By Mark Branan-family of four. August of this year 2019 my family of two teenagers, along with my wife and I for the first time visited Costa Rica.  It was by far the best family vacation we have taken.  We were able to experience Costa Rica’s beauty and great outdoors first hand. Without question it was largely a results of the recommendations and planning provided by Ann Cabezas Creed. She created a custom vacation itinerary to fit our family’s interest. Our two kids are in high school and first year of college. Because  of Ann’s expert planning we were able to enjoy every day of our vacation, no worries, just relaxing and enjoying nature. Ann’s warm demeanor was evident in our many conversations during the planning stage.  This included a final review just prior to our departure. THIS LEVEL OF PROFESSIONAL SERVICE IS HARD TO FIND.  WE CANNOT SAY ENOUGH GREAT THINGS ABOUT ANN AND THE EXCELLENT SERVICE SHE PROVIDED US.  Sincerely Mark and Family

Below is the family  photo of the Branan Family

Contact ann for personalized vacation planning to Costa Rica https://costaricalearn.com

Ann Specializes in Family Vacations to Costa Rica

Or email her at anncreed23@gmail.com

Branan Family

–Mark Branan

Ann designed the itinerary  our 9 day Costa Rican Vacation for me and my girlfriend Laura.  We had a wonderful time!  This was my second vacation to Costa Rica, the last one being eight years ago.  We stayed three nights a Nayara Hotel at Arenal.  Wow!  The room was “over the top”-set in a tropical garden with hot tub, outdoor shower  in a tropical garden and GREAT food.

We spent two nights at El Establo Hotel – in Monteverde and took the boat across Lake Arenal and then a van as means of transportation from Arenal to Monteverde.  We were in awe of the giant trees-hundreds of years olds in the rain forest at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. There  we hiked for three hours with a naturalist guide….

Then we went by private land transfer to Manuel Antonio and stayed at the  La Mariposa Hotel for three night.  This hotel had a gorgeous view of the Pacific and sunsets were spectacular.  We hiked Manuel Antonio National Park. We  saw white face monkeys, iguanas, a sloth, and several different kinds of marine birds-just like Jonathan Living Sea Gull.

Our last night we stayed at the most gorgeous Hotel Marriott located 5 miles from SJO international airport, designed is true Spanish Colonial, and is the most beautiful hotel in Costa Rica.

We wished we could have stayed longer.  We were having such a great relaxing time. We highly recommend Ann to design your custom itinerary for your vacation to Costa Rica.  We couldn’t have designed this great vacation ourselves.  So thank you ANN for allowing us to have a stress free, happy get away from the big city of Atlanta, Ga.!

This could be helpful:  Outdoor Adventures tours we took were the zip line Sky Tram Sky Trek in Arenal, best zip line in Costa Rica.  Tabacon Hot Springs and Spa at Arenal.  Spectacular!    Also the Rio Celeste (Blue River) hike out of Arenal, and yes the river really is blue–very unusual!   At Manuela Antonio we hiked Manuel Antonio National Park.  Monteverde we hiked Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.


contact Ann   www.costaricalearn.com

–Dr. Henry Frysh

Atlanta, Georgia

ten day travel adventure vacation.   Here is what they has to say:
“Ann, The Costa Rica Travel planner ,  Allowing Ann to “design” our  the trip to Costa Rica made it a wonderful and stress-free adventure for my husband and I!  Her expert knowledge of the country and its top attractions allowed us to plan the trip of a lifetime and leave feeling we saw everything we could have wanted to from monkeys and sloths, rain forests,  volcanoes and beautiful  Tortuguero canals

