Rica McDougall Adventure February, 2008
The following are edited comments
from our February, 2008 Costa Rica Trip:
We enjoyed so much about the trip: the wonderful new friends we made;
the chance to meet you both and learn more about nutrition and health;
the daily adventures; the delightful and knowledgeable guides, who went
out of their way to inform and accommodate all guests; the plentiful,
scrumptious food; and the breathtakingly beautiful setting overlooking
the Pacific Ocean. McDougall Adventures provided an awesome vacation and
handled all details professionally, from greeting arriving guests at the
airport to returning us there and making sure we were all in the right
line for departing visitors, and everything in between.
This is without doubt the best vacation we have ever had.
- Teresa and Doug, Columbus, Ohio
How does one describe such a marvelous, well-planned and organized
vacation adventure? If I sat at the resort all day and just immersed
myself in nature - the wildlife, pools, breath taking scenery and food,
I would have been satiated and said it was the best vacation ever! But I
didn't! We jumped in with all our enthusiasm to try anything and
everything that was offered. We came from all walks of life and a wide
variety of states. The camaraderie at all the meals was wonderful. The
large tables with seating for 8 offered an opportunity to meet and
converse with a wide variety of individuals. And indeed we were a varied
group. Everyone was friendly and outgoing. I was asked what was my
favorite adventure and I was hard pressed to select just one. If the
main event were not the most challenging I still found something else
that happened during the outing that made the day spectacular. Whether
it was an unusual plant, bird, animal or reptile or the natural
surroundings, we found ourselves in a conversation with one of the
people in our group. There was something each day to make it special.
The tour guides were an exceptional group – on each adventure we were
entertained and given information from a local perspective. The staff at
the Resort treated us royally - we were so spoiled all the time. It was
so relaxing to know that all we had to do was show up at the Resort and
from that moment on until our plane left for the USA we had no concerns
but to enjoy life at its fullest. Dr. John and Mary McDougall were
always in the midst of the large dining area ready for conversation.
Dr. McDougall's discussions each day never disappointed - always
informative and challenging.
We want to thank you very much for our vacation. It was so wonderful we
don't even know where to begin. Our rooms at Ocotal were beautiful with
a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean. The staff was very friendly and
very helpful. They did everything they could to make our vacation a
success. Our guides were the best. From the adventures during the day to
the lectures at night they shared their passion for their country and
it's unique beauty. Speaking of adventures, we tried every one! Floating
down the peaceful estuary, boating, snorkeling, swimming ashore to a
private beach, zipping through the tree top canopies, horseback riding,
mud bathes and hot springs, hiking, rafting down the river – it was all
great. We saw birds, monkeys, iguanas, crocodiles, devil rays, dolphins,
and even a humpback whale. Each day was both exhilarating and yet
relaxing. We looked forward to your lectures before dinner each evening.
They were very informative. Even though we have your books and DVDs,
hearing you in person gave us another dimension to your work. We
appreciated both Mary and you being there to answer our questions. You
are both very gracious hosts. The food was plentiful and delicious. It
was so nice to have someone else do the cooking! We really enjoyed it.
And you were right – we didn't gain any weight! Kevin even lost a few
pounds. And last but not least, we met so many great people. Our group
kept wondering how you put us all together. We all got along so well. We
met people we want to stay in touch with forever. We even talked about
getting together again. Saying goodbye to everyone was hard.
It truly was one of our best vacations ever. It was an experience of a
lifetime. We will never forget our time together in Costa Rica.
Again, Thank You!
- Donna & Kevin
Dr. McDougall's presentations were the primary motivation for my
choosing to go on the Costa Rica Adventure trip. The idea of pursuing
knowledge on the impact of diet on health for my own personal issues was
the sole benefit I was seeking. The program of adventures for the
physical activities are super, it is better to play and have fun than
develop a regime. It is clear that physical activities are necessary for
good health and positive thinking. While I always enjoyed the
experiences of adventure in Costa Rica, what differentiates The
McDougall experience is the people you meet there. The social scene
amazed me. Not only do you meet like-minded people who agree about diet,
but stimulating successful people who are enjoying life. The positive
energy from the joy of sharing meaningful conversation is everywhere in
It is a must do experience. I expect to repeat it.
