#CostaRicaFriendsTravel JESS Kalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com

January 7, 2011

#CostaRica like you never experienced before! JESS Kalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com

June 24, 2010

Variety, price and features only at Friends Travel, LLP on our Costa Rica Tours

Brake the chains of your normal daily living and dare to do something beyond imagination. See the undiscovered paradise that is Costa Rica and get a pure natural rush that will warm in your memory for years to come.

With more than 30 years of successful tour operation, we have proven time and time again the ability to provide ultimate service to our customers.  Our Central America tour possess the local knowledge to present you with a customized selection of itineraries in Costa Rica. Let us create for your Family or group unforgettable experiences in the land of pura vida!

Canopy Tour

The Original Canopy Tour Costa Rica at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Lodge was the first canopy tour in existence in the world….

Monteverde Reserve Tour

The spectacular Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Feels like walking in a grandiose green Cathedral.

Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

Manuel Antonio is one of the marine resources most popular national parks.

Palo Verde National Park Tour

Explore the shelter of a great variety of wildlife. See Crocodiles, monkeys and Iguanas, as you relax in a jungle boat.

Vida Aventura Nature Park Tour

Full Day Tour. Adventure/ Health Canopy Tour, Horseback Riding, Waterslide, Thermal waters.

White Water Rafting Pacuare…

Full Day Adventure/ Nature Floating Rafting

  • Arenal
  • Central Valley
  • Guanacaste
  • Jaco
  • Manuel Antonio
  • Monteverde
  • Puntarenas
  • FriendsTravel@earthlink.net 24/7/365
  • JESS Kalinowsky Professional Travel Consultant
  • JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24.7/365
  • Valid Passport required to leave/return to USA

#PuraVidaCostaRicaFriendsTravel JESS Kalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com

March 18, 2009

Pura Vida in Costa Rica

The name might mean Rich coast’, but Costa Rica has far more to offer than just warm beaches. In fact, most of my fondest memories of the country are of the people, wildlife, and cuisine. The general attitude of most ticos (the nickname for residents of the country) can be summed up in the country’s motto: ‘Pura Vida,’ which literally means ‘pure life.’ The meaning is closer to that of ‘hakuna matata,’ though, minus the singing warthog and meerkat (or perhaps replaced by an anteater and an agouti). It’s a refreshing and welcome change of pace from the hustle and bustle of American city life, and the perfect setting for an idyllic vacation.

I also found that the relaxing tone of the populous allowed me to better concentrate on the two things I’d come to Costa Rica for: to see all the animals I’d read about in books since I was a child, and to expand my palette. I wasn’t disappointed on either front, although some of my animal encounters of the six and eight-legged variety were a little too close for comfort! By far, my favorite area for wildlife viewing was Tortuguero, on the northern Caribbean coast. I’ve never seen so many different species of animals in one place! I truly felt like I was in a nature documentary when I was there. Between all of the sea birds, lizards, monkeys, bats, and other exotic creatures, I was in heaven. Seeing a toucan that wasn’t on a cereal box and standing close enough to a wild caiman that I could count its teeth were two things I never thought I’d get to do in my life.

For some reason tico cuisine gets a bad rep, but I think the people who complain had probably eaten in the wrong places. Although I’m a vegetarian, I still have a ‘see-food’ diet, as in, when I see food (that’s not meat) I eat it. I relish any opportunity to try local specialties that I can’t find here in Portland. My favorite culinary discovery in Costa Rica was maracuyá, or passionfruit. I’d order a maracuyá agua fresca, a fresh juice drink, everywhere I could. I also came to love all of the comida típica (typical food), but especially gallo pinto, a beans and rice dish eaten for breakfast.

All this talk of Costa Rica and comida típica is making me hungry for dinner and adventure! Although I’ve been to the country twice, I hope to go back again to visit all of my amigos, to bask in the beauty of nature at its wildest, and of course to eat the delicious food.

Rainforest, Volcano & Beach from $1,149 per person
Combining three of our most popular destinations in Costa Rica: Tortuguero National Park, Arenal Volcano and Guanacaste beach area. One of our more well rounded and popular Costa Rican vacations.

