Rufilio, or "Fillo" as everyone knows him, came to Costa Rica Expeditions in late 2003 with more than a decade of guiding experience. He is particularly interested in the plant life of the rainforest. Rufilio, 46, once worked in fishing and, for many years, in hotels. He is from Puerto Jimenez, Puntarenas, and has two children, William and Yessica. His birthday is April 23, 1962.
Feb. 29, 2008 “I just wanted to tell you how pleased we were with your hotels and guides.”
We have just returned from a one-week Costa Rica Expeditions’ trip to Monteverde and Corcovado and I just wanted to tell you how pleased we were with your hotels and guides. They looked after us from the minute we stepped off the plane until we left. During the Monteverde portion of the trip, we were with Luis Chinchilla, who provided thoughtful and intelligent insights, and Ricardo, our driver who carefully navigated the often very difficult roads and always made us feel safe. They were interesting and fun dinner companions as well!
In Corcovado, Erick Gomez went above and beyond to get us up-close pictures of wildlife including taking our camera and sneaking down into the forest so that he could get a shot of a puma! We loved all his plant descriptions complete with medicinal recipes! And, finally, Rufilio Nuñez (Fillo) was a true nature lover, endlessly enthusiastic and knowledgeable. His bird walk was great! Please thank them, and also Priscilla Jimenez who did a wonderful job organizing the trip in the first place.
Amy & Pete Stevens
Jun. 25, 2007 Monteverde Lodge: “We loved the fabulous views from our room, the wondrous gardens, the wonderful staff, the great food…”
We got back a week ago from our 11-nite-tour with Costa Rica Expeditions and we can't tell you how much we enjoyed the experience. Everything went off exactly as planned by herrol mora. He was very patient in figuring out exactly which locations would appeal to us based on our interests and especially in answering all our detailed questions.
The tour guides were all top-notch including Norton Sinclair Tucker, in tortuguero, Rufilio Nuñez (Fillo) in corcovado, and all the guides we had in monteverde. They really know their stuff and were patient and enthusiastic in showing us all they could. We could never have picked out all the animals and plants they found for us. I'll never forget seeing all those monkeys in the wild.
The accommodations were all fabulous including the Corcovado Lodge Tent Camp. It was a struggle convincing my wife, who is not a camper, to agree to 2 nights there and it was well worth it even if there is no hot water available. The best was the monteverde lodge. We both loved the fabulous views from our room, the wondrous gardens on the property, the wonderful staff, the great food and views in the restaurant, the hot tub and the mind-boggling surroundings of the cloud and the transition forest. I also loved visiting st. elena. Again, thank you for a fabulous trip. I've already written to arthur frommer suggesting he give more prominence to cre in future editions of his costa rica guide.
Apr. 14, 2007 “Our U.S. workers should take a course in Customer Service from your staff.”
Costa Rica Expeditions was fabulous! You have some real gems working for you. Our U.S. workers should take a course in Customer Service from your staff.
1. Nadya Shaw spent countless hours arranging our trip and then due to family illness, we postponed and she arranged it all over again!
2. Luis Chinchilla was a wealth of info, very friendly and upbeat, and spent his afternoon at a soccer game with us, which was thoroughly enjoyable!
3. Monteverde Lodge: The manager and staff went out in the dark, took off our flat tire and put on the spare. We got the flat at dinner time and thought we would have to wait until morning. But within 5 mins of us talking to the manager, they came out to do the work! In the US we would have had to wait 4 hours the next day for a tow truck, and since it was Sunday, we might have had to waste the whole day and wait until Monday. But these guys got us back on the road in no time.
4. Customer Service was exceptional at all hotels - Hotel Grano de Oro, Monteverde Lodge, Arenal, Torteguero Lodge, Corcovado Lodge. Food at Hotel Grano de Oro was marvellous - especially the pie!!!
5. Arenal was a bit short-staffed, we often had to wait a while to talk with staff, even though they worked extremely hard and were always courteous. They just need to hire a few more people. Also, the Arenal food was not as good as the other locations.
6. Tortuguero was very nice to not charge us for our kayaking disaster – we fell out of the boat! Ricardo was an excellent guide on the inner canal trip.