- Kenneth, President / Principal Architect
Whether it's the cruises we used to take with you, or our recent
vacation at Ocotal Resort, we can be assured that we will have an
experience of a lifetime. Each day is so well planned, there are
opportunities to do things we never dreamed of doing before, and we are
so pampered. Where else could we be able to eat the way you taught us to
back in 1989 without having to do the planning, shopping, cooking and
cleanup. And what an opportunity to talk to so many people and find out
how this life style and diet have improved their health. Everyone was
supportive and we all shared that bond. We looked forward to your
presentations each night to reinforce our continued belief in your
program. Now that we are home we have so many pictures and memories to
look back on as we have from our other adventure trips with you. One
event stands out particularly. At our bungalow on the beach we were
awakened the first morning to the excited racket of howler monkeys
passing through the trees next to us. Several days later while relaxing
on our deck, the howlers appeared again, but this time silently, led by
what looked like two or three large males. Two females carried their
newborns. One male stopped for several minutes 20 feet above, seemingly
unaware of our presence. Through binoculars we saw the rising sun light
up his huge brown eyes. His gentle, human-like facial expressions
surveyed the clan. Then he slowly moved on and the others followed on
their daily migration through the trees. Wow!
Thank you so much John and Mary for a wonderful time.
- Sharon and Errol, Santa Rosa, CA
I don't even know where to begin.... Both Nikhil and I had such a
wonderful time that we can't wait to do it again. The best part of it
for us was that we learnt to eat the right way and in just a few days we
have noticed that we re feeling far more energetic, not gaining weight,
sleeping better and overall just feeling better. We loved all the people
we met and have made friends that we'll always be in touch with the rest
of our lives. We loved our guides who were very knowledgeable and made
all the trips fun with their sense of humor and at the same time great
learning experiences about the history of Costa Rica and the flora and
I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants to become healthy
and yet have a lot of fun.
Grace and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you two for
structuring a week that has turned out to be one of the finest holiday
weeks we've experienced. As two retired medical professionals we enjoyed
the high level of information imparted at your daily lectures and during
interaction amongst many of the weeks participants. Your staff was
outstanding in providing both healthy sustenance and supporting
Keep up the good work.
- Max and Grace
Larry and I thoroughly enjoyed our Costa Rica trip. Everything was so
organized and well planned. The friends that we had made, we will
remember for a long time. The tours were fantastic with very nice buses
and well informed tour guides. My favorite was swinging through the
trees on the wire cables. Even though we are not vegans, we did not have
a problem with the well-prepared food and variety of food which
contained no meat or dairy products.
We would not think twice about going again to Costa Rica on this
-Larry & Caroline
The McDougall Adventure was one of the best organized vacations I've
ever been on. For me though, having three meals a day that I didn't have
to worry about was the tops for me. The people were excellent. A group
of four of us stayed up late one night, after the evenings wonderful
entertainment, and talked and talked and talked about physical, mental,
and spiritual wellness. I'm grateful for you, Mary, and Tiffany.
Excellent job. I hope to see you this July with my children, Bruce, et
al. We may take a cultural tour in Panama and San Jose before arriving
at the wonderful Ocotal resort.
Forever thankful. Sincerely,
- M.S. Bob
Dear John and Mary,
We had a wonderful time in Costa Rica.
REFLECTIONS ON MY IGUANA OHANA
If, like me, you're compelled
to be frugal,
You'll still feel like the founder
Body, spirit and mind -
There's no place you can find
That's as great as a week with McDougall.
It was one of the most wonderful vacations we've ever had. Thanks for
- Jeanne Hailer and Gary
I have looked through the Adventure trip comments made by the folks on
the past two trips and there is absolutely nothing else I can say that
would be different. They have said it all! The one thing I can say is
that I only wish I had the money to take my mom, three brothers and my
sister on the trip. There is truly something for everyone and at a
fitness level for nearly everyone and even though I have heard Dr.
McDougall's lectures before, I learned something knew with each one I
attended. I was totally amazed at the ladies who were admittedly afraid
of heights that went swinging through the trees on the canopy tour!!!!
How awesome! I actually skipped one of my events and went on the canopy
tour two times. Even if you did not want to actually participate in any
of the events, just traveling on to the bus to get to them would be a
treat because of the wealth of knowledge of the tour guides. They were
incredible!!!! Words cannot describe these guys. The food was great. I
really believed I would have gained 3 or 4 lbs because I ate about 2
tablespoons of guacamole every day for both lunch and supper! I didn't
gain one pound! I went with a friend who is not a vegetarian or a
McDougaller and she was pleased with the food, most of the time. I will
go on this trip again. After having a career in the military traveling
all over the world and going on many tours, I can honesty say this was
the best trip ever!!! It is simply stress free! You don't have to plan
anything except for what time to get up and which set of cloths you want
to wear each day!
Many thanks to all for planning this trip. Pura Vida!!!!
