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Why Travel with Us

WHY TRAVEL WITH US

TOP 3 REASONS WE WILL MAKE YOUR

VISIT TO COSTA RICA UNFORGETTABLE


Here are what our clients consider the Top 3 Reasons to Travel With Us!
1. WE ARE THE DIRECT OPERATOR 2. EASY TO BOOK 3. SAFE & FUN!



Adventure Awaits Gravity Falls Waterfall Jumping
#1. WE ARE THE DIRECT OPERATOR!

Desafio Adventure Company offers the most unique and exclusive adventures in the Costa Rica. We are always striving to create the newest and most innovative tours in the country, while following our 2 company rules – 1) Be Safe and 2) Have Serious Fun!

Plus we are the direct operators of our own services. This is actually fairly unusual in the travel and tourism industry.

Just a few examples of our exclusive tours and services:

Pioneers of Rafting in the Northern Zone – Our founder Suresh Krishnan was the first to explore the rivers of the Northern Zone for commercial use and launched the first adventure company in the area. We are now the only company with private river put ins and take outs with bathrooms, shower and changing areas, as well as towels and plastic bags for the comfort of our guests. Our warehouses store our equipment which means less wear and tear on equipment and ability to make last minute changes where necessary.

Gravity Falls, Waterfall Jumping – considered Costa Rica’s most extreme tour!

Lost Canyon Adventures Canyoning – our own private canyon with rappels that start small and end big! In addition we own the canyon house where we store all of our equipment and even grow some of the food we use to prepare delicious meals following tours. We also own all of our specialized Desafio Jungle Limo 4x4’s, providing rides to otherwise inaccessible areas.

Single Track Madness – Mountain biking is one of the most sought after activities in Costa Rica and exclusive and intense mountain bike route near the Arenal Volcano just for you!.

Adventure Connection Tour & Transfers – Let the journey be your adventure! Making the most out of your vacation by getting you to your next destination while doing an adventure along the way. By combining tours with what are otherwise just travel days, you save time and money and maximize your experience in Costa Rica.

Exclusive Tours -- The only tour outfitter in the area offering Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Kayak Fishing and Single Track Madness Mountain Biking

FREE Wi-Fi in our vans! In response to a client recommendation, we equipped our fleet of 25 modern vans with FREE Wi-Fi to allow you to stay connected during your travel time.

Team building and Corporate Events -- We offer completely unique, fun and effective team building opportunities!

EASY TO BOOK
#2. EASY TO BOOK!

We provide an EASY booking platform and the most flexible reservations policies in the industry. We provide online booking, live online chat and a TOLL FREE number to contact us with any questions and to make it easy to book your tours, transportation, hotels and other travel needs directly.

In addition we don’t charge rebooking or change fees. Simply follow our three step booking process and reserve anything directly with us.

Doing our tours is also EASY! We provide all of the safety equipment, instructions and support necessary for anyone to have an unforgettable time. Don’t know how to raft or rappel or is it your first time canyoning or waterfall jumping? That’s ok, you are not alone! We will guide you through the process. *Note: all of our tours require different levels of physical fitness and age recommendations.



Adventure Awaits Canyoning
#3. SAFE AND FUN!

Desafio Adventure Company was founded and still operates today under only two rules:
1) Be Safe! and 2) Have Serious Fun!

Serious Fun is different for everyone -- We know that not everyone has the same idea of fun and it all depends on who you are and what kind of experience you are looking for. Whether it is a leisurely Safari Float or an adrenaline packed Waterfall Jumping tour, we offer and operate a tremendous selection of tours – which means there is something for everyone!

Safety is the cornerstone of our company. We meticulously maintain and revise our equipment and upgrade it annually. We were chosen as the first-ever government-certified Adventure School in Central America to train adventure guides, winning the first public-private contract to develop and implement a program to train and graduate young people in important guiding and safety techniques (the first in Latin America).

MEET OUR FOUNDER

Suresh Krishnan, The Pioneer of Adventure near the Arenal Volcano

MEET OUR FOUNDER - Suresh Krishnan


Suresh Krishnan started Desafio Adventure Company over 20 years ago after falling in love with the Arenal region's many rivers. Here is an up-close look at his journey to owning one of the best tour companies in Costa Rica.

What is your background-education and experiences that have lead you to where you are now?
I was born in the Southern part of India in the State of Kerala and my father moved our family to Ohio in the United States when I was 7 years old to start a Montessori school. He then moved us out to Pasadena, California when I started high school. I barely finished high school and really wanted to pursue a running career at Stanford, but I didn't have good enough grades to get into the university. The best option for me was to join the US military and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I loved the discipline and the leadership skills I acquired. I made it on the US Army boxing team and trained hard and was later sent to Panama for Jungle Warfare School. Because of my athletic abilities, I was placed on a US Army Relay Team to run the full distance of the Panama Canal from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. While I was in the US Army, they had me jumping out of airplanes, rappelling out of helicopters, hiking through dense forests and much more.

I was doing ROTC at UCLA and preparing myself to be an officer while attending classes on Anthropology at Long Beach State University. On the side, I taught sea kayaking lessons at a local kayak shop. One day a Costa Rican walked in to buy some rafting equipment to start up a rafting company on Costa Rica's famous Pacuare River. He asked me if I wanted to be a raft guide in Costa Rica and that's when my love affair with Costa Rica began - more than 20 years ago!

I started working on the Pacuare River, but the company I was working for didn't work out for me, so I thought I could start my own rafting company on the Pacuare based out of San Jose. But competition was very difficult and I wasn't doing very well. I then met a Swedish girl who was living near the Arenal Volcano and she invited me to visit her. It took me over eight hours on public buses to get to the rain forests of the La Fortuna area and when I got here I said to myself "there's got to be some amazing rivers around here!" I set out to do the first descents of all of the rivers within one hour of the Arenal Volcano.