7. Corcovado - Julian was excellent, as was "Fillo" (Rufilio).
8. We could not get Rios Tropicales to schedule our rafting trip to fit our itinerary, even after multiple long distance calls and emails. We went with Aguas Bravas and they were fantastic. We got lost driving to Sarapiqui and were 2 hours late so they let us go on a private rafting trip that afternoon, even though it was pouring rain. CRE should definitely recommend Aguas Bravas to your clients. Altogether a wonderful trip.
Terri & Steve
Jun. 30, 2006 ''The service and the friendly employees of your company are the best we have encountered anywhere.''
Dear Michael and Natalie: Thank you for the magnificent trip that your staff prepared for us. Last October, my wife and I had our 25th anniversary. Since I am a teacher, we decided to do a trip this summer. I researched information on Costa Rica and decided your company was the best to go with. My wife was very hesitant about planning a trip over the Internet, and was a little worried. That all vanished when we were met at the airport the first night, and the next morning when our transfer guide waited several hours with us at the airport for our flight to Corcovado (bad weather). The service and the friendly employees of your company are the best we have encountered anywhere. They were extremely helpful, professional, and we felt that they really liked us when we interacted with them.
I was happy that I could adjust our itinerary (with the help of Hérrol) to extend our stay at Corcovado and Monteverde. I think the extra days there allowed us to experience them better. I don't think you can really get to know a place in two days. Our naturalist guides in each region were outstanding ("Fillo" - Rufilio - in Corcovado, Mal in Manual Antonio, and Eliàmar in Monteverde). What we were really impressed with was that they really loved their jobs, and loved their country. We also have never seen such cooperation among guides. They weren't competing, but they were willing to share sightings with the next group to come along. We went to Monteverde reserve a second day on our own. Eliàmar was waiting for his group to return from the restrooms, recognized my wife, and called her over to show her a trogon in his scope, even though she was not a paying customer that day. Another guide did the same later in the forest.
Overall, I can say that our trip was the nicest that we have ever been on. Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and its people are very warm and friendly. We felt that they were all very proud of their country, and they should be. We truly do think we have friends there now, and really want to go back to Costa Rica, as soon as we can afford it. Maybe next time we'll take our daughters with us. I would be glad to share my images with you, but after editing I have over five-hundred from the trip. I am sending a few with this email as samples.
Daniel Kennell, Gallup, NM
May. 9, 2006 “The wildlife we saw was incredible!”
Thanks for a wonderful Costa Rican Experience! Your staff was attentive and informative from the moment I was met at my hotel until I returned from Corcovado. I had been to the Tent Camp before and loved it so much I was back just one a half years later. This second trip was even better than the first. The small changes you have made were a nice touch. Our manager Kenya and the rest of the staff made sure that our stay was comfortable and that we had all we needed. The wildlife we saw was incredible! We took the plane to Sirena and hiked back to the Lodge and were not disappointed! Our guide Rufilio Nuñez (Fillo) was very knowledgeable and has an incredible eye to spot the wild life I would have walked right by. I know we were lucky, but in two days we saw 2 pumas, 3 Baird's tapirs, an anteater, howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, white face monkeys, spider monkeys, scarlet macaws, a toucan, curassow, poison dart frog, ruby eyed tree frog, tiger heron, great kiskadee, and the list goes on! I can't imagine a trip to Costa Rica without returning to the Tent Camp. I look forward to my next visit!
Alleen McLain, Jackson, Mississippi
Jul. 20, 2004 ''It was one of the best vacations we've ever had, which says a lot since we take 2-3 major vacations per year!''
Dear Michael: We can't thank Fiorella and Costa Rica Expeditions enough for the excellent work arranging our trip to Tortuguero, Corcovado, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio. It was one of the best vacations we've ever had, which says a lot since we take 2-3 major vacations per year!
