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active 15 hours ago

Sylvia Jurado

I am passionate about creating memorable and fun vacations in Costa Rica! During my free time, I love going outdoors and exploring new destinations. I´ve been in the travel business for over 30 years designing amazing trips for families, honeymooners, nature lovers and adventurous travelers. Let me share with you my expertise and design an amazing itinerary based on your interests and budget!

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Due to my extense knowledge of my country, I have visited almost all tourist destinations such as rainforests, cloudforests, volcanoes, both the pacific and the caribbean coasts . I specialize in family experiences, honeymoon vacations, nature and adventure lovers, wellness, multi-generational trips, couples, seniors, "

How did you get involved in travel?

"My first job was in the hotel business back in 1980 and was until 1986 that I started working at Horizontes Nature tours for almost 4 years and tought me the importance of protecting our enviornment and made me fall in love with my country! After working at other tour operators I returned to Horizontes my home, a couple of months ago."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"I think that each trip is a unique experience! Costa Rica has so much to offer...volcanos, rivers, mountains, beaches! But maybe one of my favorite destinations is the remote Osa Peninsula... exploring its pristine rainforest with inmense and tall trees, hearing the sounds of nature in the solitude of this national park...with abundant flora and fauna was a unique experience, plus combined with a visit to the Caño Island for snorkeling was unforgetable experience."

Featured trips & expertise

Family Fun on the Caribbean Side - 7 Days

With your kids in tow, get out and explore Costa Rica's capital city before making your way through the lush lowlands towards the Caribbean Coast in this adventure tour. From nature treks, to river rafting, to pristine beaches, this weeklong itinerary is created for families who want to experience Costa Rica's splendid scenery, wildlife, and distinctly laid-back culture.

Costa Rica's 10 Best National Parks for Hiking

Hilly nature walks are practically guaranteed while visiting the rugged terrain of Costa Rica. While some travelers prioritize beaches and water sports on either coast, many will want to save space on the itinerary to explore the vast interior and myriad of wildlife. Good news for hiking enthusiasts: The majority of Costa Rica's 27 national parks offer well-maintained trails. From volcanoes, to tropical dry forests, to remote rainforests, here’s a list of the country’s 10 best national parks for hiking.

Nicoya Peninsula Surf & Yoga Adventure - 10 Days

On the northwestern edge of Costa Rica, Nicoya Peninsula features a spectacular beach scene attracting young expats who are spoiled for choice with year-round swells and seaside open-air yoga studios. With 10 days to explore the region by four-wheel drive, you’ll base yourself in three quintessential surf towns: Tamarindo, Nosara, and Santa Teresa.

Rio Celeste Waterfall
Best Waterfall Hikes in Costa Rica

With ample mountains and rainforests, Costa Rica’s fortunate topography is a breeding ground for rivers and streams that turn into rushing waterfalls. Climbing these picturesque cascades will reward you with stunning views from the top and refreshing pools below. (In other words, pack a swimsuit and towel.) Here’s a list of the country’s best waterfall hikes ranging in difficulty for young and old alike.

Recent trip reviews for Sylvia

Adventure in costa rica, Costa Rica - Aug 3 - Aug 12, 2018

Traveler: seng K. - Local specialist: Sylvia Jurado

Sylvia is amazing! She is pleasant and easy to work with. We missed our flight and Sylvia rearranged pick-up and transfers from the airport with no fuss. She surprised us with a last minutes city tour of San Jose and dinner at Tiquicia Restaurant. The view of central valley from Tiquicia Restaurant was spectacular! It is truly a million-dollar view. The food was delicious and the traditional dance was fantastic.

Tabacon Resort , all I can I say is " Wow, wow, and wow... read more

Sylvia is amazing! She is pleasant and easy to work with. We missed our flight and Sylvia rearranged pick-up and transfers from the airport with no fuss. She surprised us with a last minutes city tour of San Jose and dinner at Tiquicia Restaurant. The view of central valley from Tiquicia Restaurant was spectacular! It is truly a million-dollar view. The food was delicious and the traditional dance was fantastic.