But it wasn't easy to start my business on my own. I had to ask my mom for money to fly back to California, but I was determined to make it back to Costa Rica, so I worked as many jobs as I could to save some money, buy some rafting equipment and go back to Costa Rica. I've ran out of working capital a few times and made some bad business decisions along the way, but I really wanted to keep my business going and here I am today after more than 20 years - still learning about Costa Rica and how to run a business!

What personal characteristics do you have that have made you so successful?

People call me a Serial Entrepreneur - I'm always dreaming up new business ideas. I'm also tenacious about my business culture based on honesty and loyalty - those are some of the most-important things I learned to appreciate in the military.

Why adventure tourism?
It seemed like the right thing for me - I used to think I? become a stock-broker and work on Wall Street - but nowadays I can't imagine myself with a suit and tie sitting in a cubicle punching a time clock. I feel so lucky to have the lifestyle I have.

What is the best part about your job?
Coming up with new ideas and watching my team execute them even better than I could imagine. I love when that happens! We have a great team of people working for us and it makes me feel proud to come to work every day!

What is the most challenging part about running Desafio?
There is a reason why I chose the name "Desafio" for my company - the word "Desafio" means "Challenge" because I knew that if I were going to start a business in Costa Rica it was going to be a challenge for an American Indian with little to no Spanish! There is a lot of paperwork and government rules to follow and as a foreigner, I've had to learn the ropes pretty much all on my own. And even though we have great people working for us, managing our staff and keeping them happy all of the time is always a big challenge, too. Our Human Resources department is very important to me. I also try to come up with unique incentives for our staff and even offer them business opportunities to develop on their own because I want to show my appreciation for all that I have.

What sets Desafio apart from the other tour companies?

What sets us apart is our Desafío Adventure Culture. Overall, it's hard to not have a bad time in Costa Rica – this country is all about "happiness." The people here are considered some of the most-friendly people in the world and the natural environment is unparalleled.But to have a truly amazing vacation, it really comes down to your personal experiences while you're here. I always say that we know clients will go back home and they might not remember the name of the river they went rafting on or even the name of the company they went with, but chances are, they will remember the name of the guide. That's exactly the experience we want clientsto come away with.

Where do you see Desafio 5 years from now?
In the next five years I hope we will be considered a leader in adventure tourism in Costa Rica and continue innovating and creating new and exciting adventures for our clients. Ideally, we would like to make sure all of our clients come away with the most-positive experience ever and memories that will last a lifetime!

What to you is a perfect day in Arenal?
Funny you should ask - in fact today I was mentioning to my wife Christine that today was a perfect day in Arenal - we had nice rains the past few days so our rivers are full with great, crystal-clear water, our waterfalls in the canyon are full and vibrant, the sun is shining and our big Arenal Volcano is peaking through the clouds. I am confident our clients also think today is a perfect day in Arenal!

I also love to meet with our clients and hear their comments and I am always open to suggestions on investment opportunities and new social entrepreneurial ideas. I think one of the biggest contributions I can make now is to try to mentor others on business ideas and growing companies in a sustainable, responsible way.

OUR TEAM

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE DESAFIO SUPER HEROES!




Carla Vargas -  General Manager

Carla Vargas

Carla Vargas is our General Manager or in-house "rock-star" overseeing the entire Desafio operation and managing employees. With a background in Business Administration and Human Resources along with 8 years of experience in tourism under her belt, it's only fitting that she's the General Manager of one of the largest tour companies in Costa Rica. When asked HOW she does what she does, she replies "I'm a super disciplined and organized person. I am also very helpful and friendly and have a strong will. This is necessary for my job, because I sometimes have to deal with stressful situations."Working with a tour company has its bonuses, especially for Carla as she is a keen traveler and loves exploring Costa Rica on the weekends. Her favorite place to travel is in the province of Guanacaste because it offers a good mix of National Parks and white-sand beaches. Her favorite part of working with Desafio is connecting with fellow employees and forming lasting bonds throughout the years.Read More ›]
Carla Vargas

Carla Vargas is our General Manager or in-house "rock-star" overseeing the entire Desafio operation and managing employees.

With a background in Business Administration and Human Resources along with 8 years of experience in tourism under her belt, it's only fitting that she's the General Manager of one of the largest tour companies in Costa Rica.

When asked HOW she does what she does, she replies "I'm a super disciplined and organized person. I am also very helpful and friendly and have a strong will. This is necessary for my job, because I sometimes have to deal with stressful situations."

Working with a tour company has its bonuses, especially for Carla as she is a keen traveler and loves exploring Costa Rica on the weekends. Her favorite place to travel is in the province of Guanacaste because it offers a good mix of National Parks and white-sand beaches.

Her favorite part of working with Desafio is connecting with fellow employees and forming lasting bonds throughout the years.


