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Charlotte Törnqvist

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..."

Charlotte is part of the following groups: Costa Rica Travel Agents
Photo courtesy of Hacienda AltaGracia an Auberge Resort
8 Best Luxury Hotels in Costa Rica

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.

Best Adventure Activities in Costa Rica
Best Adventure Activities in Costa Rica

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).

Explore La Fortuna and Monteverde
Arenal/La Fortuna, & Monteverde: Best Itinerary Ideas

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.

Favorite experiences

Río Pacuare Whitewater Rafting

Located along Costa Rica’s Caribbean slope, Río Pacuare’s deep gorge is considered one of the best river-rafting sites in the world.  The Río Pacuare runs 67 miles from the Talamanca Mountains, in the southwest of the country, to the Caribbean. Along the way, it passes through some of the most...

Arenal Volcano Hike

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...

Hike Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

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 are the stuff...

Waterfall Rappelling in Arenal

Waterfall rappelling, also known as waterfall canyoning is one of the most popular adventure sports in Costa Rica.After hiking into a canyon at the heart of the rainforest and traveling along winding rivers, you'll reach your destination, the first waterfall challenge. Strap into the harness and...

Turtle Nesting & Hatching in Tortuguero National Park

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...