Tabacon Resort , all I can I say is " Wow, wow, and wow " It is a thermal paradise! All of the staffs at the resort were wonderful. Do not miss this place.

Monteverde Cloud Forest - what an incredible place. I felt like I was in the movie Avatar. I saw so many wildlife - incredible experience. The sky walk, sky tram , and the zip lining was unbelievable. We had so much fun!

Manuel Antonio Nation Park - stunning park with amazing beaches. I'm so happy we did a guided tour of the park; otherwise, we would have missed out on the beautiful wildlife like the Sloth, rainbow grasshopper, and the colorful birds.

My daughter and I had an amazing time in Costa Rica. Thank you Sylvia .

XOXO
Seng

Sylvia Jurado, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Seng!
I am so excited to learn that you and your daughter enjoyed a fantastic vacation and loved the visit to Tiquicia Restaurant!
Also glad to know that you decided to upgrade your stay at Tabacon!
I also enjoyed meeting you during the whole planning stage!
God Bless you!
Big hug and Pura Vida!!

Ed

Nature and adventure tour, Costa Rica - Jul 26 - Aug 7, 2018

Traveler: Ed G. - Local specialist: Sylvia Jurado

We had a truly amazing time in Costa Rica. Sylvia organised everything so well. It's hard to know what the highlights were as there was so much which was just fantastic, but here are some that stick most in our memory:

• The first very rainy boat trip through the rainforest to Laguna Lodge, with Clarence taking good care of us throughout.
• The butterfly garden at the back of the Selva Tropical restaurant
• Witnessing a giant turtle laying her eggs (so many of them)
• Mauricio the driver... read more

We had a truly amazing time in Costa Rica. Sylvia organised everything so well. It's hard to know what the highlights were as there was so much which was just fantastic, but here are some that stick most in our memory:

• The first very rainy boat trip through the rainforest to Laguna Lodge, with Clarence taking good care of us throughout.
• The butterfly garden at the back of the Selva Tropical restaurant
• Witnessing a giant turtle laying her eggs (so many of them)
• Mauricio the driver stopping the car to show us a toucan on a tree beside the road
• The sunset view of Arenal, with rainbow, from the amazing Tabacon Springs where we also enjoyed a very good supper
• Swimming in the river at the bottom of the waterfall at Arenal
• The hilarious chocolate-making lesson
• Everything about Monteverde - the night walk and Sky Trek/zip-lining day particularly. It's a very special place. We had a nice meal at the popular Tree House in Santa Elena if you need a recommendation for anyone else (although some other tourists spoke highly of Morpho which has just opened up a new restaurant slightly out of the centre).
• Stopping to see the crocodiles under the bridge on the way to Manuel Antonio
• The Costa Verde hotel at Manuel Antonio which was fantastic in every way. What a view for breakfast! Their restaurants across the road were great too.
• Iguana Tours were brilliant at Manuel Antonio. They seem to really enjoy what they do. Andrey was our guide in Manuel Antonio National Park and JJ led the rafting expedition. We also went on a boat trip with Iguana.They own their own smallish catamaran and looked after us really well. Good food. Live banjo music. And we even saw whales.

Sylvia worked with us to create a perfect trip that met our specific requests and budget. She was very responsive and checked in with us before the trip and a couple of times during it. Our flight in was delayed by 14 hours and Sylvia rearranged pick-up and transfers from the airport with no fuss.

Sylvia Jurado, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Ed!
I am so glad that you had a great family vacation and that it fullfilled your trip expectations!
Your comments are the best reward to continue in the travel business creating memorable moments!
Pura Vida!