Christine Larson-Krishnan -  Community Collaborator

Christine Larson-Krishnan

We consider Christine the Community Collaborator of Desafio. Suresh and Christine both agree that he is the thinker and she is the doer -- she takes Suresh's big ideas and carries them into reality. Christine is also at the heart of all of the community outreach activities like the "Reto Reciclaje" or Desafio Recycling Challenge and the annual Easter Egg Hunt called the "Busqueda de Tesoros" for the community and regularly helps out with local schools. Here is an interview that outlines how Christine got to be where she is now: Tell us about your background-education and experiences that have lead you to where you are now: From a very young age, I always dreamed of living and working outside of the United States -- not that I necessarily had a game plan, I think I just wanted to be different. I remember being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and I would respond "An International Diplomat..." It sounded so exotic to be "international." So, I guess it's not surprising I ended up in Costa Rica. And helping run a business in a foreign country is all about diplomacy - both my husband Suresh and I work hard to understand and embrace the culture we live in. And it takes quite a lot of diplomacy to navegate the sometimes challenging rules the Costa Rican government sets forth for doing business and making sure our employees are safe and happy. What personal characteristics do you have that have made you successful? Is luck a characteristic? I was lucky to have found Suresh and to have been in the right place at the right time. The Arenal Volcano was in the process of becoming an important place to visit in Costa Rica so Desafio just started to grow along with the town. But overall, I owe my success to having parents who encouraged me to pursue my dreams and to my husband who has the vision to keep the company moving forward. Why adventure tourism? I grew up in a very active community near Madison, Wisconsin called Waunakee -- 'The Only Waunakee in the World!' We have lakes, rivers, hills and it is said more bicycles per capita than anywhere else in the United States! My father started an ice hockey league when I was young and I later went on to play ice hockey for many years -- I was the only girl on the team! I am very competitive by nature and have always enjoyed a variety of outdoors activities. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and won my election to the Madison City Council, served one term and focused my time in office on community development issues. I then lost my second election by 11 votes and was very disheartened by politics. I was then lucky enough to be hired for a job working as a guide for a pioneering adventure travel company called TrekAmerica and began taking my groups on thrilling whitewater rafting and mountain biking tours throughout the Americas before these activities where readily accepted as mainstream adventure activities fit for the whole family. It was a natural transition to be interested in Adventure Tourism in Costa Rica. What is the best part about your job? The people. We have an amazing group of people working for us. They are like family. And being able to create new and exciting adventures for clients and seeing that our clients come away satisfied is highly gratifying. After all, we are in the "happiness business." The coolest thing is hearing our clients say that they had a 'life-changing experience' on one of our tours. What is the most-challenging part about running Desafio? The Costa Rican government rules change often and the playing field is not always very level. As a responsible company, we make sure we have highly-trained, professional staff and that all of our employees have all of the benefits as required by law. In addition we have a high-level of insurance for our activities and safe, well-practiced logistics in case of emergency. We also pride ourselves on high-quality gear and modern transportation -- all of this can be very expensive and sometimes puts us at a disadvantage compared to other outfitters who don't follow the same rules. What sets Desafio apart from the other tour companies? Experience makes the difference. We are the pioneering adventure company here and have been doing this for over 20 years now and Suresh and I both come from adventure backgrounds. We are integrally involved in the daily operation of our company -- Suresh and I breathe, eat, sleep Desafio... We wouldn't have it any other way! Where do you see Desafio 5 years from now? We hope to continue having a safe operation and keep reinvesting in our staff and our infrastructure. What to you is a perfect day in Arenal? A perfect day is when everyone gets back from their tours and transportation safe and happy. There is nothing more-fulfilling than that! Read More ›]
Christine Larson-Krishnan



We consider Christine the Community Collaborator of Desafio. Suresh and Christine both agree that he is the thinker and she is the doer -- she takes Suresh's big ideas and carries them into reality. Christine is also at the heart of all of the community outreach activities like the "Reto Reciclaje" or Desafio Recycling Challenge and the annual Easter Egg Hunt called the "Busqueda de Tesoros" for the community and regularly helps out with local schools. Here is an interview that outlines how Christine got to be where she is now:


Tell us about your background-education and experiences that have lead you to where you are now:

From a very young age, I always dreamed of living and working outside of the United States -- not that I necessarily had a game plan, I think I just wanted to be different. I remember being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and I would respond "An International Diplomat..."

It sounded so exotic to be "international."

So, I guess it's not surprising I ended up in Costa Rica. And helping run a business in a foreign country is all about diplomacy - both my husband Suresh and I work hard to understand and embrace the culture we live in. And it takes quite a lot of diplomacy to navegate the sometimes challenging rules the Costa Rican government sets forth for doing business and making sure our employees are safe and happy.

What personal characteristics do you have that have made you successful?

Is luck a characteristic? I was lucky to have found Suresh and to have been in the right place at the right time. The Arenal Volcano was in the process of becoming an important place to visit in Costa Rica so Desafio just started to grow along with the town. But overall, I owe my success to having parents who encouraged me to pursue my dreams and to my husband who has the vision to keep the company moving forward.

Why adventure tourism?

I grew up in a very active community near Madison, Wisconsin called Waunakee -- 'The Only Waunakee in the World!' We have lakes, rivers, hills and it is said more bicycles per capita than anywhere else in the United States! My father started an ice hockey league when I was young and I later went on to play ice hockey for many years -- I was the only girl on the team! I am very competitive by nature and have always enjoyed a variety of outdoors activities.

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and won my election to the Madison City Council, served one term and focused my time in office on community development issues. I then lost my second election by 11 votes and was very disheartened by politics. I was then lucky enough to be hired for a job working as a guide for a pioneering adventure travel company called TrekAmerica and began taking my groups on thrilling whitewater rafting and mountain biking tours throughout the Americas before these activities where readily accepted as mainstream adventure activities fit for the whole family. It was a natural transition to be interested in Adventure Tourism in Costa Rica.

What is the best part about your job?

The people. We have an amazing group of people working for us. They are like family. And being able to create new and exciting adventures for clients and seeing that our clients come away satisfied is highly gratifying. After all, we are in the "happiness business." The coolest thing is hearing our clients say that they had a 'life-changing experience' on one of our tours.

What is the most-challenging part about running Desafio?

