Saturday, March 3, 2018

Maleku Tribe a great family experience in Arenal

 Legend Maleku says that "Tocú laca" was one of the places where his god lived. Each time the majestic volcano emanated fumaroles, Tocu was showing his dominion and power through the magma fire. In their surroundings the Maleku settled to live near the house of Tocu, the land of sacred fire and keep their fury off.The tribe met at the foot of the colossus to beg for protection, strength and wisdom, with cacao offerings they worshiped the sovereign to avoid their wrath. Not everyone could climb their skirts, only those who had the mantle could access the sacred place. He who was willing to reach the bowels, would have to cover his body with volcanic mud and oil, to dye his skin and obtain the strength of Tocu. He had to request the permission of the elders, but, not of anyone, he should be the one who maintained total devotion to Tocu and his wisdom intact. He alone would decide if that person could approach the deepest and most dense forest of the sacred earth.The elders interpreted the messages that Tocu sent with each rumble of the Arenal volcano and transmitted them to the town. The lava flows brought messages that warned of an event that would happen, or remembered something that was happening and the village could not perceive. The great creator demanded respect and devotion to the sacred ground, in exchange for his protection at all times and in all places.

One day, strangers arrived in their lands, invading and bringing with them the destruction of the forest and the curse for the people. The Malekus fled to save their lives to high and distant lands. When Tocu saw that the times of peace and harmony had been altered, he manifested his anger with a rash of fire, gases and rocks, which caused the death of people who roamed the land ruled by the sovereign.When such misfortune came to the ears of the Malekus, the tribe prostrated itself and with the cajúli in hand they implored the creator once and again not to spread the wrath on the man. The anger did not stop. One of the wise elders took a creature that did not surpass 4 years, raised it saying these words: "this is your disciple, it belongs to you, do not spread your anger that here is your disciple, take it, it is yours" minutes after the volcano He stopped erupting, and calm returned.
The people sent a message to the non-Malekus saying, "Do not make Tocu's wrath spread over the earth again, you can go in peace." Months later the disciple delivered to Tocu died, and he lives today in the bosom of Tocu. Since then "Tocú laca" remains calm. It is said that only the Maleku can ask for your peace of mind.The old Maleku, know from before that very soon they have to leave the land and in advance advise their families and tell them that in the direction of "Tocú laca" they should point their head, in order to be able to watch and rest next to Tocú in their forest sacred.

IL VIAGGIO TRAVEL can help you  be part of this culture, traditions, leyends, food, arts and crafts. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Rescue Center is the Central Valley

This weekend we visited Costa Rica's ZOO AVE.

In 1990 ZOO AVE a local old fashion ZOO was transformed to the new vision through a non-profit organization with modern facilities, with a new vision which prioritizes conservation and animal welfare. It is now called Rescate Animal Zooave, operated by the Fundación Restauración de la Naturaleza (The Nature Restoration Foundation), with a focus on conservation, animal welfare and environmental education.

This rescue center is located in La Garita de Alajuela, just 40 minutes from San José and 15 minutes from Juan Santa María International Airport. In this beautiful center you can walk on fully accessible trails where you are able  to explore the botanical gardens and learn about 125 species of animals, among them birds, mammals and reptiles that have been rescued and, due to health or behavioral reasons, cannot be fully rehabilitated for reintroduction into their natural habitat.

When you visit this center you will be supporting the other amazing projects which include:
  • Rescue Center
  • Reproduction Center of Macaws
  • Environmental Education
  • Release Projects in San Jose - Piedras Blancas - Nicoya  
  • Rehabilitation enclosure of wild cats
Another amazing detail is that in 2011, the foundation became certified as the only rescue center in Costa Rica accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS)

We invite you all to visit, donate or help others know that its an amazing location for All!!!

By the way the rescue center has a Restaurant inside the area of exhibitions which has great food, peacocks walking free, great forest views and a playground where kids can play while parents wait for the dishes to arrive. This is a great detail we enjoyed!!!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Avoid the Crowds with a Family Expedition to Silence

Nowadays the actual everyday life of all of us is full of noise, city, smoke, internet, cell phones, electronic games... Its very hard for parents and children alike to disconnect.

So we have very good news. This can be done in Costa Rica.

We have found special spots around Costa Rica which we call OFF THE GRID or AVOID THE CROWDS locations.

To start mentioning them I want to start with a piece of Paradise in Costa Rica where everyone can stop that busy day and just sit down to relax, hear the silence, the rainforest, the water and let the soul be in peace.

This location is called Catarata Toro, and Laguna de Hule. Its surrounded by the Juan Castro Blanco National Park AND Poas National Park.

Amazing trails in the Rainforest that end up on beautiful waterfalls.

But if you want to visit this area. You do have to consider a good physical condition, children over 8 years old and a good 4x4.

Keep posted for more outstanding locations and if you want more details don't hesitate to contact us:

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Take your Vacation in Costa Rica

First I want to share with you a short summary of why Costa Rica is a kid-friendly country.
  • Located in Central America with great and many flight connections.
  • The country has been declared one of the happiest countries in the world.
  • And not only that, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world which can be discovered on very short distances due to the small size of the country.