Extended Green Season Rates-Up to 35% off
Some of the newest and best hotels in Central America have significant and extended green season savings this year. Be sure to visit our Latin America specials page often to stay up to date on our current specials.

A Bit of Eco-Tourism

Here at the Independent Traveler we are reading more and more about eco-tourism in the news and hearing it more in conversations. There’s an ever-increasing amount of information available on what constitutes eco-tourism and what exactly it means. Sometimes it’s referred to as sustainable tourism or green tourism or even responsible tourism. Whichever term you want to use, many travelers are interested in reducing their impact on the land, supporting the local communities they are visiting and almost everyone seems to be responding to that demand.

So what’s an eco-tourist to do? Just pack their bags and head off to Costa Rica? That’s an option, certainly. With over 25% of its land dedicated to national parks and protecting 6% of the world’s biodiversity, there’s plenty for the eco-tourist to experience in Costa Rica. You’ve already read a bit about Tortuguero National Park with its turtles, manatees, and other wildlife. Another great feature is the majority of the day tours happen on the water, reducing the impact of tourism on land.

There’s also Monteverde Cloud Forest. The variety of birds and orchids alone make this a pretty spectacular place to visit. One of the impressive things about Monteverde is that it’s privately held by a non-profit organization and is not as susceptible to the flux in funding available for protection and conservation as the National Parks are. Much like the Nature Conservancy here in the US, its controlled by a non-profit who safeguards the land and the ecology.

Perhaps Costa Rica’s already been done and you are looking for something a bit more adventurous. We’ve got one word for you: Manu. It’s in Peru, so it would be simple to add this on to a trip to Cuzco and Machu Picchu.

The Manu National Park contains 1,000 species of birds, or one out of every nine on Earth. Approximately 550 bird species occur within a few square miles of lowland forest. But it’s not just the birds that are amazing; this densely populated area is home to some of the greatest biodiversity on the planet, including 10 species of monkeys along with some pretty awe-inspiring tree ferns and other plant life. All in all, this is probably the most adventurous type of eco-tourism for most travelers.

As we all move ahead, the landscape of traveling is changing, and eco-travel and responsible tourism options for travelers and vacationers will only grow. Hopefully, we all believe it’s good to see more people thinking about how and where they travel.

#FriendsTravel, LLP West Hollywood CA 90069-9309

JESS Kalinowsky Professional Travel Consultant  JESS@FriendsTravel.com 

EMAIL: FriendsTravel@earthlink.net 24/7/365 for your travel reservations to Costa Rica.

Villa Paraiso Montezuma, Costa Rica, Central America JESS@FriendsTravel.com

October 17, 2008

Villa Paraiso

Montezuma, Costa Rica, Central America
4 Bedrooms, 8 Bathrooms(4 Ensuite), Pool
From USD $5714 – $10714 per night

Villa Paraiso is a spectacular 20,000 plus square foot compound made up of multiple structures set in over 13 lush tropical acres of paradise located in the remote village of Montezuma on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica’s stunning Nicoya Pennisula.

A professional six-star staff will provide you with distinguished service at this premier and exclusive private compound. The five staff members will serve your every need including a bilingual American concierge.

Renowned Costa Rican architect, Ronald Zurcher (perhaps best known for his design of Costa Rica’s only Four Seasons Hotel) designed this private compound which is made up of three gorgeous guest rooms on the first level, with a palatial master suite on the second level. Every room offers breathtaking ocean views.

Enjoy a workout, yoga or massage in the gym that is strategically placed on top of a dramatic 100 yard high cliff top perch that allows for unobstructed 180 degree views of the Pacific Ocean. The stables hold 4 horses which can be used to navigate the property, Montezuma or an afternoon jaunt up the sandy coast.

The spacious living room merges seamlessly with the elegant dining room. Both rooms offer sweeping ocean views with an easy indoor/outdoor flow to the terrace and pool/spa/bar area. And a little tropical rain might be the perfect time to enjoy the state-of-the-art home theater that has seating for 8 with over 200 channels of widescreen, high definition and movies from the U.S.A.

Explore one of Montezuma’s many dazzling beaches or visit Mal Pais for some world class surfing. Take a quad 15 minutes down the coastal road to Cabo Blanco, one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful nature preserves.