The Costa Rican government rules change often and the playing field is not always very level. As a responsible company, we make sure we have highly-trained, professional staff and that all of our employees have all of the benefits as required by law. In addition we have a high-level of insurance for our activities and safe, well-practiced logistics in case of emergency. We also pride ourselves on high-quality gear and modern transportation -- all of this can be very expensive and sometimes puts us at a disadvantage compared to other outfitters who don't follow the same rules.

What sets Desafio apart from the other tour companies?

Experience makes the difference. We are the pioneering adventure company here and have been doing this for over 20 years now and Suresh and I both come from adventure backgrounds. We are integrally involved in the daily operation of our company -- Suresh and I breathe, eat, sleep Desafio... We wouldn't have it any other way!

Where do you see Desafio 5 years from now?

We hope to continue having a safe operation and keep reinvesting in our staff and our infrastructure.

What to you is a perfect day in Arenal?

A perfect day is when everyone gets back from their tours and transportation safe and happy. There is nothing more-fulfilling than that!


Daisy William James -  Customer Care Specialist

Daisy William James

Daisy grew up in Francia, a tiny town near Siquirres, Limon on the Caribbean Coast. She currently lives in La Fortuna but frequently goes home to Limon to visit because she loves being on the calm beaches, especially during sunset. Her favorite part about working for Desafio is helping clients plan fun vacations and hearing about their experiences when they return!If you had a tourist visit you at your home, what would you do for them?I would prepare Costa Rican food for them for example:Gallo Pinto (Rice & Beans), Arroz con Pollo (Rice and chicken with vegetable) and other dishes.What is your all time favorite acivity at Desafio? Why?My favorite tour at desafio is rafting because I can be in contact with nature, have lots of fun, and get my adrenaline pumping!If you went traveling abroad, what do you think you you would miss the most about Costa Rica?Definitely my family and my mother's Caribbean Rice and Beans!Read More ›]
Daisy William James


Daisy grew up in Francia, a tiny town near Siquirres, Limon on the Caribbean Coast. She currently lives in La Fortuna but frequently goes home to Limon to visit because she loves being on the calm beaches, especially during sunset. Her favorite part about working for Desafio is helping clients plan fun vacations and hearing about their experiences when they return!

If you had a tourist visit you at your home, what would you do for them?

I would prepare Costa Rican food for them for example:

Gallo Pinto (Rice & Beans), Arroz con Pollo (Rice and chicken with vegetable) and other dishes.

What is your all time favorite acivity at Desafio? Why?

My favorite tour at desafio is rafting because I can be in contact with nature, have lots of fun, and get my adrenaline pumping!

If you went traveling abroad, what do you think you you would miss the most about Costa Rica?

Definitely my family and my mother's Caribbean Rice and Beans!


Danny Araya -  Director or Innovation

Danny Araya

Danny gradutaed from the esteemed Costa Rican TEC University with a degree in Sustainable Tourism. Danny joined Desafio in Operations, but his strong sense of leadership found him in the role of Reservations Leader. Now he's developed his own, new department of Innovation. Danny is always willing to crack a joke and laugh along with others. He's not only a hard worker, he's a fun person to have around. After work, it is common to see Danny in his biking gear, reaching his own personal athletic goals, and sometimes even training for a triathalon.Where did you grow up? I grew up in Ciudad Quesada, the biggest city in this part of Costa Rica. I liked living there because my family was always around. I came from a big family (3 brothers 1 sister and me) and we had many cousins in the same neighborhood so I always had someone to play with. What is your proudest accomplishment? Tough question. After I had knee surgery my dream to be a professional soccer player ended. I tried to play again but it was very difficult for me. I gained some pounds because I wasn't doing very much exercise. So last year I decided to practice some of the hardest sports in the world and compete in a triathlon. I was training almost every day for 7 months and completed my first triathlon in March 2014. I won 3rd place in my category! Lucky me. Where is your favorite place in Costa Rica? What do you like to do there? Another tough question! I love San Carlos, the green mountains, the people, the food. Its also close enough to the beach that the people always have a place to vacation. I love the Caribbean Coast, especially Puerto Viejo, Cahuita and Manzanillo. I think this is because they are some of the most unique places to be in Costa Rica. Nothing is rushed, everything is relaxed. I love to eat there and of course just be on he beach and see how the rainforest touches the pristine and magical Caribbean sea.Read More ›]
Danny Araya


Danny gradutaed from the esteemed Costa Rican TEC University with a degree in Sustainable Tourism. Danny joined Desafio in Operations, but his strong sense of leadership found him in the role of Reservations Leader. Now he's developed his own, new department of Innovation. Danny is always willing to crack a joke and laugh along with others. He's not only a hard worker, he's a fun person to have around. After work, it is common to see Danny in his biking gear, reaching his own personal athletic goals, and sometimes even training for a triathalon.


Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Ciudad Quesada, the biggest city in this part of Costa Rica. I liked living there because my family was always around. I came from a big family (3 brothers 1 sister and me) and we had many cousins in the same neighborhood so I always had someone to play with.

What is your proudest accomplishment?


Tough question. After I had knee surgery my dream to be a professional soccer player ended. I tried to play again but it was very difficult for me. I gained some pounds because I wasn't doing very much exercise. So last year I decided to practice some of the hardest sports in the world and compete in a triathlon. I was training almost every day for 7 months and completed my first triathlon in March 2014. I won 3rd place in my category! Lucky me.

Where is your favorite place in Costa Rica? What do you like to do there?

Another tough question! I love San Carlos, the green mountains, the people, the food. Its also close enough to the beach that the people always have a place to vacation. I love the Caribbean Coast, especially Puerto Viejo, Cahuita and Manzanillo. I think this is because they are some of the most unique places to be in Costa Rica. Nothing is rushed, everything is relaxed. I love to eat there and of course just be on he beach and see how the rainforest touches the pristine and magical Caribbean sea.