The entire trip was flawless and exceeded our expectations. The transfer guides and drivers (specifically Luis, Sofia, Henry, and Daniel) were friendly, enthusiastic, and always prompt. The national park guides (Fernando in Tortuguero, Fillo (Rufilio) and Mishi in Corcovado, and Carlos in Monteverde) were knowledgeable, had keen eyes for spotting cleverly camouflaged wildlife, and genuinely seemed to enjoy their work. And the hotel staff at each of your three properties went out of their way to ensure their "legendary service led to unforgettable memories." The staff in Tortuguero went out of their way to keep our group of 10 (new friends we met while traveling) together on various tours, and even prepared special vegetarian meals on request. Aaron and Ricardo in Corcovado were always around to make sure everyone was taken care of. And the staff in Monteverde had all our damp clothing from Corcovado laundered and returned to us within hours of our arrival. We also have to commend the kitchen staff in Corcovado - who knew that such excellent cuisine could be found in such a remote location.
All our vacation pictures are on our web site - please have a look at http://www.whywework.com/travel/cr/ Please feel free to link to our site, or if you would like the original of a particular picture just let us know which ones and we'll send them.
We had to rack our brains to come up with suggestions - a lot of people were asking if they could buy "Corcovado Lodge" t-shirts. We would have bought one had they been for sale. Same with those laminated wildlife cards. Actually...now that I think of it, you should set up an online shop.
Andy & Jennifer Martin
May. 25, 2004 “I am convinced that your company really does have the best guides.”
You asked for feedback regarding the quality of our stay at Corcovado Tent Camp and at Tortuga Lodge. I am an Urban Park Ranger in Central Park and my boyfriend works in Visitor Services at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We stayed in Costa Rica for 2 weeks. Part of that time was spent visiting and traveling with his family there. Our time at the CR Expedition Lodges was wonderful.
We loved the Corcovado Lodge Tent Camp and all the staff there. We had an excellent hike with a guide named Rufilio Nuñez (Fillo). He and all the staff there were friendly, professional and always helpful. The hibiscus flowers placed in our tent each day were such a nice touch. It was a very special 4 days for us. We will return and bring our friends!
We also loved the Tortuga Lodge. It was fantastic. What a wonderful swimming pool. And a great hiking trail. The hotel manager, Osvaldo, and all the restaurant/bar staff were friendly and so helpful when my boyfriend got a little sick. They made sure he ate only foods that would help him get well...which he did! thanks to them. The women who cleaned our room each day added beautiful and creative touches when it came to folding the towels. What a luxury!
Best of all were the 2 guided boat trips into the national park. I was fortunate to go with both Franklin and Don Fernando Estrada. I had some of the most special moments of my life on the river with those gentlemen. Each of them gave unique and excellent tours.
I am convinced that your company really does have the best guides. While traveling with my boyfriend's family, we took a few guided tours with other companies. All of those guides were knowledgeable. But none of them had the charisma, warmth, enthusiasm and absolute professionalism that I saw in Rufilio Nuñez at Corcovado, and Franklin and Don Fernando Estrada at Tortuga Lodge. Clearly, they love working for your company and they love the natural world.
Don Fernando Estrada's reputation actually preceded my meeting him. We had met a family with children at Corcovado who had been on a tour with Don. Their son could not stop talking about him! The special experiences that these guides are sharing with people have the power to change lives!
We will return to Costa Rica and look forward to staying at your exquisite lodges and adventuring with these great guides.
May. 11, 2004 ''The Corcovado Tent Camp is a great place.''
Hello Michael: Thank you for your e-mail. Not many companies follow up with a thank you, but it is a testament to the great organization you have assembled. Although I only used CRE for part of my trip everything was thoroughly professional with great follow through. It started with Nadya Shaw who answered by preliminary e-mail within a couple of hours, while other inquiries took days. That gave Nadya the opportunity to sell more services to me. I had originally inquired only about the Corcovado Lodge. She expanded my inquiry to include airport pickup, an overnight in San Jose, flight arrangements and a week's rental car after the Corcovado experience. She is a great credit to your company.
The Corcovado Lodge Tent Camp is a great place. Aaron, your manager there, runs a good ship under difficult conditions. He interacts well with the guests. His staff are very attentive and sensitive to client's needs. The food was excellent. I can't say enough about the cook staff who prepare excellent meals. The guides, Mitch and Rufilio Nuñez (Fillo), are knowledgeable and go the extra mile for customer satisfaction. I would highly recommend your company to anyone visiting Costa Rica.
Pete Van Kuran