Ann’s  help in finding places to stay that were wonderful and within our budget and transport between locations made trip planning a breeze before hand and travel in the country stress-free as we didn’t have to worry about getting from place to place. Traveling with Ann was always fascinating as she has extensive knowledge of the country and the people. If you love nature and animals, I would highly recommend a trip to Costa Rica and contact Ann so you will be sure to enjoy the best this country has to offer!        Contact Ann  “The Costa Rica Travel Planning Expert”  at  anncreed23@gmail.com
Itinerary included- Central Valley- Hotel Buena Vista located in a mountain settings with gorgeous cool, clean air  with views Poas Volcano.  Day tour Poas Volcano National Park and lunch at Chubascos,  typical Costa Rican cuisine.   Four Generations Doka Coffee Plantation Tour.
Three Day Tour Tortuguero  National Park and the Tortuguero Canals along  Caribbean Coast.   Turtle nesting region.  Monkeys, sloths, toucans, lush tropical vegetation, crocodiles, manatees,  and green parrots.  Lush tropical jungle setting.
Arenal Observatory Lodge-Arenal Volcano.  Sky Tram and Zip line tour,  horseback riding to La Fortuna Waterfall,  Butterfly Gardens,  Tabacon Hot Springs with dinner.
Northern Region- Blue River (Rio Azul)     Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel   Hike to the Blue River (Rio Celeste) in the Tenorio Volcano National Park, swim in Blue River under the eight foot waterfall,  Day Trip to explore the limestone caverns at Barra Honda National Park.   Contact Ann   anncreed23@gmail.com    www.costaricalearn.com

–Ester and Emmet Loney

We are back from our wonderful trip and want to thank you again Ann for your help. We really enjoyed our tours (although that’s the first and last time I will ever do a zip line!) and found both Desafio and Iguana to be very good outfits with knowledgeable guides. The Volcano Lodge in Arenal was quite nice  – the people were friendly and helpful and the room very clean and comfortable although I would grade the food as just passable. Tabacon  hot Springs and Spa was great – but in hindsight I would do that last to relax after the zip line. David enjoyed his canyoneering and said its good he didn’t try to convince me to go!
La Mariposa Hotel  is a beautiful setting with the nicest people and the food was excellent. They upgraded us to a room with an ocean view so that was very nice. My only complaint is that their mattresses are very hard. We really enjoyed the tours of the Mangroves and the National Park and getting up into the  rain forest  area on horseback was fun – if a little challenging. The dinner that was provided after that at a ranch was quite delicious.
Ending the trip at Buena Vista Hotel near Alajuela  was terrific – the rooms are so comfortable (and good mattresses!), and the food was delicious, and again the people were so gracious and helpful. We had the tour of Doka, which I did enjoy – just learning more about coffee for me was very interesting. I found it disappointing that all through Costa Rica the coffee is not very strong and they don’t have cream – only milk or hot milk, so I did not enjoy it as much as I had hoped, but bought lots to make at home the way I like it and as gifts.
Here’s what I can tell you about shuttles: DO NOT RECOMMEND GRAY LINE TO ANYONE! It turns out that they combine tours and shuttles and if you happen to get on a shuttle with a tour, you get kidnapped! Maybe we should have been tipped off by the fact that there was a driver and a guide who proceeded to tell us about things as we were driving, but we thought maybe that’s just the way it was on shuttles. We got to La Fortuna where they dropped off several people staying in town, and then proceeded to drive right by our hotel and refused to drop us off because they had a family they had to take to Lake

Arenal and then to Tabacon Hot Springs first.
Anyway, we loved Costa Rica and hope to return again some day and thanks you again Ann for all you knowledgable planning for us.  I would not have gone as smoothly–we wasted no time.
If you are planning a vacation to Costa Rica Ann is the expert to set it up for you.  It definitely saved us time and money and made our adventure vacation more relaxing and fun.
Contact ann at   anncreed23@gmail.com


–Andrea and Dave Joseph

Thank you Ann for the  12 day itinerary you designed for our recent vacation and travel to Costa Rica, part  in Arenal and part on the beach at Tamarindo.  We loved the zip line tour at Arenal Volcano. My what a mammoth volcano!  Saw so much wildlife the day we took the boat through Cano Negro Wildlife Reserve, especially large birds, monkeys, crocodiles, lizards, turtles, and unusual trees.   Glad you included the Poas Volcano National Park  at the end.  The day was clear and we could see the crater, Wow!  Impressive sight!  Had a good rest at the beach and took some surfing lessons. Getting around on the Grayline bus was relatively easy.  We will not hesitate to recommend your service,  Sure saved us a lot of time trying to figure things out by ourselves.