Trip to costa rica, Costa Rica - May 21 - May 26, 2018

Traveler: gaelle v. - Local specialist: Sylvia Jurado

Amazing trip ! Everything was perfect!
Good hotels selection .
Thanks a lot

Gaelle

Sylvia Jurado, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Gaelle and glad to know that you liked the hotels included in your trip plan!
Kind regards,
Sylvia

Trip to costa rica, Costa Rica - May 21 - May 26, 2018

Traveler: Bernard i. - Local specialist: Sylvia Jurado

Everything made by Sylvia was perfect there is nothing to say, perfect Is the word
I strongly recommend Sylvia for anything you want to plan in Costa Rica
thank you
Bernard

Sylvia Jurado, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Bernard for your trip review and glad to know that you are satisfied with my services!
I spoke with Mauricio your driver and told me that you were able to enjoy a drink at Villa Caletas during sunset!
Hope that you can visit us again and explore other amazing destinations for a short escapade!
Best regards,
Sylvia

Costa rica highlights!, Costa Rica - Apr 14 - Apr 21, 2018

Traveler: Raj V. - Local specialist: Sylvia Jurado

My girlfriend and I booked a week's vacation in Costa Rica through Sylvia. It was super easy and Sylvia customized a great trip for us! We flew into San Jose from Toronto on April 14 and spent time in 3 spots - San Jose, Arenal and Manuel Antonio. It was an amazing experience and I felt like we had 3 vacations in one! Everything including the transfers, hotels and excursions was organized and we just had to turn up! Our guides were all fun, knowledgeable and gave us an exciting and authentic... read more

My girlfriend and I booked a week's vacation in Costa Rica through Sylvia. It was super easy and Sylvia customized a great trip for us! We flew into San Jose from Toronto on April 14 and spent time in 3 spots - San Jose, Arenal and Manuel Antonio. It was an amazing experience and I felt like we had 3 vacations in one! Everything including the transfers, hotels and excursions was organized and we just had to turn up! Our guides were all fun, knowledgeable and gave us an exciting and authentic experience. Our transfers were generally private so trips were relaxing and we got a lot of history enroute.

The cultural city tour with Abelardo was fascinating. We really enjoyed the National Museum and National Theatre. Arenal was gorgeous and our juniors suite has an incredible view of the volcano (thanks Sylvia). We had a little hiccup with the ziplining/hanging bridges excursion, and missed our transfer. Sylvia and Kimkim stepped up and covered the taxi to get us there and we had an awesome day. The intense hike trekking through the rainforest down the crater of an extinct volcano was incredible. The crater was heavily forested and had 3 lagoons in it. I swam in 2 of them and was the only person in the water! It felt like we had the whole place to ourselves! This was finished off with a traditional lunch at a Costa Rican family's home with spectacular views of the rainforest. Our guide Andreas was amazing and pointed out wildlife as we went along.

Manuel Antonio was another incredible place with beautiful beaches and a national park teeming with wildlife. The tour we had in the park was truly amazing. We saw so much wildlife. We stayed in a hotel called Si Como No - a beautiful property was many rooms set in the hillside. Our balcony had an ocean and rainforest view (thanks again for this booking Sylvia!)

The vacation was capped off with a private tour of a coffee plantation - yet another highlight! There's lots more to tell, but you're gonna have to discover Costa Rica yourself.

This was one of the best vacations I've ever had, and I've travelled extensively. I would recommend both Costa Rica and Kimkim! Special thanks to Sylvia for arranging this fabulous vacation!

Sylvia Jurado, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Raj!
Thank you so much for your kind message and happy to learn that you felt like if you had enjoyed 3 vacations in one! Also, for sharing your pictures and that you were pleased with hotels suggested !
Hope that you can visit us in a near future and explore other destinations!
Wishing you a nice afternoon!

Pura Vida!!