David Quesada -  Adventure Specialist

David Quesada

David grew up in the small town of San Gerardo, Cuidad Quesada but has been living in La Fortuna and working for Desafio for many years. He believes the best things in life are free and that includes enjoying the beautiful nature that Costa Rica is gifted with. He always has new photos and stories to tell about his own Costa Rican forest adventures! Give him a call and he can recommend the best FREE things to do in and around town.What is your favorite place in Costa Rica?The town where I grew up. It's full of cool places like swimming holes, fresh water rivers, soccer field and a lot of kids. Families are very friendly and are humble with customs and values. I love spending my days off there.What do you do when you are not working?When I'm not working I like go out with my 2 dogs and explore rivers, waterfalls and new places around the rain forest. I also love to play soccer and hang out with my friends.Read More ›]
David Quesada


David grew up in the small town of San Gerardo, Cuidad Quesada but has been living in La Fortuna and working for Desafio for many years. He believes the best things in life are free and that includes enjoying the beautiful nature that Costa Rica is gifted with. He always has new photos and stories to tell about his own Costa Rican forest adventures! Give him a call and he can recommend the best FREE things to do in and around town.


What is your favorite place in Costa Rica?


The town where I grew up. It's full of cool places like swimming holes, fresh water rivers, soccer field and a lot of kids. Families are very friendly and are humble with customs and values. I love spending my days off there.

What do you do when you are not working?


When I'm not working I like go out with my 2 dogs and explore rivers, waterfalls and new places around the rain forest. I also love to play soccer and hang out with my friends.


Greg Reeser -  Adventure Specialist

Greg Reeser

Greg grew up in the United States and came here for the first time as a student in 1985. He loved Costa Rica so much that he moved here and never looked back! Starting off as a tour guide and keen traveler, he definitely knows what it means to have an adventure. This is what makes him a valuable part of our team of Adventure Specialists!What's your favorite place in Costa Rica?My favorite place to visit in Costa Rica is Manzanillo Beach, which is just south of Puerto Viejo de Limon. I love to snorkel and this is one of the best places in Costa Rica for snorkeling.  Also, I like the mix of Costa Rican culture with the Afro-Caribbean culture that is found there.If you had a tourist visit you at your home, what would you do with them?I would take them on my favorite tours here in La Fortuna like canyoneering and rafting. Or if they wanted something more laid back, we would go Stand Up Paddling or to the Arenal Hanging Bridges. If I had some time off work, I would take them to the beach - either Puerto Viejo de Limon or Samara. If you went traveling abroad, what do you think you would miss the most about Costa Rica?  Definitely the weather.  It's not as hot here as many people think and while it's nice to see snow on a Christmas card, I certainly don't miss seeing it firsthand.  Also, the Costa Rican people are so nice and friendly, which is something you don't find everywhere in the world. Read More ›]
Greg Reeser

Greg grew up in the United States and came here for the first time as a student in 1985. He loved Costa Rica so much that he moved here and never looked back! Starting off as a tour guide and keen traveler, he definitely knows what it means to have an adventure. This is what makes him a valuable part of our team of Adventure Specialists!
What's your favorite place in Costa Rica?
My favorite place to visit in Costa Rica is Manzanillo Beach, which is just south of Puerto Viejo de Limon. I love to snorkel and this is one of the best places in Costa Rica for snorkeling.  Also, I like the mix of Costa Rican culture with the Afro-Caribbean culture that is found there.

If you had a tourist visit you at your home, what would you do with them?

I would take them on my favorite tours here in La Fortuna like canyoneering and rafting. Or if they wanted something more laid back, we would go Stand Up Paddling or to the Arenal Hanging Bridges. If I had some time off work, I would take them to the beach - either Puerto Viejo de Limon or Samara.
 
If you went traveling abroad, what do you think you would miss the most about Costa Rica? 
Definitely the weather.  It's not as hot here as many people think and while it's nice to see snow on a Christmas card, I certainly don't miss seeing it firsthand.  Also, the Costa Rican people are so nice and friendly, which is something you don't find everywhere in the world.

Rocio Vargas -  Assitant in Accounts Receivable

Rocio Vargas

Rocio is originally  from the chilly mountains of Cartago but its currently loving life in La Fortuna. "It is very calm, the people are very friendly, and we are blessed with a beautiful view of the Arenal Volcano and Cerro Chato."While Rocio was studying accounting in high school, she came to Desafio to do a 2 month long internship and never left. When the general manager asked her to stay, she recalls jumping up and down in excitement! I love working here - the environment, the people, my job itself, and the owners, Christine and Suresh are very "Pura Vida".When she gets time off work, she loves to explore Costa Rica, especially the Guanacaste beaches. Playa Hermosa is one of her favorite beaches because of the natural beauty, the mountains, and the tranquil but touristic vibe.  When asked what are the best things to do in Costa Rica, she replied "I once had an American stay with me for two months and we did so many fun things: Hikes on the hanging bridges and Volcano National Park, and boat cruises on Lake Arenal and Cano Negro. I also showed her the Costa Rican culture, like how to make tortillas by hand!" Read More ›]
Rocio Vargas


Rocio is originally  from the chilly mountains of Cartago but its currently loving life in La Fortuna. "It is very calm, the people are very friendly, and we are blessed with a beautiful view of the Arenal Volcano and Cerro Chato."
While Rocio was studying accounting in high school, she came to Desafio to do a 2 month long internship and never left. When the general manager asked her to stay, she recalls jumping up and down in excitement! I love working here - the environment, the people, my job itself, and the owners, Christine and Suresh are very "Pura Vida".
When she gets time off work, she loves to explore Costa Rica, especially the Guanacaste beaches. Playa Hermosa is one of her favorite beaches because of the natural beauty, the mountains, and the tranquil but touristic vibe.  When asked what are the best things to do in Costa Rica, she replied "I once had an American stay with me for two months and we did so many fun things: Hikes on the hanging bridges and Volcano National Park, and boat cruises on Lake Arenal and Cano Negro. I also showed her the Costa Rican culture, like how to make tortillas by hand!"