Loyd Doug Odom- Sacramento, Calf.    10 day vacation to Costa Rica.  Thank you Ann for your help in designing my Costa Rica Vacation itinerary. Your choices  for adventure destinations and hotels were perfect for me.   Mawamba Lodge on the Caribbean coast offered the opportunity to see monkeys, sloths, green parrots, blue morpho butterflies, crocodiles, lizards, and leather back turtles nesting at night.  Overall a lot of wildlife there. The Arenal Observatory Lodge in Arenal was the greatest view of the volcano!  Plus the walking trails filled with tropical birds- I went on the complimentary guided morning walk-highly recommended.  Tabacon Hot Springs was luscious!   Monteverde  with its cloud reserve was just what I wanted for a special 1/2 day hiking experience into a primary rainforest with giant age-old trees.  Hotel Buena Vista -Alajuela near the airport is a perfect choice (more personable than  the chain hotels near the airport.)  Ill b sure to call you for help planning my next Costa  Rica Vacation.  Yes- I  will return!   Sincerely, Doug

–Rachel Meinel and David Schneider.

Ann helped us plan our ten day vacation to  Costa Rica.  She saved us a lot of wasted time trying to piece our trip together from info off the internet.  She knew the distances between the destinations we wanted to visit and advised and helped us rent a 4×4 vehicle.  We had a unique experience at “Xinia’s Costa Rica Vacation Homestay B&B  near the San Jose International Airport in a pretty mountain view  Costa Rican neighborhood.  She cooked a Costa Rican dinner of Arroz con Pollo -rice with chicken,  the main dish for special occasions.  We enjoyed getting to see how a real Costa Rican family lives. We spent one afternoon with Xinia walking  around the  central park of  Alajuela “people watching,”  We visited the colorful central market,  bustling with locals buying fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs, fresh flowers, and even a real live baby pig.

We traveled in our  Suzuki Jimmy to Arenal, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio, and further south to Uvita Beach and Marino Ballena National Park, but did not see whales since  January is not whale season.

Highlights of our vacation were zip line in Arenal and  hiking to the Blue River in North Central Costa Rica.   Also we loved the Hummingbird Gallery in Monteverde,  viento fresco waterfalls on road to Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio National Park where we went kayaking and snorkeling.

We recommend renting a vehicle if you want to be mobile and see a lot of the countryside. Roads were good most of the way, except up to Monteverde, but that was part of the adventure.

We would like to visit Costa Rica again and see all those places we didn’t have time for on this trip, maybe go further south to the Osa Peninsula.
We are happy we called Ann to help us design our itinerary. She saved us a lot of time and frustration.   Thanks again Ann,  Irina    contact Ann   www.costaricalearn.com

–Irina and Boris-Toronto


Dear Ann and Xinia,  We want to thank you for all you did to help us to have the best vacation of our lives….and we have had some great vacations.  This one topped them all. Xinia was wonderful.  I felt so much more at ease when we arrived knowing someone was looking after us.  Her meals were terrific and accommodations very good.  Arenal was amazing. We had an incredible view of  Lake Arenal and loved the feeling of being in such a natural setting.  White water rafting on the Balsa River was TERRIFIC…zip line was beyond words and Canyon Rappelling was a blast!

Accommodations in Tamarindo were very nice as well. We woke at 5 am for my son to meet his surfing coach by 6 am. The coach was from Banana Surf Club. We went to a beach with challenging waves but not overwhelming.   We kayaked, snorkeled, and dined watching the sunset.  We relaxed by the pool and enjoyed the hospitality of the local people.

We could not have asked for a more perfect trip.  And Ann I will give your email to anyone I know wanting to vacation in Costa Rica. I am so grateful that the internet allowed our paths to cross.

We are organizing our pictures and if you would like any for your website, I will be happy to send you a link to the photos.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you…           Suzy    contact Ann    www.costaricalearn.com

–Suzanne Russell, her husband and 2 teens


Thanks to the internet and Ann’s web page, we connected.  Ann planned our 8 day vacation “getaway” to Costa Rica.  We wanted a tropical experience to spend some time together, relax, and do some soft adventure activities in nature.  Our stay at Arenal at Observatory Lodge -4 nights-was perfect for what we wanted.  Zip line-horseback riding, hot springs, and Cano Negro Wildlife Reserve.  We saw monkeys, sloths, toucans, crocodiles, lizards, and so many colorful birds on the riverboat ride in Cano Negro.  Xinia’s Costa Rica Vacation Homestay B&B  -for three nights was just what we were looking for.  Staying with a family was great to get to see first hand the Costa Rican culture.  We highly recommend Xinia’s HomeStay.  She  drove us to Poas Volcano National Park, La Paz Waterfall GArdens, Doka Coffee Tour, and to Alajuela to Sr Y Sra Ese where we bought beautiful jewelry made of native wood.

