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Guide Biography:

Nancy Madrigal inCosta Rica

A native to San Jose, Costa Rica, in 1987 Nancy was a former Advertising University Student that unexpectedly shifted her career as she was called upon for training and guiding in the Tortuguero National Park area. This was enough to realize that she needed to follow her childhood dream to work in nature. She is proud to celebrate this year 21 years of leading groups in Costa Rica and abroad.Nancy is a licensed guide from the Costa Rica Tourist Board, and has taken extensive training and courses of Natural History with Costa Rican Botanists, Ornithologists, Arqueologist among many others.

Along with her husband Glenn, on her free time she enjoys nature walks, bird watching, nature photography, their love for music, travelling, and cooking. She is also a volunteer and founder of a grief support group in Costa Rica.

Nancy's Guide Survey:

My favorite destination? South Pacific- Tiskita. Arenal- Tortuguero- middle pacific-Carara

What destination would you like to visit? Rio Celeste. Volcan Tenorio. Cabo Blanco National Park.

What's your favorite bike ride? Arenal area?? Leito nunca he hecho alguno pero bien planito pues yo nel de ejercicio.

What is your favorite hike? Arenal National Park- El Ceibo.

What's your favorite historical site, castle, museum, etc? Guayabo National Park.

What's your favorite trip to guide? Why? South Pacific, for the great combination of forest-beach. This place reminds me of Costa Rica when I was a child; it is so pristine and the little town people are so authentic Costa Rican village. The amazing diversity in birds and mammals is just paradise.

What do you do that makes a guest's vacation special? Introduce them to very important people of my country that we meet on our way, and share with them why they are important. Buy things they will never try in their country of origin and have the hotel bring plates prepared as appetizers or on our meals. I love to do B&B beers and birds; this is a cocktail time prior dinner where everyone is welcome to enjoy a drink- cup of wine, coffee, Coca Cola or beer if they want to go through the list of what we saw during the day. I make sure to stop and see an oxcart on the field. Make sure the people will not see a coffee tree from the window but to be able to see it up close, and all our crops.

Describe the most amazing experience you've had while traveling: Many. But one group I had many years ago. A blind lady was traveling with her best friend whom was the adoptive mother of a 7 year old girl from el Salvador. In that group there was also a young newly wed couple and a mother with her two teenage boys (they came for Christmas) to help them cope with the recent loss of their father. When I saw the group I said,”Well, they have all different ages and they are a very heterogeneous group. Hmmmm???” From the seven year old to the blind lady, they all became birders, hikers, swimmers and never missed our session of bird count before dinner. They all helped each other and there was no difference in age, gender, or anything. The little girl and the teen boys became great friends and the day was short to the amount of fun we all had. Even under rain the positive spirit was there among all the members of the group. We all cried when we said good bye. It was wonderful to get letters from them saying “I bought binoculars and saw such and such bird in my garden.” This is the most fantastic feeling for me to know that I helped people enjoy nature in a new way. I have been invited to the young boys graduations and unfortunately could not go, though our friendship is still there. Making friends. Many stories.

Favorite Movie: Forest Gump, Patch Adams.

Favorite Book: Open veins of Latin America. Eduardo Galeano

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Birdwatching, gardening, and walking in the forest.

What are your hobbies? Cook, play piano, violin, volunteer work in social causes.

When did you first catch the travel bug? My amazing childhood in nature and many trips I took to the most remote places with my family. I have loved nature since I can remember!

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