Ruddy Andrey Brenes Esquivel -  Head of Accounts Receivable

Ruddy Andrey Brenes Esquivel

Ruddy grew up in a small town outside of La Fortuna called El Tanque, where he knows almost everyone and will always consider it his home. "If I were to leave I would miss everything about Costa Rica, but especially the town where I grew up and the traditional dish called Gallo Pinto" says Ruddy. After studying accounting in high school, Ruddy did a two month long practice at Desafio and liked it so much that he decided to stay. He loves getting to know his clients and the community of people that work at Desafio, especially during Desafio's weekly soccer matches! Ruddy is currently working towards a degree in accounting and finance, with the aim of completing a Masters degree. He also one day wants to study English and International Cooking.Ruddy also loves traveling and going on adventures. His favorite places in Costa Rica happen to be close by La Fortuna- climbing Cerro Chato, hiking to the Rio Celeste waterfall and visiting Tamarindo beach!Read More ›]
Ruddy Andrey Brenes Esquivel


Ruddy grew up in a small town outside of La Fortuna called El Tanque, where he knows almost everyone and will always consider it his home. "If I were to leave I would miss everything about Costa Rica, but especially the town where I grew up and the traditional dish called Gallo Pinto" says Ruddy.
After studying accounting in high school, Ruddy did a two month long practice at Desafio and liked it so much that he decided to stay. He loves getting to know his clients and the community of people that work at Desafio, especially during Desafio's weekly soccer matches!
Ruddy is currently working towards a degree in accounting and finance, with the aim of completing a Masters degree. He also one day wants to study English and International Cooking.
Ruddy also loves traveling and going on adventures. His favorite places in Costa Rica happen to be close by La Fortuna- climbing Cerro Chato, hiking to the Rio Celeste waterfall and visiting Tamarindo beach!


Suresh Krishnan -  Owner and Founder

Suresh Krishnan

Suresh Krishnan started Desafio Adventure Company over 20 years ago after falling in love with the Arenal region's many rivers. Here is an up-close look at his journey to owning one of the best tour companies in Costa Rica.What is your background-education and experiences that have lead you to where you are now?I was born in the Southern part of India in the State of Kerala and my father moved our family to Ohio in the United States when I was 7 years old to start a Montessori school. He then moved us out to Pasadena, California when I started high school. I barely finished high school and really wanted to pursue a running career at Stanford, but I didn't have good enough grades to get into the university. The best option for me was to join the US military and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I loved the discipline and the leadership skills I acquired. I made it on the US Army boxing team and trained hard and was later sent to Panama for Jungle Warfare School. Because of my athletic abilities, I was placed on a US Army Relay Team to run the full distance of the Panama Canal from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. While I was in the US Army, they had me jumping out of airplanes, rappelling out of helicopters, hiking through dense forests and much more.I was doing ROTC at UCLA and preparing myself to be an officer while attending classes on Anthropology at Long Beach State University. On the side, I taught sea kayaking lessons at a local kayak shop. One day a Costa Rican walked in to buy some rafting equipment to start up a rafting company on Costa Rica's famous Pacuare River. He asked me if I wanted to be a raft guide in Costa Rica and that's when my love affair with Costa Rica began - more than 20 years ago!I started working on the Pacuare River, but the company I was working for didn't work out for me, so I thought I could start my own rafting company on the Pacuare based out of San Jose. But competition was very difficult and I wasn't doing very well. I then met a Swedish girl who was living near the Arenal Volcano and she invited me to visit her. It took me over eight hours on public buses to get to the rain forests of the La Fortuna area and when I got here I said to myself "there's got to be some amazing rivers around here!" I set out to do the first descents of all of the rivers within one hour of the Arenal Volcano.But it wasn't easy to start my business on my own. I had to ask my mom for money to fly back to California, but I was determined to make it back to Costa Rica, so I worked as many jobs as I could to save some money, buy some rafting equipment and go back to Costa Rica. I've ran out of working capital a few times and made some bad business decisions along the way, but I really wanted to keep my business going and here I am today after more than 20 years - still learning about Costa Rica and how to run a business! What personal characteristics do you have that have made you so successful?People call me a Serial Entrepreneur - I'm always dreaming up new business ideas. I'm also tenacious about my business culture based on honesty and loyalty - those are some of the most-important things I learned to appreciate in the military. Why adventure tourism?It seemed like the right thing for me - I used to think I? become a stock-broker and work on Wall Street - but nowadays I can't imagine myself with a suit and tie sitting in a cubicle punching a time clock. I feel so lucky to have the lifestyle I have. What is the best part about your job?Coming up with new ideas and watching my team execute them even better than I could imagine. I love when that happens! We have a great team of people working for us and it makes me feel proud to come to work every day! What is the most challenging part about running Desafio?There is a reason why I chose the name "Desafio" for my company - the word "Desafio" means "Challenge" because I knew that if I were going to start a business in Costa Rica it was going to be a challenge for an American Indian with little to no Spanish! There is a lot of paperwork and government rules to follow and as a foreigner, I've had to learn the ropes pretty much all on my own. And even though we have great people working for us, managing our staff and keeping them happy all of the time is always a big challenge, too. Our Human Resources department is very important to me. I also try to come up with unique incentives for our staff and even offer them business opportunities to develop on their own because I want to show my appreciation for all that I have. What sets Desafio apart from the other tour companies?What sets us apart is our Desafío Adventure Culture. Overall, it's hard to not have a bad time in Costa Rica – this country is all about "happiness." The people here are considered some of the most-friendly people in the world and the natural environment is unparalleled.But to have a truly amazing vacation, it really comes down to your personal experiences while you're here. I always say that we know clients will go back home and they might not remember the name of the river they went rafting on or even the name of the company they went with, but chances are, they will remember the name of the guide. That's exactly the experience we want clientsto come away with. Where do you see Desafio 5 years from now?In the next five years I hope we will be considered a leader in adventure tourism in Costa Rica and continue innovating and creating new and exciting adventures for our clients. Ideally, we would like to make sure all of our clients come away with the most-positive experience ever and memories that will last a lifetime! What to you is a perfect day in Arenal?Funny you should ask - in fact today I was mentioning to my wife Christine that today was a perfect day in Arenal - we had nice rains the past few days so our rivers are full with great, crystal-clear water, our waterfalls in the canyon are full and vibrant, the sun is shining and our big Arenal Volcano is peaking through the clouds. I am confident our clients also think today is a perfect day in Arenal!I also love to meet with our clients and hear their comments and I am always open to suggestions on investment opportunities and new social entrepreneurial ideas. I think one of the biggest contributions I can make now is to try to mentor others on business ideas and growing companies in a sustainable, responsible way.Read More ›]
Suresh Krishnan