Ann understands very well how to design an itinerary to fit one’s needs- activities-time and budget so that you do not waste time. We will use her expertise the next time we visit Costa Rica.      Hanna, Liz, and Yogi

contact Ann   www.costaricalearn.com

–Yogi, Hanna, and Liz Houston and Amarillo


San Franciso and Cape Cod. We were extremely pleased having used Ann’s services for our 10 day vacation in Costa Rica. Sure, we could’ve winged it and spent many nights at the computer trying to put together our vacation, hoping we made good choices for our hotels, meals & activities. But Ann listened to what we wanted and honed right in on a great itinerary for us. Her communication was awesome, she was easy to get a hold of, she answered our questions quickly, made suggestions for us and definitely made our whole trip easy and comfortable.

Besides the great hotels and activities she set us up with, our best experience was staying with Xinia and her family in their home. Xinia’s Costa Rica Vacation Homestay B&B.  We were picked up by Xinia at the airport, whisked away to her beautiful clean house where a home cooked meal was prepared for us. We had a blast spending the evening with her family talking and learning more about Costa Rica from a different perspective, a true cultural experience.

Thank You, Ann! We had a fantastic trip to Costa Rica  contact Ann www.costaricalearn.com

–Rick and Anna

Our recent vacation to Costa Rica was great fun and well planned-thanks to Ann who designed our 8 day itinerary.  We told Ann we wanted high adventure outdoor exciting day tours and that is exactly what she set up for us.   In Arenal we  did Sky Tram Sky Trek , Lost Canyon Adventure-canyoneering, kayaking on Lake Arenal, and horseback riding on the Arenal Observatory Lodge’s farm located at base of the mighty Arenal volcano.

In Manuel Antonio we went white water rafting on the Savegre River and sea kayaking with snorkel.

These 2 destinations were a perfect combination of Mountains and Beach adventures.

Alex’s favorite was the Lost Canyon canyoneering in Arenal and Xinia’s Costa Rica Vacation HomeStay B&B  where we spent 2 nights.  Alex practiced her Spanish with Jessica and Bryan, Xinia’s kids.

If you want your vacation well planned and not have to worry about lost time and frustrations, then call Ann to design your C Rica Vacation.  contact her at  www.costaricalearn.com

–Sanjay Bhansali and daughter Alex

Atlanta, Georgia

Ann prepared an itinerary perfect for us.  First night we stayed at Xinia’s Costa Rica Vacation Homestay B&B  .  Xinia picked us up at the airport and had a great private room with private bath ready for us.  The following day Ann had arranged for a rental car from Solid Car Rental Agency to be delivered to Xinia’s and then off we went to the Poas Volcano National park located 30 minutes from Xinia’s house.  Then on to Arenal where we did Sky Tram Sky Trek zip line and white water rafting on the Balsa River.  Everything went smooth.  Ann is cautious and makes sure she uses safe companies and she gives great advice and makes sure you are prepared for what you are going to do while in CR.  It was such a Great help to have an insider (Ann) who is familiar and has lived in C Rica to help plan things.  We highly recommend Ann’s services and would use her again if we return to Costa Rica.   contact Ann    www.costaricalearn.com

–Mr and Ms Sajid Khan,

Kansas City, USA

came to Costa Rica for dental work and stayed 13 days at Xinia’s Costa Rica Vacation Homestay B&B.   Xinia drove her daily to her dental appointments.  At the end of one week Denise’s friend Collen joined Denise and they traveled to La Fortuna (Arenal Volcano Area)

This is what Denise and Collen had to say.  “We could write a book about our stay in Costa Rica. We had so much fun and saw so many beautiful places. Our stay at Arenal was arranged by Ann, “The Costa Rica Expert”  We did the Sky Tram, Sky Trek and Hanging Bridges…Wow!  What an exciting experience!  We stayed at Volcano Lodge and enjoyed the hot springs there.