Now, if we think on the true daily life. Families are very busy, days are shorter, families live with a lot of pressures and so connections are weaker. This is a very sad daily story of many people around the world; that is why we encourage families to take their vacations and make them the best experience ever. Each vacation, of every year should be sacred.

And what can we do to help families decide. Well, we can tell you why Costa Rica is the best kid-friendly destination:

1. In Costa Rica you will explore, learn, try new things, come to know
every thing about conservation and strengthen the connection with wildlife and nature.

2. Spark the curiosity by trying new costarican foods

3. You will be expose to new cultures and perspectives by being part of local traditions like the “cimarrona and mascarada”

4. Learn New Life Skills for example how to saddle, climb, ride a horse like the local costarican “Sabaneros” do.

5. Enhance the kids’ education during the whole visit with a private guide/driver/host/captain service

6. Promote Self-Discovery by leaving technology behind. When they have nothing more than nature their imagination start exploring. And don't forget the pictures. Let them take their own. Its a way your children see the world.

7. Meet new people is an important factor of the trip. It can be other travelers or locals. Just by the fact that you are in Costa Rica the family will be part of this human connection.

8. Unique worry-free safe destination. A country that has been stable and peaceful since 1948 with great health-care, education and No Army.

9. With the wide range of activities, ecosystems, experiences the whole family can encounter in Costa Rica Tons of Fun.

10. Kick back and Relax. The outstanding views, smells, sounds, textures, service and quality around the country will make it a multi-sensory experience. Just let it flow and be part of the “PURA VIDA” way of life.

This are 10 reasons why if you have a long weekend, a week, or more time to connect, bond and be with the family Costa Rica is the best fit for your upcoming Family Adventure.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Monteverde, cloud forest experience

As a multi-generation family we traveled from San Jose to Monteverde. The drive takes around 4 hours and it has a part of gravel road.

Upon arrival to Monteverde we head to Fonda Vela Hotel. Its a property with a lot of forest, great views, gardens, pool, jacuzzi and even a playroom with pool, ping pong and other games. By the way, it also has outstanding big rooms.

For the evening we had a unique experience. We did the Nocturnal Walk. And you know what?! If you turn off the lights, make silence and close your eyes, you will truly feel in another world. Its a natural experience every member of the family enjoyed.

The next day we did a full day at Sky Adventures Monteverde. Where the adults enjoyed the adrenaline at the Sky Trek.
The little ones and me. We took the Sky Tram. And as Emma said "we were flying in the clouds"

The next experience was the Tree Climbing. A new adventure perfect for teenagers and adults.

And after getting my body tired trying to climb a tree we head to the amazing hanging bridges. This is an accessible low impact activity for everyone.

The day did not end here. We had a tasteful dinner at the Tree House Restaurant where my little one danced with live music under a magical Higueron Tree.

Monteverde is all about adventures, open your senses, connect with nature and be part of the conservation of an amazing micro-climate named the Cloud Forest.

Tree House Restaurant Monteverde

Friday, June 23, 2017

Hotel near airport with a different atmosphere

Xandari Resort & Spa is located in Alajuela. The drive from Juan Santamaria International Airport to the hotel is only 20minutes.

We visited the property to see how Family Friendly it is and we encountered a colorful well-maintained 24 villa hotel with:
  • 3 amazing poolsbeautiful gardens
  • 3 miles of trails on a private reserve with 5 waterfalls
  • you can decide on site to plant a tree or do a guided tour at the organic farm or a guided bird-watching walk along the trails
  • and finally a restaurant with healthy Farm to Table meal options
This 5 characteristics plus its great location with amazing views of the Central Valley makes Xandari Resort and Spa a great starting or ending point for a  Family Adventure around the country.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tapanti National Park

Costa Rica in 1970 created the network of national parks. This network is administered by SINAC since 1994. This government department is in charge of the maintenance, organization and strategic planning of all the protected areas of the territory. 
Right now the country has 28 national parks and various biological reserves. The most famous ones are: 
  • Poas Volcano National Park
  • Irazu Volcano National Park
  • Tortuguero National Park
  • Arenal Volcano National Park
  • Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Corcovado National Park
  • Monteverde private reserves
Most of them are included on classic itineraries around the country. Most of them are family friendly. But we visited a unique off the beaten path National Park which we loved. As a multi-generation family we did a great one day tour from San Jose.
Very early we depart from San Jose towards Cartago. We visited the Irazu Volcano National Park to see the marvelous crater. Then we drove through the different agricultural fields towards Orosi Valley. Here is where we visited the new and amazing National Park called Tapanti. Here visitors have access to various trails which are catalogue on three difficulty levels. Walk around the park, see rainforest, wildlife, waterfalls and the amazing river of Orosi. 

Then we head to Ujarras Ruins and finished in the Basilica of Cartago.

An amazing cultural, natural, and historic journey for all ages.