, she slowly and with huge effort made her way further up on the beach, and I couldn't believe how huge she was! She was almost 2 meters long, which means she probably weighed close to 600 kg. she pulled herself far up on the beach, through the soft sand, to select the spot where to dig a deep hole using her giant front flippers as shovels... Then, she turn around towards the ocean, and deposited a big pile of round soft eggs deep in the hole, filled it with sand again, and compacted the sand on top with her flippers. Afterward, she didn't return to the ocean right away, she pulled herself back and forth a few times, towards the ocean and then back higher on the beach, towards the ocean, and then higher on the beach again... The guide explained that the turtles do that to make it less evident where the eggs are laid, to protect the eggs from predators. Finally, she decided it was time to go, and she pulled herself into the water and disappeared in the waves. It was like a dream, what a show! I felt like I had seen a live dinosaur! I will never forget that WOW experience..."
Featured trips & expertise
Epitomizing laid-back travel, Costa Rica has hundreds of hotels but only a few make the list for luxury. With the help our local specialists we've narrowed the best down to these eight unique options that choose quality over quantity, simplicity over opulence. Pick one or more and make your next trip to the land of 'pura vida' extra special.
More than a quarter of Costa Rica’s total area is made up of national parks and protected rainforests making it a popular travel destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Below, we’ve put together a list of adventure activities to consider when visiting the nation of “pura vida” (pure life).
Travelers to Costa Rica typically plan a trip for 8 to 10 days when combining both Arenal/La Fortuna and Monteverde with Manuel Antonio. If you're not interested in Manuel Antonio, 6 to 7 days is enough for your Arenal/La Fortuna and Monteverde trip. With less time, it's still possible to see the highlights in as few as 4 or 5 days. For the best itineraries including Arenal/La Fortuna and Monteverde, keep reading below.
Located along Costa Rica's Caribbean slope near Turrialba is a deep gorge considered one of the best river-rafting sites in the world. The Río Pacuare runs 67 miles (107 km) from the Talamanca Mountains to the Caribbean in the southwest of the country. Along the way, it passes through some of the...
If you've ever wanted to hike near a volcano, this experience is for you! Set in Arenal Volcano National Park, you'll enjoy a moderate two-hour hike along a trail that takes you over hardened remnants of a lava flow from 1968—the year of Arenal's last major eruption. The event was so catastrophic...
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is one of Costa Rica's ecological jewels. Known as the "green lung of Costa Rica" due to its rich biodiversity, this 26,000-acre reserve is located high in the mountainous northwest region of the country. The views of the misty cloud forest here will make you...
Go waterfall rappelling, also known as canyoning, in the jungle. This activity is one of the most popular adventure sports in Costa Rica. In a canyon in the heart of the rainforest, your guide will provide brief safety instructions and outfit you with a harness. You'll then rappel down the side...
Unlike many national parks in Costa Rica, Tortuguero National Park is unique in that it almost exclusively revolves around the water. And the best way to explore this 120-mile (312-square-km) protected area is by hopping in a canoe and navigating the network of arterial waterways that snake...
Recent trip reviews for Charlotte
It was absolutely amazing. Everything was pla...
Jan 6 - Jan 15, 2023
It was absolutely amazing. Everything was planned with such care and detail, charlotte was amazing and very responsive. Overall it was one of the best trips I have ever been on! read more
A "Pura Vida" Experience!
Dec 21 - Dec 31, 2022
We had an amazing time in Costa Rica! Charlotte was the perfect agent to work with and provided us with an individualized schedule for an adventurous family with active teens. We traveled to Jaco Beach, Monteverde, Arenal/La Fortuna, and Sarapiqui - a place I never heard of before but a haven for white water rafting and chocolate tours. As a mom, I loved that she combined educational hiking tours (lead by experienced guides) with family bonding time (outrigger canoeing, zip lining, white... read more
Perfect balance of adventure, luxury, and leisure
Dec 19 - Dec 27, 2022
Charlotte helped create an amazing experience for our family over the Christmas holiday. She honed in on the perfect balance of adventure, luxury, and leisure, accommodating the desires of our 7 person party. Not to miss are La Paz, canyoning near Arenal, the organic farm experience, and our gracious guide Juan Carlos. Pura Vida! read more
Costa Rica Highlights
Jul 20 - Jul 27, 2022
Alfredo was our tour guide for 1968 Arenal Park. He was amazingly knowledgeable and great to hike with. I wish we could have taken more tours with him.
Andy (Andres) was our guide for the night hike and guided hike in Monteverde through ForestAlive. He was a super interesting character and I loved our experiences with him. Very knowledgeable, cool gadgets, and a very interesting discussion around life, spirituality, and nature.
Nayara resort was the best hotel I've ever stayed at. It... read more
Trip of a Lifetime to Costa Rica
Jul 6 - Jul 20, 2022
Our family (including 16- and 13-year-olds) traveled to Costa Rica for 15 days. The trip was amazing!! Charlotte and Serendipity Tours did a wonderful job arranging all the details and we could not have asked for more. Charlotte was very collaborative in planning the trip and made sure that all details were covered; this made our trip completely seamless We really enjoyed all of the hotels and tours she arranged for us, especially those in Turrialba, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, and Manuel... read more
Costa Rica - AMAZING EXPERIENCE
Jul 2 - Jul 9, 2022
Words cannot describe the amazing experience we had on our trip to Costa Rica through KimKim. Charlotte made it so easy to help us plan an itinerary that was perfect for our family needs, interests, and desires. They provided such great advice, flexibility, and kindness both before the trip and during. We also had Sergio Amador as our professional guide while we were there and I must say we would not have had the same experience without him. His knowledge, expertise, and friendship helped... read more
3 generation adventure in Costa Rica
Jun 24 - Jul 4, 2022
We had a wonderful 3-generation trip. The Rainforest Chocolate Tour in La Fortuna was really well done - engaging, informative, and not too slow or too fast. They were terrific with our kids (3 and 8), giving opportunities to participate, and everybody had a great time. We went ziplining with Vista Arenal and they were also really fantastic with the kids, who had to ride with guides due to their size. We all could have kept going all day (even the 3yo) and really enjoyed spotting toucans,... read more
What an amazing experience. Charlotte did a f...