WE highly recommend Xinia’s Homestay B&B  to experience the real Costa Rica Culture.  We ate very good Costa Rican food-fresh fruits and vegetables from the Alajuela farmers market, and drank fresh Costa Rica coffee every morning.  All prepared by Xinia.

Ann did an excellent job planning our itinerary to the  Arenal area.

We hope to visit Costa Rica again soon and bring our husbands:  to contact Ann to help you plan your Costa Rica Vacation  anncreed23@gmail.com


–Denise Simms

Diana choose Ann to help her plan the itinerary.  They choose Chachagua Rainforest Resort located 30 minutes from the base of the Arenal Volcano as their home base.  Desafio Tour Company was chosen for the daily adventure tours.  Diana says  “The most fun we had was the Sky Tram- Sky Trek tour which was riding up the mountain in a glass gondola and then zip lining back down using 12 different zip line routes.  All the family loved it!”

The second most fun was the Arenal Volcano Hike with The Springs Resort and Spa “Hot Springs.”  Diana said:  “This is a spectacular  gorgeous resort.  We spent six hours there.  We visited the animal rescue zoo where we saw  several species of monkey small as well as large and small jaguars.  We relaxed at the end of he day.”

Ending the trip we stopped at La Paz Waterfalls Gardens for the afternoon…”Unbelievable”  we all said.  So much to see in one area..waterfalls, tropical birds, butterflies, snakes, frogs, and  the spectacular architecture of the buildings- made from the native wood of Costa Rica.

We highly recommend Costa Rica for a family vacation and want to again thank Ann for her help which saved us some much time trying to do it ourselves on the internet.   Thanks again, Diana  Contact Ann     www.costaricalearn.com

–Diana Oceguera and her family of fourteen persons

Los Angeles, Calf.

Traveling together on spring break with their families.  Ann designed a  perfect vacation itinerary  which included The Peace Lodge and La Paz Waterfall Gardens in the Central Valley, as well as the Poas Volcano National Park.   The Springs Resort and Hot Springs at Arenal.  Hotel Belmar in Monteverde.  Four Seasons Hotel in Papagayo Pacific Beach in NW Guanacaste.  Karen said “We did so many fun filled adventure tours and Ann knew just how to design the itinerary so that we did not waste any time.”  “We  did zip lining and  river rafting in Arenal.  “Monteverde-horseback riding, cloud forest tour, as well as the Aventura canopy and superman swing” “Our transfers were set up by Ann because we did not want to rent a car”  “Each one was perfect-right on time with friendly, helpful and safe drivers.”   The vans were equipped with Wifi. “We loved the Guanacaste beaches with the long stretches of sandy white sand and deep blue water”  “Overall we just loved Costa Rica!” “We highly recommend Ann as your Costa Rica Vacation Planner, especially for a family vacation“.   “Great to work with her.  She is detailed oriented and gave us personalized service”.  “She knows Costa Rica and it’s travel industry very very well.”  www.costaricalearn.com

–Karen Levine-family of 4 and Karen Bental-family of 4,

Los Angeles, Calf.

Vacation in Costa Rica on Spring Break. “Ann designed a vacation itinerary for us which included Playa Grande in NW Guanacaste Beach, Blue River Resort in northern zone near the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, and the Finca Luna Nueva Lodge-Organic Farming near Arenal Volcano National Park.”  “We did sooo many fun filled adventures tours.  The kids loved it all!.  Included: surf lessons in Playa Grande Beach, hiking the Blue River, tubing down the Blue River, hot springs at Blue River Resort, zip line and glass gondola in Arenal.  At Finca Luna Nueva the education organic farm tour, plus bird watching.  Saw a group of five toucans and a flock of around fifty green parrots.  “We were so lucky to have Ann design our vacation itinerary to Costa Rica.”  “We could not have done it without her.  She saved us so much time surfing around the internet and “getting lost”   All the transfers were exactly on time and drivers were wonderful”  And she was great to work with, kept on top of everything along with us while we were in CR.   “We could not have done this without her!” I say, “Contact  Ann if you want to the best”    www.costaricalearn.com


–Cathy and Jeff Field with their two sons ages 10 and 11 years

Los Angeles, Calf.

