Costa Rica McDougall Adventure July, 2008
The following are edited comments
from our July, 2008 Costa Rica Trip:
With a degree of apprehension, I signed up for your Costa Rican
Adventure trip - not quite sure what I was getting into except for the
Vegan food (and that I knew would be a nice relief from my normal
travels). What a grand surprise you provided from beginning to end. The
people I met were amazing and great fun; the guides were superbly
knowledgeable and helpful. They made learning about the culture,
country, flora & fauna so much fun I felt like a kid at Summer Camp -
and that was 55 years ago. Each of the Adventures was wonderful and so
well-planned it all seemed like "another day in Paradise". Most of the
people in my group did things they weren't even sure they could or would
do when they began - and ended up feeling younger and more confident of
their abilities than when they began. Our group spanned the age
range...so the surprises weren't necessarily age-related. What a great
gift for any age to experience.
For many years I've traveled much of the world - mostly studying the
Art and Architecture of many countries. We had a saying that food didn't
really matter that much since we had "eye candy" to keep us happy. Thank
you for providing not only "eye candy" but "soul candy". I'd go on any
of your trips in a New York minute.
- Catherine Kaufman
The week in Costa Rica was an adventure in its self. Even though I
did not get to go on but one of the trips I totally enjoyed myself. The
Resort was beautiful and it was fun watching the happenings around me
each day. Don made all of the trips except for one and he had a blast.
The food was beautiful and interesting and I have tried to copy some of
the things we enjoyed while there. It is always fun to make new friends
and enjoyed learning about them and hearing their stories of becoming a
vegetarian. Thank you for a wonderful week.
Blessings to you both,
- Don and Ina Masters
Jim and I enjoyed the camaraderie of everyone. It amazed us to see
how well everyone in such a large group mixed. We were really from all
parts of the U.S. and even from Canada. The guides were exceptional.
They were really tops in their field and so very professional. The
adventures were well planned and again the guides were so knowledgeable
about where we were going. Even though it was the rainy season it rained
on our way home on the bus but never while we were out exploring. Marcel
went out of his way to accommodate people. The evening lectures by the
guides were awesome. All the guides were Costa Ricans, and they are very
proud of their country and anxious to show us their heritage. I would
recommend this trip, adventure to any one, it was well worth going on.
- Louise O and Jim A
Thank you so much for the lovely trip to the Ocotal Resort in Costa
Rica. All the chefs were very helpful at informing me which food items
were gluten-free. The adventures were lots of fun. The resort was
terrific. The rest of the staff very helpful. The guides were terrific.
They were knowledgeable, informative and easy to understand.
- Scott Cohn
This was our second time traveling to Costa Rica with your group, and
because we had so much fun last time, we decided to bring the entire
family along for this trip. We weren't surprised when it turned into one
of the best family vacations we've ever had, and we're already talking
about how we have to go again someday. Once again, thank you for
organizing this vacation. It's so nice to get away for a while and to be
treated to excellent food, exciting adventures, interesting
conversations, and new friendships. I also wanted to thank you for
taking the time to answer my family's questions about their health and
diet. They were very surprised at how accessible you and Mary were
throughout the trip, and when they got home, they were very excited to
see that they had actually lost weight.
- Jenna Kinsey
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Costa Rica and especially eating
the wonderful starch based foods. My scales at home proved that you
really can eat all you want and still lose weight. Thank you for the
careful behind the scenes attention you and your wife gave to make sure
every meal was just right. Awesome adventures every day. I also really
appreciated the guides. We had the feeling that you searched the entire
country for the best. At the close of our time at Ocotal, we rode with
Marcel on the bus to San Jose. What a wealth of information and talent.
We asked his advise on what to do for a couple of days and he made all
the phone calls and connected us with Carlos (who usually comes to the
McDougall adventures as a guide). Since we were interested in birds,
Carlos (with a tourist guide ID of 001- the first licensed guide in CR!
! ) drove us over to a rain forest on the Caribbean side. We visited La
Selva biologic station as well as a hummingbird farm. We developed a
fantastic appreciation for Costa Rican people - very kind and friendly.
Carlos was a great guide and we thank Marcel for arranging it. We must
return to Costa Rica. So glad we went.Thanks too for the daily lectures.
I was able to find, on your web site, the topics on "When Friends Ask."
A great resource for common questions.
- Mike and Arlys Fillman
I would like to thank you, Mary and everyone involved in putting
together the recent Costa Rica adventure. I have been on many trips and
this was up there at the top in terms of how seamlessly everything
flowed. My goal was to try your diet 100% of the time, and to have some
fun as well. The food was delicious and I finally accepted that this is
a healthy way for me to eat. I have been doing much better since
returning home and have actually lost another pound this week. The
people, activities and guides were all wonderful.
Thanks again for everything.
- Connie Barnett
Glenn and I had a great week with you guys. I now can understand why
so many make this an annual/semiannual event. Where could you go to find
such a beautiful place with so much fun stuff to do each day and still
have the delectable food too? I believe it to be only The McDougall
- Carolyn and Glenn McCort
This was our second trip with you to Costa Rica and it was even
better than the first! It's hard to say what was the best part but it's
great having everything so wonderfully coordinated. You, Mary and
Tiffany really do an awesome job of organizing all the details. This
year, instead of the sights, sounds & tastes being brand new, they were
enjoyably familiar, yet still so different than what we see here in the
U.S. on a daily basis. The animals were very photogenic. The weather was
nice and the afternoon rains were just enough to cool things down a bit.
We've described it to others as summer camp for adults. I think what we
missed the most when we left (besides the location) were all the great
people we met & connected with over such a short period of time. The
staff was superb. They are friendly and helpful and a pleasure to be
around. Our goal is to learn a little Spanish so that next year we'll be
able to communicate more with the locals. Once again, your lectures were
informative and convincing. Each time we hear something it's like a
building block with which we gain a little more understanding of how to
live life to the fullest. Your passion is truly inspiring. We are doing
our best to take the message to our friends, family & co-workers in
Michigan. Many thanks to you, Mary, Tiffany, Conrad, Stephen, Marcel and
Sergio for all your efforts in putting together such a well-organized,
well-executed, fabulous vacation.
- Barb & Brian Sparks
Never have I experienced more of a diverse vacation as I did in Costa
Rica with McDougall Adventures in July, 2008. Not only did I learn lots
and lots from Dr. McDougall but I felt as though I was in a cultural
immersion program as well. The tour guides were all very informative
about the local flora and fauna, as well as, the history of Costa Rica
and the current political climate there. They freely answered any and
all questions and clearly had a wide knowledge base to draw from. I was
quite impressed. The adventures and nature walks were spectacular.
Without the advance meticulous planning of the McDougall's, one would be
hard pressed to fit this number of events into one week. Sailing,
snorkeling, canopy tours, horseback riding, river rafting and more, oh
my!! The meals prepared by the head chef, Franklin, and his staff were
delectable. Ingredients were combined in creative ways to arrive at
tasty dishes that I now wish I had the recipes for. I've tried my hand
at recreating one of the yucca dishes and have had some success but I
guess I'll just have to hold my questions for Franklin on a return
visit! Would I recommend this trip to anyone interested in investing in
improving their health and longevity? Without hesitation. Would I
recommend this to anyone interested in Costa Rica, recently named one of
the world's top 10 "ethical" travel destinations? Absolutely. Would I
recommend this trip to any individual who just wants to have fun and
visit with like-minded folks who are traveling on the same path to
better health? Yes, yes, yes!
- Geri Combs