Eduardo Caravaca, Viaventure’s Naturalist Guide in Costa Rica
A proud Costa Rica native, Viaventure guide Eduardo Caravaca thrives on the reaction of his guests as he shows them his country’s unspoiled destinations and helps them achieve their travel goals. “One of the things that made me become a guide was seeing the eyes of visitors being amazed by the beauty of our country, all related to the wildlife, the birds, the plants, and the animals that we showed them,” he says. “This is one of the most amazing places on Earth to work if you’re a naturalist.”
Going the extra mile and delivering “WOW” moments for guests elevates their experience as well as his own professional satisfaction, Eduardo explains. For example, one of his most surprising encounters occurred in a national park, when he stopped to point out a site on a map to help his guests get their bearings. “An umbrella bird, which is considered one of the rarest birds in Costa Rica, flew right above my head, making quite a display for me and the customers who I was touring,” he recalls. “It was amazing because this is one of the most difficult birds to see in our country — and we just happened to be there.”
Like his fellow guides at Viaventure, Eduardo also enjoys the challenge of unusual special requests — such as a guest who wanted to see the highly venomous eyelash pit viper, a colourful but dangerous snake. “It’s quite interesting how people see this as exciting or an adrenaline rush, but once in a while someone asks,” he says.
Eduardo was especially moved when a young girl visited Costa Rica with her parents prior to having a serious medical procedure back home. “Her parents brought her here to create some nice memories before her treatment started,” he says. “I’m happy to know that she’s doing fine and that her experience in Costa Rica helped her go through it.”
Originally from Alajuela in the scenic Central Valley, Eduardo has worked as a naturalist guide for over 15 years, the past three with Viaventure. His favorite destinations include Guanacaste, on the northwest coast, and Tortuguero, on the Caribbean side. “Guanacaste is one of those sites that offers a different kind of landscape. There we have mostly tropical dry forest, although Tortuguero has a tropical wet forest, which can be very interesting as well, especially because visiting there must be by boat, kayak, or canoe — the whole area is a wetland.”
Whether guests have an unusual request or want a general sample of Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity, Eduardo is pleased to deliver.
“One of the most rewarding things for me is seeing the customers’ satisfaction when we helped them achieve a lifetime goal by visiting our country and seeing a particular kind of bird or mammal that they really wanted to see,” he says. “It’s why I love to do this every day.”