This is what Brett had to say about his spring break vacation with his wife and 2 boys .

– ATV ride, the kids in particular really liked this.  The guides let the kids ride with them rather than with us (switching between all kids in the group) — which is great for the kids, because the guides really know how to use the ATVs with confidence.
– Sky zip line and guided tour.  Zip lines were fantastic.  Guided tour was neat with knowledgable guide.
– Arenal Obs. Lodge — great view, nice grounds, food expensive but good quality, freedom to wander / walk around short walking trails, efficiently run.
– La Paz Waterfall Gardens, butterfly exhibit in particular.
– Hacienda El Corso (dairy farm tour in hills above Alajuela   We just really liked the tour.  Not sure everyone would.
– Playa Grande oceanfront and waves were a lot of fun.
– Desafio drivers for long-range transfers — very accommodating, friendly, apparently knowledgable, on time.
– Hotel Las Tortugas food was reasonably good, with sweet plantains in particular consistently good.  Consistently friendly staff, including owner.

Brian said,  “We recommend Ann if you are thinking of vacationing to Costa Rica.  Her itinerary planning was so deailed and encompassed all our requests. Very valuable time saver for my family.  I got tired of surfing the internet to pick the right hotels so when I discovered Ann thru her web site www.costaricalearn.com,  I felt so relieved.  The guessing was taken away from our vacation planning.  My family and I  had a perfect getaway and hope to visit Costa Rica again.”   Thank you Ann!

–Brett Schein family of four

3 week vacation planned by Ann.  Ron says, ” Best vacation we ever had.  What a beautiful country with beautiful and kind people.” Ann arranged a car rental and Ron and Maria drove to Grecia, Arenal, and then to NW Guanacaste beaches.  They also took the 3 day Tour of the Tortuguero Canals on the Caribbean Sea.  They visited the Poas Volcano N Park and La Paz Waterfall Gardens in the central valley.  Arenal Volcano N Park located the central northern zone.  They also explored by car the beaches of the Pacific NW coast as well as Santa Rosa National Park in Northern Costa Rica.   Ron:  “Thank you Ann.  We could not have done it without you!”

–Ron and Maria Poggemoeller

one week vacation to Costa Rica planned by Ann.  Gary and Judy met their daughter and her family in Costa Rica and spent several days with them at Samara Beach. Ann arranged a rental car and they also drove to Arenal and then to Samara Beach. Gary and Judy states:  We loved staying at Xinia and Ann’s vacation home stay B&B.  Getting to know this Costa Rican family was a treat and one of the highlights of our vacation.  Our departure flight was delayed due to the eruption of the Turrialba Volcano located fifty miles east of San Jose, the capital city.  Ann recommended we go for 2 nights to Finca Luna Nueva organic farm and eco lodge located  just 1.5 hours from Alajuela.  On the road to La Fortuna out of San Ramon.  This was a great experience!  We learned about how they grow herbs organically and also how chocolate is made.” “We highly recommend Ann if you want a first class vacation to Costa Rica–without hassles and down time.  Her company www.costaricalearn.com  “Costa Rica Learn Adventure Travel Agency” is first class.  contact her at anncreed23@gmail.com

–Gary and Judy Clark

Spent 10 wonderful days in CR.  “Thank you Ann for planning our vacation just as we wanted it to be!

–Anneta Rozenberg and son Joseph.

Dear Ann,

A week from today will be one year since Maria and I flew to San Jose for the best vacation we have ever had, and you planned it for us. We have relived it on a regular basis talking together, dreaming about it and telling other people how wonderful it was. We have had questions from people directed to us from Trip Advisor based on my reviews and answered all of them. Our pictures are the background on my computer so I see each and every one every day and that always draws a pleasant memory. I have been in contact with Tessa several times and she is now in eastern Europe helping a friend finish a book she is editing for him. She is such a sweetheart.

I have seen on your website that you and Xinia have opened  a B&B similar to the one she had before. That should be a real success with the two of you running it!  Please give her our best regards when you see or contact her as she was very nice to us during or Costa Rica vacation.