- Yvetta Huntsville, Alabama
We thought your whole staff: guides, bus drivers, kitchen staff and
servers, housekeeping, and athletic event guides, programming,
administration, as well, as the accommodations, pools, views, weather,
food and gardening, sociability and accomplishment of the participants
were the best we have experienced. The sports events and music were
wonderfully enjoyable as were the historical and political talks the
guides gave us. That some of the participants privately shared almost
unbelievable help received from the program in the past was particularly
valuable. In short, everything was wonderful. The lectures were great
and short private talks with John most helpful. We really want to come
Thanks for it all.
- Beth and Hugo
Thank you so much for the opportunity to experience the best of Costa
Rica. All of the events were so well planned and executed that I was
able to enjoy every minute. The guides were so forthcoming and
knowledgeable that even the rides to the excursions were a delight! I
can't imagine how much must have went into organizing all the events
with all of the people involve. I was asked my favorite thing that I did
(which was all of it) and I truly can't say any one thing. Each thing
brought me so much joy and to a new level of self awareness. The one
thing that stands out in each event were the people; whether they were
with the resort, the adventure group, or the MacDougall team. For one
week I was special and was treated as such. I had not been on a vegan
diet before the trip. I was on a low-fat diet that included fish and
dairy. After your lectures my insight to the harm I had been doing by
consuming these products have encouraged me to exclude these. All these
years of drinking milk I only thought I had been helping my
Thank you for the opportunity of a life time.
- Shirley Stanley
P.S. Thanks for helping me lead the line dance the last night.
Costa Rica was a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable trip that exceeded
our expectations. The adventure day trips were well planned and
executed. The bus travel was excellent...new, comfortable with all the
modern conveniences. The resort itself is beautiful with spacious,
comfortable rooms. And the food buffets were yummy and served in a
delightful open air and patio venue. We enjoyed it so much that we plan
to tell friends and hope to do it again in the near future.
- John and Sharon
PS- Thanks for sharing this Adventure with us. We are so happy that we
joined you Dr. McDougall, Mary, Tiffany and the group. I personally
enjoyed meeting the variety of interesting people that attended and also
it was a plus to know that they enjoyed healthy eating.
You two, plus Tiffany, certainly showed us a wonderful time in Costa
Rica. The ambiance of the resort was unbelievable. The vistas, the
wildlife, the plants and the amenities were right outside our hotel
room! We must mention the incredible guides. They were always there to
answer all of our questions whether it be about the environment or the
politics of Costa Rica. They were not only very knowledgeable, but
courteous and fun. It was nice not to have to be concerned about the
food. Every meal was delicious and the presentation was outstanding.
It was one of the best weeklong vacations we've ever had.
- Ted & Joan
What an amazing week of delicious healthy food, new friends, and a
variety of adventures amid beautiful flora and fauna! Costa Rica is
indeed a warm and welcoming country, and you and your staff assembled a
terrific group of people to guide us through each day and meet our every
need and want. I'm afraid we're spoiled for future vacations.
We're still on overload processing the content of the lectures. You gave
us solid information to discuss and apply to a healthier lifestyle.
Another fun aspect of the trip was trading cooking tips and helpful
hints with people who have been McDougllers for years.
Thank you for the time and attention you put into making this trip a
memorable one for us.
We're still smiling.......
- Art and Leanne
What a wonderful experience to share with my daughter and
granddaughter—a real three generation trip. Even at 77 I went on the
tree-top canopy cable. To top it all was the food...a Costa Rican flavor
to the McDougall program. Not the least of the trip was the number of
people we met who were both interesting and health conscious. My
granddaughter, at 11, came with a mild acne on her forehead. By the end
of the week, her acne had cleared up. Her appearance at her age is
important and may well keep her on track. My daughter lost five pounds,
and I am still traveling in Florida, but eating correctly.
Our experience was delightful and we thank you, Mary and your devoted
staff for arranging it all.
Our week in Costa Rica with the McDougalls was simply outstanding.
Robust, stimulating, professionally-guided activity each day. Splendid
resort setting with attentive, and courteous staff. Travel magazine
scenery. Both of the McDougalls have quick, warm smiles and Dr. McD's
daily lectures were near-spellbinding what with his encyclopedic
knowledge of the topic along with a quick wit and good humor. Food was
more than abundant and, of course, faithful to the McDougall program.
A wonderful way to spend a vacation week.
- Don and Royanna, Dallas, Texas
Even though the trips were beautiful and the food was great, the most
memorable parts of the trip were: 1) meeting long term McDougallers, and
being amazed as to how slim most were and 2) learning how really simple
it is to follow the McDougall plan.