324 messages

John Rabenau

Listening in order to fully understand your goals for visiting Costa Rica is the key element as I prepare myself to ensure that we make the absolute best of your travels. In a destination that has developed at a rapid pace, I want to show you the unique & genuine side of Costa Rica by pointing out the true gems of this magnificent country. I encourage my travelers to get-to-know a few areas of the country as opposed to constantly moving around. "Less is more & small is good" I want to make you aware of all the offerings in Costa Rica, the activities, tours & locations that you might not have heard or read about in your own research. I understand that certain areas are popular for a reason and I want to show these to you without the large crowds or over-developed aspects. I encourage my travelers to get slightly-off-the-beaten-path and explore an area or two they haven't necessarily heard of - overnight white-water rafting on the Pacuare, Homestays or house rentals in local communities & visits to remote National Parks like Corcovado are what I like to promote and encourage my travelers to explore. Just because you are going to remote areas doesn't mean you can't have upscale and high quality services.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Our goal is to create a travel experience that works for you and your personal interests. We listen to your thoughts, ideas and desires for your trip and will work to match you with the best itinerary to suit those needs. We want to involve you in the planning process as much or as little as you want. We believe that direct communication through personal interaction is the best way to ensure your travel goals are properly illustrated and met. We understand that the popular destinations are popular for a reason, and we want to show them to you without large crowds in an authentic manner. Many of our itineraries combine these destinations with ones that are slightly-off-the-beaten-path, where our travelers are able to see a genuine Costa Rica, interact with the locals and experience some of the under-discovered adventures and regions this country has to offer."

How did you get involved in travel?

"Born and raised in the United States, I visited Costa Rica in the spring of 2002 to begin a career in the outdoor education industry. Having the wonderful opportunity to work with many different types of educational and leisure-based travel organizations, my wife/business partner and I opened Costa Rica Explorations in 2006. The specialized curriculum for middle school and high school students that we developed for this program combines what we believe to be the most important elements of travel: Culture, Language, Service, Nature & Adventure in an authentic environment. A short while later, our sister company, Costa Rica Escapes was born. This company fulfills the complimentary need to assist families and leisure/adventure-based travelers to have a meaningful and authentic travel experience. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"My wife (and business partner) Molly, who is also from the United States, and I are raising our 2 young children (4 & 2) in the small, agricultural town of Turrialba, Costa Rica. We are sharing our love for the country, culture and scenery with Winnie & Johnny on a daily basis. We are able to see them grow up with a very unique perspective of life as they integrate into a foreign society and learn to be member of a larger global community."

Featured trips & expertise

Beautiful Rio Celeste in Tenorio National Park
Best of Costa Rica - 14 Days

This two-week itinerary includes many of Costa Rica's greatest hits. You'll venture into the country's most beautiful national parks and enjoy zip-lining adventures, nature hikes, beach excursions, and more. All the while you'll spot exotic animals as you traverse some of the most virgin rainforest landscapes in Central America.

Arenal Volcano
Family-Friendly Arenal and Manuel Antonio National Park- 9 Days

Fun for the whole family, this itinerary covers two of Costa Rica's most famous areas. Arenal and Manuel Antonio are some of the best representations of Costa Rica; Arenal area features one of the most famous volcanos in the country, surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, while Manuel Antonio National Park is renown for its white sandy beaches and vast diversity of tropical plants and wildlife.

Red-Eyed Tree Frog
Costa Rica National Parks Adventure - 14 Days

A whopping 25% of Costa Rica's total area is protected. This is a conscious effort to preserve the nation's abundant natural treasures in the form of various national parks. To this end, we've created a dream itinerary for intrepid nature lovers that includes the four best parks in the country. So clear two weeks off your calendar—it's time to experience Costa Rica to the fullest extent.

Arenal Volcano
Arenal Expedition Self Drive Tour - 4 Days

This itinerary is one of the shortest, yet action-packed option, for travelers looking for a compact Costa Rica experience. Zip-line, rappel and horseback ride your way throughout the Arenal region and enjoy some of the best natural views the country has to offer.

Whitewater rafting down the Pacuare river
Costa Rica Adventure: Whitewater, Beaches & Volcanos - 8 Days

Explore Costa Rica's amazing natural scenery through a thrilling series of activities including whitewater rafting, kayaking, zip-lining, and more. This tour will take you to a wide range of coasts, jungles, and rivers, all while keeping your adrenaline pumping.

Costa Rica Essentials: Self-Drive Tour - 14 Days

In this two-week tour, you can experience Costa Rica's main attractions as well as its lesser-known marvels. Drive along coasts, rainforest roads, and hills to discover the natural sights that make Costa Rica the most visited country in Central America.

Recent trip reviews for John

Costa rica family vacation - 6-day itinerary, Costa Rica - Oct 15 - Oct 22, 2018

Traveler: Claudia S. - Local specialist: John Rabenau

We were very pleased by the places and lodging chosen for us by John. We particularly loved the remoteness of Mawumba Lodge and then later the accessibility of Shahwamda Lodge to to the Jaguar Rescue Center, where we were able to see baby sloths, and eat the best swordfish ever at Pura Gula restaurant. Our guide Umberto was professional and knowledgeable, and our drivers--Ronnie, Patricia, and Jose--were wonderful ambassadors of their country.

Ioana

Costa rica national parks adventure - 14 days, Costa Rica - Jul 1 - Jul 18, 2018

Traveler: Ioana T. - Local specialist: John Rabenau

We had a wonderful 18 day vacation thanks to John and his great organization of our trip. This was our first visit to Costa Rica and we experienced a bit of everything - diving, visiting rainforest parks, zipline, white water rafting, horse back riding. Communication with John was very fast and efficient--both when planning the trip as well as throughout our itinerary. He booked for us places that matched very well our travelling & vacation style. I would highly recommend using the services of his company when planning Costa Rica vacation.