I’m sure your Vacation Planning business is going well as you are extremely good at it and really take care of your customers as we personally know from our “Vacation of a Lifetime” last year. Please keep in touch and I will be happy to personally recommend you to anyone you may have to do business with.

Maria and I love you,

Ron and Maria Poggemoeller

–Ron Poggemoelle and wife Maria

As Xinia had already posted, we had the pleasure to stay with Xinia and her family on the front-end and back-end of our Costa Rican vacation.  We were celebrating my daughter’s senior year of high school and hoping to create some memories. Well, our vacation was a tremendous success and our stay at Xinia’s Costa Rica Vacation Stay helped create some lasting memories.

We initially were planning a “traditional” vacation by staying at hotels and resorts that most American’s would normally choose, but decided to look outside the box for some alternative experiences. After researching some unique eco lodges, well known in Costa Rica, I discovered a website, www.costaricalearn.com, that offered some very valuable information on planning a Costa Rican vacation.

This site was developed by Ann Cabezas Creed, who had lived in Costa Rica for many years, and has 15 years of travel planning experience in Costa Rica.   She offers vacation planning using her knowledge and experiences to create customized vacations. Ann handles all the lodging, transportation and excursion reservations for the trip at NO EXTRA COST TO YOU. She is compensated by the hotels and tour companies.

While planning this trip and realizing that we needed to stay near the San Jose International Airport (SJO) on both ends of our trip, she inquired whether we were open to a unique opportunity to stay at a bed & breakfast like place like  Xinia’s Costa Rica Vacation Stay B&B.  By staying with Xinia, she would pick us up at SJO and offer individualized tours of the surrounding areas and an opportunity to experience life in a typical Costa Rican family’s home, including meals.  An overall wonderful cultural experience.

We saw this as a unique opportunity and gladly accepted this option….

What  a great choice. Xinia picked us up at SJO and proceeded to a popular local restaurant for lunch and got a chance to see the area before heading to her home. We got a chance to meet her husband, Rolando, and son, Bryan. Had a wonderful traditional Costa Rican dinner and even serenaded by Rolando and Xinia. Rolando with his guitar and accordion.

The next day we arose to a wonderful full breakfast, with fresh fruit from her garden., and delicious freshly brewed Costa Rican Coffee. Afterwards we spent the day at La Paz Waterfalls and Doka Four Generations coffee tour  Dinner was prepared by Xinia at her place, typical Costa Rica  fresh veges and fish. Dinner with Xinia, where she taught my daughter how to make fried plantains, those hugh bananas which are a mainstay of Costa Rican’s diet.

Early the next morning, again we awakened to another full breakfast, while waiting for our transportation to Arenal Volcano and our stay at Rancho Margot.

As we said our goodbyes and hugs, we were looking forward to staying with Xinia and her family our last night in Costa Rica. In fact, we left some of our purchases at her house, thus avoiding the schlepping of these items around Costa Rica.

After our last leg of our trip ended in the Peninsula Osa at Encanta La Vida,  Xinia met us at the Sansa terminal. Went back to”our” home, where we had a snack and a little R&R before we went out to dinner at Luna de Valencia, which was recommended to me by a friend in Costa Rica.   This is a authentic Spanish restaurant located in the hills approx 30 minutes outside Alajuela.

That last morning, Xinia  drove us to the airport at 4:30am to catch our flight home.

As we were saying goodbye again, we felt a bit sad knowing that we would not be seeing our new adopted Costa Rican family for some time. We invited  Xinia and her family to come to Michigan to visit and hopefully see snow which Xinia and Rolando have never experienced.

I would HIGHLY recommended anyone thinking about a vacation in Costa Rica to contact Ann Cabezas Creed www.costaricalearn.com  to assist with the planning…and to definitely stay a couple of days with Xinia and her family. It truly added a new dimension to our vacation and have built our first friendships in this country.

We are missing our Xinia…and look forward to the next visit.

Pura vida.
Curtis, Sandi & Nicole Kuttanuer — with Ann Cabezas Creed, Colie Kuttnauer, Xinia Murillo and Sandi Sullivan Kuttnauer.

–Curtis Kutnauer, wife Nancy and daughter Nicole


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