Sylvia

Costa rica surfing adventure, Costa Rica - Mar 30 - Apr 10, 2018

Traveler: Jamie O. - Local specialist: Sylvia Jurado

Great trip! Thanks for the change in transportation to Tamarindo as the ride was awesome with the forst half hour on the beach and the most of the rest on backroads thru the countryside. On reflection i would have stayed an extra day at Flor Blanca versus goign to Tamarindo which was too touristy for me but great for my 16 year old. Thanks for your help!

Sylvia Jurado, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Jamie!
Happy to learn that you had a great surfing adventure in Costa Rica with your son and that he liked Tamarindo for more surfing!! Flor Blanca is a great resort and I knew that you will love it when I proposed it to you!

You have to come back to explore Costa Rica and explore other destinations such as the Arenal Volcano area and why not surfing down on the Caribbean coast!

Wishing you a great day!

Kind regards,

Sylvia

Christie

Classic costa rica: 7-day self-drive tour, Costa Rica - Mar 30 - Apr 6, 2018

Traveler: Christie C. - Local specialist: Sylvia Jurado

Sylvia was very patient and help us a lot with the tour. We had a great time and will use the service again in the future.

Sylvia Jurado, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Christie!
Thank you for your trip review and glad to learn that you had a great time in Costa Rica!
Hope that you can come back soon and explore another exciting destinations that you missed this time!
Kind regards,
Sylvia

Stephen

Best of costa rica in 7 days: explore jungles, volcanoes and beaches, Costa Rica - Mar 3 - Mar 10, 2018

Traveler: Stephen C. - Local specialist: Sylvia Jurado

I would wholeheartedly recommend kim kim and particularly Sylvia Durado.
My flight over to Costa Rica was delayed due to adverse weather conditions. Sylvia was a lifesaver, altering my booking accordingly. No stress, no hassle.
When i finally got to Costa Rica, everything was seamless!
I had an amazing trip and I cant wait to return!!

Sylvia Jurado, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Stephen!
Thank you for your nice review and glad to know that you had a great trip in Costa Rica!
I hope that you can come back soon , so you can explore the exhuberant Tortuguero that you missed due to your flight cancellation!
Pura Vida!!

Gayle

Costa rica, Costa Rica - Mar 5 - Mar 21, 2018

Traveler: Gayle M. - Local specialist: Sylvia Jurado

A great time was had in a wonderful country. We travelled from San Jose to Tortuguero national park where all arranged tour were perfect. The lodge we stayed in was great with good food. From there we were transferred to Arenal where the accommodation was wonderful and all tours again were perfect. From there we went to Monteverde with swinging bridge and night walk tours and again it went perfectly. We then went to Playa Hermosa for our final 5 nights and had a lovely time relaxing in... read more

A great time was had in a wonderful country. We travelled from San Jose to Tortuguero national park where all arranged tour were perfect. The lodge we stayed in was great with good food. From there we were transferred to Arenal where the accommodation was wonderful and all tours again were perfect. From there we went to Monteverde with swinging bridge and night walk tours and again it went perfectly. We then went to Playa Hermosa for our final 5 nights and had a lovely time relaxing in our hotel which was right on the beach. Couldn’t fault the wonderful job Sylvia did organising this trip everything ran extremely smoothly. Would highly recommend.

Sylvia Jurado, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Gayle!
Thank you so much for your great travel review and glad to learn that you liked my suggested hotels and activities, and that everything runned smoothly during your stay in Costa Rica!
Hope that you can come back in a near future and explore other amazing destinations that will be awaiting for you!
Pura Vida

Siteseeing and hiking most of costa rica, Costa Rica - Feb 10 - Feb 24, 2018

Traveler: Bernie M. - Local specialist: Sylvia Jurado

Accomodation at Montechiari was very nice and the people were friendly with one exception. Management handled the exception very well.
The hike into the Hule Lagoon was great, Andre was an excellent guide.
He did at times seem to be in a bit of a rush. It was scheduled to be a four hour hike and we completed in just over three hours.
The pace was manageable but not leisurely. It was just the two of us, great.
The host family at the farm were wonderful and the food was awesome.
The mountain... read more