Or stay at home and enjoy the large free-form infinity pool with swim-up bar that seats 12, in and out of the water. Equipped with a 42 inch LCD screen, barbecue grill and a wood-fire pizza oven; this area is the center of outdoor entertainment at Villa Paraiso.

Experience the ultra-private, oversized hot Jacuzzi© after sundown where you can enjoy a warm ocean breeze, a brilliantly detailed moon, a universe of stars, and the mysterious sounds of the jungle at night.

A 100 yard private suspension bridge was engineered to provide guests with a shortcut from the Villa to the bohemian streets of Montezuma, which is known for its striking natural surroundings and wildlife: Howler and white faced Capuchin monkeys and colorful iguanas which seem never more than a glance away. The restaurants and bars of Montezuma, jungle canopy tour, finest beaches, access to boating and big game fishing are all within walking distance from the Villa.

A day trip to Isla Tortuga for swimming and snorkeling among hundreds of colorful species of fish as well as whales, giant mantas, dolphins and sea turtles makes for a fun, relaxing and memorable day.

Completely private, 24 hour security and surveillance, internet, a driver should one need, tour guides, surfing coaches, the finest cigars and just about anything imaginable can be made available to you at Villa Paraiso. While food, alcohol and cigars are not included with Villa Paraiso, we can have anything delivered to the house and prepared for guests with proper notice.

Villa Paraiso is the ultimate experience for the most discriminating connoisseurs of the finest, most exclusive properties around the world. The property was built and is used as a fine home, not as a rental, so you will enjoy our facilities that much more.

Bedroom / Bathroom Description

Bedroom 1
Sleeps 2, King bed, En-suite Shower/tub, TV, Air conditioning, Ceiling fan, Window screen

Bedroom 2
Sleeps 2, King bed, En-suite shower, Air conditioning, Ceiling fan, Window screen

Bedroom 3
Sleeps 4, 2 Queen beds, En-suite shower, Air conditioning, Ceiling fan, Window screen

Bedroom 4
Sleeps 4, 2 Queen beds, En-suite shower, Air conditioning, Ceiling fan, Window screen

The play room can be converted into an additional bedroom with 1 Queen bed

Features & Amenities

  • Alarm system
  • TV
  • DVD player
  • CD player
  • Exercise equipment in the Gym which is located in a detached building
  • Home theater
  • Free wireless internet
  • Washer/Dryer
  • Central Air conditioning
  • Ceiling fans
  • Kitchen:
    • Blender
    • Microwave
    • Toaster/Toaster Oven
    • Food processor
    • Dishwasher
    • Table top grill
    • Coffee grinder

Outdoor Features

  • Pool – 40 feet in length, 5 feet deep
  • Heated Jacuzzi
  • Swim up bar that seats 12
  • 2 full baths with showers adjacent to the pool
  • Available parking
  • Propane BBQ
  • Beach chairs/loungers
  • Beach towels
  • Snorkel equipment
  • Flotation devices
  • Beach umbrella
  • Stables with 4 horses, which guests are permitted to ride
  • there are 2 ATV’s on the property for Guest use

Staff & Services

  • Housekeeper: Monday to Sunday from 8am-5pm, Speaks Spanish
  • Cook: 7 days a week 8am-8pm, Speaks English and Spanish
  • Manager: Monday to Sunday from 8am-6pm, Speaks English and Spanish
  • Night Time Security Guard: Monday to Sunday from 6pm-6am, Speaks Spanish
  • 24 hour video surveillance
  • Driver: Monday to Sunday from 8am-6pm, Speaks English and Spanish
  • Maintenance man and a full time gardener are also included. The Manager/driver are shared positions

Villa Policies

  • Maximum 14 guests
  • Children Welcome
  • Non Smoking Villa
  • Pets are not allowed
  • Voltage 120 – Adapters are not included
  • Additional gratuity is payable on-site (in cash)
  • The offices in the gym building are closed to guests

Getting There

  • Transfers by Helicopter, Plane or Shuttle can be arranged at an additional charge
  • Guests can also be escorted from Tambor Airport to the villa, or met at San Jose Airport
  • Closest International Airport: San Jose (SJO)
  • Friends Travel offers THE most advantageous First Class, Business Class, and Coach Airfares
  • Friends Travel offers Private Jet Charter from anywhere in USA to Costa Rica.