Suresh Krishnan started Desafio Adventure Company over 20 years ago after falling in love with the Arenal region's many rivers. Here is an up-close look at his journey to owning one of the best tour companies in Costa Rica.


What is your background-education and experiences that have lead you to where you are now?
I was born in the Southern part of India in the State of Kerala and my father moved our family to Ohio in the United States when I was 7 years old to start a Montessori school. He then moved us out to Pasadena, California when I started high school. I barely finished high school and really wanted to pursue a running career at Stanford, but I didn't have good enough grades to get into the university.

The best option for me was to join the US military and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I loved the discipline and the leadership skills I acquired. I made it on the US Army boxing team and trained hard and was later sent to Panama for Jungle Warfare School. Because of my athletic abilities, I was placed on a US Army Relay Team to run the full distance of the Panama Canal from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. While I was in the US Army, they had me jumping out of airplanes, rappelling out of helicopters, hiking through dense forests and much more.
I was doing ROTC at UCLA and preparing myself to be an officer while attending classes on Anthropology at Long Beach State University. On the side, I taught sea kayaking lessons at a local kayak shop. One day a Costa Rican walked in to buy some rafting equipment to start up a rafting company on Costa Rica's famous Pacuare River. He asked me if I wanted to be a raft guide in Costa Rica and that's when my love affair with Costa Rica began - more than 20 years ago!
I started working on the Pacuare River, but the company I was working for didn't work out for me, so I thought I could start my own rafting company on the Pacuare based out of San Jose. But competition was very difficult and I wasn't doing very well. I then met a Swedish girl who was living near the Arenal Volcano and she invited me to visit her. It took me over eight hours on public buses to get to the rain forests of the La Fortuna area and when I got here I said to myself "there's got to be some amazing rivers around here!" I set out to do the first descents of all of the rivers within one hour of the Arenal Volcano.
But it wasn't easy to start my business on my own. I had to ask my mom for money to fly back to California, but I was determined to make it back to Costa Rica, so I worked as many jobs as I could to save some money, buy some rafting equipment and go back to Costa Rica. I've ran out of working capital a few times and made some bad business decisions along the way, but I really wanted to keep my business going and here I am today after more than 20 years - still learning about Costa Rica and how to run a business!

What personal characteristics do you have that have made you so successful?

People call me a Serial Entrepreneur - I'm always dreaming up new business ideas. I'm also tenacious about my business culture based on honesty and loyalty - those are some of the most-important things I learned to appreciate in the military.

Why adventure tourism?
It seemed like the right thing for me - I used to think I? become a stock-broker and work on Wall Street - but nowadays I can't imagine myself with a suit and tie sitting in a cubicle punching a time clock. I feel so lucky to have the lifestyle I have.

What is the best part about your job?
Coming up with new ideas and watching my team execute them even better than I could imagine. I love when that happens! We have a great team of people working for us and it makes me feel proud to come to work every day!

What is the most challenging part about running Desafio?
There is a reason why I chose the name "Desafio" for my company - the word "Desafio" means "Challenge" because I knew that if I were going to start a business in Costa Rica it was going to be a challenge for an American Indian with little to no Spanish! There is a lot of paperwork and government rules to follow and as a foreigner, I've had to learn the ropes pretty much all on my own. And even though we have great people working for us, managing our staff and keeping them happy all of the time is always a big challenge, too.

Our Human Resources department is very important to me. I also try to come up with unique incentives for our staff and even offer them business opportunities to develop on their own because I want to show my appreciation for all that I have.

What sets Desafio apart from the other tour companies?

What sets us apart is our Desafío Adventure Culture. Overall, it's hard to not have a bad time in Costa Rica – this country is all about "happiness." The people here are considered some of the most-friendly people in the world and the natural environment is unparalleled.

But to have a truly amazing vacation, it really comes down to your personal experiences while you're here. I always say that we know clients will go back home and they might not remember the name of the river they went rafting on or even the name of the company they went with, but chances are, they will remember the name of the guide. That's exactly the experience we want clientsto come away with.

Where do you see Desafio 5 years from now?
In the next five years I hope we will be considered a leader in adventure tourism in Costa Rica and continue innovating and creating new and exciting adventures for our clients. Ideally, we would like to make sure all of our clients come away with the most-positive experience ever and memories that will last a lifetime!