Accomodation at Montechiari was very nice and the people were friendly with one exception. Management handled the exception very well.
The hike into the Hule Lagoon was great, Andre was an excellent guide.
He did at times seem to be in a bit of a rush. It was scheduled to be a four hour hike and we completed in just over three hours.
The pace was manageable but not leisurely. It was just the two of us, great.
The host family at the farm were wonderful and the food was awesome.
The mountain biking was fun but we didn't get to see much and was not at the Volcano as expected. We rode out 16Km and stopped at the lake and were offered to ride back over the same route. We declined. Home by 10:20. It was a private tour with just the two of us, nice.
The guides were very nice , especially Brian who was in training.
The Tabacon Hotsprings was nice. The meal was buffet style but the food was excellent.
The guided tour at Manuel Antonio was a great experience overall and the guide was very knowledgeable. He also managed to get us out for lunch (I am diabetic) and back infor a swim on the same ticket .This was a large group of around 16 people so a bit unwieldy.
We had a private tour of Quepos and the Kids Saving the Rainforest with our guide William.
William was an excellent guide, very knowledgeable. Overall Iguana tours was excellent.
The accomodation at Tabulia Tree Hotel was quite nice and we were treated well.
The kayaking and snorkling was fun with an excellent guide and nice lunch afterward.
Monteverde was beautiful and the Fonda Vella Hotel was excellent. I believe we received a room upgrade as it was a very nice separate cabin.
The hanging bridges tour was very pretty views with a knowledgeable naturalist guide and some interesting sightings.
The coffee, cacao and sugar tour was enjoyable and informative.
Bosque del Mar at Playa Hermosa was very relaxing and the staff were very friendly and helpful.
A relaxing and enjoyable wind down.
The evening cruise was fun with a nice group of people. The snorkelling was a disappointment as we saw very little.
The trip was on a sailboat (OK but a catamaran was advertised.

Sylvia Jurado, local specialist, responded to this review:

Good morning Bernie & Kathleen!

Greetings from sunny Costa Rica!

We appreciate taking your time in sending a detailed trip review. This will help us to check with our suppliers and improve my services as travel designer!

I am happy to learn that you liked the hotels where you stayed, considering that this was a last minute request when hotels were fully booked due to the high season!

Bernie, I was not aware that you are diabetic, as in advance we inform our suppliers so they can take... read more

Good morning Bernie & Kathleen!

Greetings from sunny Costa Rica!

We appreciate taking your time in sending a detailed trip review. This will help us to check with our suppliers and improve my services as travel designer!

I am happy to learn that you liked the hotels where you stayed, considering that this was a last minute request when hotels were fully booked due to the high season!

Bernie, I was not aware that you are diabetic, as in advance we inform our suppliers so they can take special attention on your meals and special requirements.

We will speak with Ecoterra regarding your hike to the Hule Lagoon and biking experience and review the descriptions in the itineary that I designed for you! My apologies that the biking experience was not what you had expected!

But in overall, what I understood is that you enjoyed all the activities that were recommended.

In regards to the evening cruise, our prefered supplier which is Marlin del Rey was not available on the dates that you were staying at Bosque del Mar, therefore we booked Kuna Vela which honestly I preferred as they handle smaller groups than the Catamaran with groups are more than 40 passengers. It was my fault not telling you that it was a sailboat not a catamaran! Snorkeling is unpredictable as depends on visibility of the day of the tour!

Thank you for choosing kim kim and Horizontes and I hope that you can visit us again in a near future and explore other destinations such as the exhuberant rainforest of Tortuguero, the amazing beaches at our southern Caribbean Coast and the remote Corcovado with time to go snorkeling at Caño Island which is the best diving site in the country!

Wishing you a nice day!

All my best,

Sylvia