  • 30 minute drive to the Tambor Airport
  • 10 minute walk to the town of Montezuma
  • 10 minute walk to the beach
  • 30 minute drive tennis courts and golf course in Tambor
  • 10 minute walk to the grocery store
  • 10 minute walk to the restaurant
  • 15 minute drive to the clinic in Cobano
  • FriendsTravel offers THE most advantageous First Class, Business Class, and Coach Airfares.
  • FriendsTravel offers Private Jet Charters from anywhere in the USA to Costa Rica.

Additional Information

  • Weddings and social events are accepted with a maximum of 50 guests

If you are interested in receiving more information about this villa, and making a reservations, please submit a request and a villa specialist will contact you as soon as possible.

EMAIL NOW!: CostaRica@FriendsTravel.com



Costa Rica Adventurer with JESS@FriendsTravel.com

October 15, 2008


Costa Rica boasts unmatched natural beauty, home to volcanoes, mountains, tropical rainforests, scarlet sunsets and a very diverse range of wildlife. This program was designed with the active traveler in mind, combining the robust eco-diversity of Costa Rica with the fun and excitement of outdoor activities like soaring along the canopy tops, forest trekking and exhilarating river rafting providing a diversity of entertainment for all ages. From the still active Arenal Volcano providing a continuous show of sight and sounds courtesy of Mother Nature, to Los Angeles Cloud Forest, one of Costa Rica’s premier cloud forests, to the picturesque Manuel Antonio National Park and beach, this experience will be etched in your memory forever!
Locally Hosted
9 days 8 nights
Departure Dates
No Restriction
Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio
Round trip private transfers as per itinerary
3 nights at the Tabacon Resort & Spa, Arenal
2 nights at the Establo Lodge, Monteverde
3 nights at the Parador Hotel, Manuel Antonio
Tabacon Hot Springs including dinner
Arenal Volcano National Park Tour
Arenal Sky Tram & Sky Trek (canopy) Tour
Sarapiqui River Rafting Tour
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve Tour
Lunch at Villa Lapas
Carara National Park Tour
Manuel Antonio National Park Tour
Coastal Kayaking Tour
ATV Tour
Meals as per itinerary
Hotel tax and service charges
Locally hosted by English speaking guides
Cosmopolitan Cities
Eco Tours
Family Adventures
Flora or Botanical
Fauna or Birding
Jungle Exploration
Not included: Airfare, Gratuities of any kind; airport departure taxes; meals unless included in the itinerary.
FriendsTravel offers the most advantageous rates available for First Class, Business Class, and Coach airfares from any city of origin to Costa Rica.

Package Code: crfamadv LTD

EMAIL: COSTARICA@friendstravel.com for your vacation plans



Costa Rica with JESS Kalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com

August 4, 2008

An eco-tourism haven with friendly locals, exhilarating tours and several diverse tourist areas – all surprisingly accessible.

Throughout the month of August Vacation Express is adding a number of small, intimate, unique hotels and lodges, all located close to popular attractions and activities. Design your own Costa Rica experience with more choices in one of the world’s most fascinating eco-destinations!

EMAIL: COSTARICA@FriendsTravel.com

Tell us who, what, when, where!  Tell us who will be traveling, names as they appear on passports; what you would like to do in Costa Rica, beaches, diving, jungle tours, river tours, flora and fauna tours, or adventure. Tell us when you would like to travel: departure day date time, return day date time. Please advise if you would like to fly First Class, Business Class, or Coach. Tell us from what airport you would prefer to fly.  If you have an airline preference, give us first, second and third choices.   Tell us the style or type of hotel you prefer, Deluxe, First Class, or ‘a hut on the beach’! Hotels/Resorts come in Five Star Deluxe, Five Star, Four Star, Three Star, and two, and one, but I sincerely doubt if you would be happy in a one or two star!  Tell us what part of Costa Rica you would prefer to stay, or if you do not know,  tell us what you have in mind for your vacation, and we will recommend a trip for you.  Not only have we been there, and done that! We have amazing contacts in Costa Rica.  We have something for everyone, even you!