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My bucket list

Lady in wheelchair touching flower from above

Costa Rica has always been on my bucket list because of the flora & fauna and their environmental stewardship and she did not disappoint. In fact, it was better than I had hoped thanks in large part to Il Viaggio’s services and the amazing guide that they provided. As a traveler with disabled accessibility needs it’s always stressful travelling to another country but from the get-go I was confident that we were in good hands with Natalia, our travel consultant at Il Viaggio. She asked the right questions and was very responsive to any of our requests. Finding accessible restrooms is one my biggest concerns and I was pleasantly surprised how rare of a problem that was. Even a roadside fruit stand in the middle of nowhere had not one, but two accessible restrooms.

Our guide Juve, embodied the Pura Vida spirit and by the end of the trip we were referring to him as Juve-pedia (as in Wikipedia) because his knowledge base was so vast. Instead of just feeling like tourists we felt immersed in the history & culture of Costa Rica.

It was a stress-free vacation knowing that either our guide or Natalia could handle any issue that arose thus allowing us to just enjoy the fun stuff. Speaking of fun stuff, one of my favorites had to be watching monkeys navigate the forest canapy at Mistico Aranal Hanging Bridges. Because I’m a foodie, coming in second was the cooking class at an organic farm and learning to make a version of vegetarian picadillo; it was some of the best food of the trip and I’ve recreated it at home. Stopping at roadside stands that Juve was familiar with also ranked high. Yum to mango ceviche and water apples. On our last day, we took a boat ride to do some birding and it was the perfect end to a fabulous vacation. I’ve never seen a bird that looks like pink cotton candy. Even when we weren’t off to our next destination I enjoyed just lounging at our various hotels and listening and looking for colorful birds and butterflies.

I saw this as an investigative trip to see if Costa Rica was possible in a motorized wheelchair and now knowing that it’s possible I will certainly be back to explore more of this beautiful country. There are some things I will do differently next time, like avoiding San Jose and be more adventurous but sign me up for more Costa Rica.

Bonnie Lewkowicz
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