Jun 2 - Jun 12, 2022
What an amazing experience. Charlotte did a fantastic job of taking our wish list and making it come true. Everything was smooth from car rental and hotels to suggested detours and excursions. Thank you for making our dream vacation a reality. We will definitely turn to KimKim for our next vacation. read more
Two weeks in Costa Rica
May 18 - Jun 1, 2022
Private drivers and our guide Andy were fantastic. The hotel for the first night was very nice and great customer service. Unfortunately, the second hotel, los Lagos, I believe that was the name, had extremely low customer service. Especially the front desk and bar. They treated you like a bother. The lodge and grounds was beautiful. The room was very clean. The bar area was dirty. The other two resorts were very nice and friendly. The snorkel trip was the only activity that was a... read more
Our entire experience from start to finish wi...
May 9 - May 18, 2022
Our entire experience from start to finish with Charolette and kimkim was fantastic. She made herself available throughout our whole trip, replied quickly and checked in often. No complaints. Will definitely use this service again.
KimKim is perfect for a stress-free Costa Rica trip
May 1 - May 13, 2022
We had Pablo from Arenal Star pick us up from the airport, show us around, and take us on tours the first few days of our trip. He was friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating. He was wonderful! He brought us delicious fruit he grew himself, including a pineapple that took two years to grow! He also knew the best sodas to take us to eat. He had his friend, Victor take us on a hanging bridge tour that was amazing. We had a private tour, so could go slow , be quiet, and actually see animals... read more
Charlotte was awesome, she created an itinera...
Apr 6 - Apr 13, 2022
Charlotte was awesome, she created an itinerary which met our needs with a 7 yr old kid and we were yet able to cover a lot of activities including a dinner with a local Costa Rican family, which was the highlight of the trip!
Charlotte was easily reachable on text whenever we had any questions during the trip and even prior.
We wouldn’t have been able to explore and enjoy CR the way we did , if it wasn’t for Charlotte.
A true professional and an expert at what she does! Would highly recommend her to anyone!!
We had a trip with Jose and he was amazing! H...
Mar 13 - Mar 20, 2022
We had a trip with Jose and he was amazing! He always went above and beyond to make sure everything was perfect for our vacation. He always went the extra mile beyond just the tours from helping with dinner reservations, to booking covid tests, helping book hotels after flight cancellations, everything! We are so happy to have had such an amazing tour guide and would highly recommend him to all our friends and family.
Charlotte was amazing and always responsive on Kim Kim and we will definitely be utilizing Kim Kim for future vacations!
Costa Rica 2022
Feb 23 - Mar 6, 2022
KimKim , via Charlotte Tornquist and Nancy, planned and carried out a very special and smooth operating vacation plan for the 3 of us in Costa Rica in 2022. We visited Sarapiqui, Siquirres / Pacuare, La Fortuna / Arenal, San Jose and the OSA peninsula over 21 days. Absolutely no travel hiccups or problems as all of the connections, transfers and pick ups worked flawlessly throughout. Pricewise KimKim bested other agents, as well as my attempts at a self directed trip - and assured a local... read more
Loved it! The whole experience was so seamles...
Feb 3 - Feb 7, 2022
Loved it! The whole experience was so seamless from the planning and booking stage to actually being there. All the tour guides were wonderful too.
We were taking our son on a birthday trip to celebrate becoming a teenager!
Jan 26 - Jan 29, 2022
Originally we booked a trip to Peru to visit Machu Picchu and do some other excursions while there that he would enjoy. Joanna put together an amazing trip plan for us! Unfortunately about 5 days prior to departure Johanna notified us that the town below Machu Picchu suffered a horrible mud slide which closed it down. We shopped other travel coordinators and no one could beat the prices. Johanna was great but unfortunately we had to pivot quickly. Costa Rica here we come...got in... read more
Costa Rica by Charlotte
Dec 27 - Jan 12, 2022
We have made a rather last minute decision to visit Costa Rica for our very first trip together with Anna. Having had difficulties with arranging a car rental we decided to look for some support with our arrangements. At this point Anna popped into Kimkim and ask for assistance. Charlotte did not only came up with a positive offer for the rental but gave us advise for our entire trip plan inclusive of hotels, activities, insurance, etc. We found the Kimkim platform very user friendly and... read more
Charlotte did an amazing job working with our...
Jan 13 - Jan 17, 2022
Charlotte did an amazing job working with our group to plan a wonderful trip to Costa Rica. We were able to do all the adventures we planned without missing a beat. She took the guess work out of everything and having a personal driver was the best. Andres was an excellent driver and companion on our trip.
Will definitely be using KimKim in the future for other vacations. read more
Great Experience with Charlotte and Kimkim for Costa Rica Road trip!
Dec 24 - Jan 3, 2022
This is our first trip with KimKim and Charlotte. We could not have asked for anything better. Charlotte collaborated with us to customize the entire trip per our requirements and budget and took care of all planning, bookings, events, guides including vaccine testing during a peak travel season. Charlotte is very knowledgeable about Costa Rica and helped us explore, enjoy Costa Rica at our pace and liking, and managed to organize, fulfill some unique requirements for our family. she is super... read more