What to you is a perfect day in Arenal?
Funny you should ask - in fact today I was mentioning to my wife Christine that today was a perfect day in Arenal - we had nice rains the past few days so our rivers are full with great, crystal-clear water, our waterfalls in the canyon are full and vibrant, the sun is shining and our big Arenal Volcano is peaking through the clouds. I am confident our clients also think today is a perfect day in Arenal!
I also love to meet with our clients and hear their comments and I am always open to suggestions on investment opportunities and new social entrepreneurial ideas. I think one of the biggest contributions I can make now is to try to mentor others on business ideas and growing companies in a sustainable, responsible way.


Veronica Ugalde Cordero -  Management Assistant

Veronica Ugalde Cordero

Veronica Ugalde Cordero has been working at Desafio for 6 months as the assistant to the General Manager and the Accounting Manager. She is currently working on her fifth year in accounting and will soon complete her Masters of Business of Administration. She says that completing her bachelors degree is per proudest accomplishment because she worked so hard and sacrificed a lot to complete it. Veronica loves working at Desafio. “I love everything about working here – the culture, how well it is organized and how challenging it is. Every day is different because things are constantly changing. The people that work here are amazing as well.One of the perks about working at Desafio is that the employees have access to all of the tours here. Veronica remembers her first time rafting the class 3-4 Sarapiqui River and how scared she was. “I was so nervous because I don't know how to swim. But the guides made me feel so comfortable and I really trusted that they were experts at their craft.” Her favorite place in Costa Rica is home sweet home San Carlos. Its full of very friendly people that are always helping each other out. Its also a really safe place and people feel very comfortable about going out at night. She says “its hot here but not as hot and dry as Guanacaste; and it rains but is not cold like in Cartago or Monteverde. Its the perfect mix of temperature and the frequent rain gives life to all of the abundance of greenery here. If she had two weeks to travel Costa Rica, Veronica would spend the first week in Tamarindo with friends. Its a good place to spend time at the beach during the day and then go out at night dancing or seeing live music. The other week she would go to Monteverde and rest and relax in the cool temperatures and the beautifully lit cloud forests. Read More ›]
Veronica Ugalde Cordero


Veronica Ugalde Cordero has been working at Desafio for 6 months as the assistant to the General Manager and the Accounting Manager. She is currently working on her fifth year in accounting and will soon complete her Masters of Business of Administration. She says that completing her bachelors degree is per proudest accomplishment because she worked so hard and sacrificed a lot to complete it.

Veronica loves working at Desafio. “I love everything about working here – the culture, how well it is organized and how challenging it is. Every day is different because things are constantly changing. The people that work here are amazing as well.One of the perks about working at Desafio is that the employees have access to all of the tours here. Veronica remembers her first time rafting the class 3-4 Sarapiqui River and how scared she was. “I was so nervous because I don't know how to swim. But the guides made me feel so comfortable and I really trusted that they were experts at their craft.”


Her favorite place in Costa Rica is home sweet home San Carlos. Its full of very friendly people that are always helping each other out. Its also a really safe place and people feel very comfortable about going out at night. She says “its hot here but not as hot and dry as Guanacaste; and it rains but is not cold like in Cartago or Monteverde. Its the perfect mix of temperature and the frequent rain gives life to all of the abundance of greenery here.

If she had two weeks to travel Costa Rica, Veronica would spend the first week in Tamarindo with friends. Its a good place to spend time at the beach during the day and then go out at night dancing or seeing live music. The other week she would go to Monteverde and rest and relax in the cool temperatures and the beautifully lit cloud forests.


Yency Chavarria -  Adventure Specialist

Yency Chavarria

Growing up in Guapiles, Yency still adores the Caribbean culture and visits whenever she can. In fact, her favorite place in Costa Rica is Puerto Viejo because of the natural beauty, unique food and the Calypso dancing. After living in Australia for one year at an early age, Yency developed a passion for travel and adventure. This passion, coupled with her love of helping others makes her an important part of Desafio’s team of Adventure Specialists. What do you like the most about your job?The best part about my job at Desafio is helping customers. I also love exploring Costa Rica so that I can make the best recommendations to my clients about where to go and what to do. Apart from Limon, I especially love the Osa Peninsula because of the wild forest and the ocean, especially during whale season.What is your all-time favorite Desafio activity?Canyoneering. It provides a good mix of nature and adventure.If you had a tourist visit you at your home, what would you do with them? I would cook delicious Costa Rican meals such as picadillos, yucca, plantains, and pejiballes. Then I would show them some beautiful places like Puerto Viejo de Limon, Dota, and Sierpe.Read More ›]
Yency Chavarria

Growing up in Guapiles, Yency still adores the Caribbean culture and visits whenever she can. In fact, her favorite place in Costa Rica is Puerto Viejo because of the natural beauty, unique food and the Calypso dancing. After living in Australia for one year at an early age, Yency developed a passion for travel and adventure. This passion, coupled with her love of helping others makes her an important part of Desafio’s team of Adventure Specialists.
What do you like the most about your job?
The best part about my job at Desafio is helping customers. I also love exploring Costa Rica so that I can make the best recommendations to my clients about where to go and what to do. Apart from Limon, I especially love the Osa Peninsula because of the wild forest and the ocean, especially during whale season.
What is your all-time favorite Desafio activity?
Canyoneering. It provides a good mix of nature and adventure.

If you had a tourist visit you at your home, what would you do with them?

I would cook delicious Costa Rican meals such as picadillos, yucca, plantains, and pejiballes. Then I would show them some beautiful places like Puerto Viejo de Limon, Dota, and Sierpe.

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