Happy New Year 2011!!

Happy New Year 2011As we come to the end of another year, it’s time to reflect on what we have accomplished in the last year and what we are looking forward to in the new year.

Last year was quite an eventful year for The California Native. We made another exploration trip to Patagonia, sailing around Cape Horn on a wonderful expedition cruise, hiking on glaciers with crampons, and whitewater rafting through Argentina’s beautiful countryside. We also made several trips to Mexico, one at the invitation of President Calderon to attend a luncheon with him and celebrate the initialization of a campaign to promote the wonders of Mexico’s colonial cities.

For the upcoming year we will be offering new trips in Patagonia and China, as well as additional departure dates for our Copper Canyon trips. And of course we’ll continue to offer our exciting tours of Costa Rica, Peru, Galapagos, Bhutan, Myanmar and Ireland, and our other off-the-beaten-track destinations.

Costa Rica: The Easy Way

For 26 years, The California Native has been leading travelers to destinations all over the world, but may be best known as the foremost authority on tours of Mexico’s Copper Canyon. But did you know that we have also been arranging and leading trips to Costa Rica? In the following letter, travelers Christine Grenning and James Dickson take a moment to comment on visiting this natural paradise.

I want to thank you for arranging our recent trip to Costa Rica. The itinerary was perfect for us.  We particularly liked Tortuguero, seeing the diverse range of birds and animals during our exploration by boat along the canals and the long boat trip out of the national park, when we briefly entered Nicaragua.  Monteverde was wonderful too; we even saw the elusive quetzal and a green toucan in the rain forest. The white water rafting trip on the Pacaure River was terrific and we loved the overnight stay at the rustic lodge on the river. I’m so glad we did a two day trip on the Pacaure River, it was a little bit of paradise. In San Jose we attended a performance by the National Orchestra of Costa Rica at the grand old National Theatre, which was a fitting finale to our visit.

Congratulations to The California Native for having such impressive local contacts. Our guides were expert and friendly.

We had a marvellous trip and thank you for your efforts in arranging it on our behalf.

We at California Native love to hear from our travelers. Please send us your stories and comments.

The California Native’s Summer/Fall Newsletter is Now Available

The Summer/Fall 2009 edition of The California Native Newsletter is now in the mail. The newsletter, published by The California Native since 1984, has more than 10,000 readers (not counting those who download from the web). If you are not already a subscriber to this free newsletter you can signup now.

This issues feature stories include:

Lee Klein prepares to fly over the Nazca Lines on The California Native Peru ToursREVISITING PERU’S NAZCA LINES

The desert markings, believed to have been made thousands of years ago, made little impression on occasional travelers who viewed them from ground level, but when they were spotted by aircraft in the 1930’s they caught the world’s attention. They have since been surveyed, mapped and studied. Only two questions remain—who made them, and why?

Rafting is one of the many options for guests on The California Native Costa Rica ToursRAPID TRANSIT: COSTA RICA STYLE

Costa Rica has long been a favorite destination for both the beginner and the experienced river runner. With ample annual rainfall, mountainous landscapes, and plenty of road-to-river access, the country prides itself on being a whitewater paradise.


Packing a pearl-handled revolver, a riding crop and three lovers, the Baroness Eloisa von Wagner Bosquet disembarked on the Island of Floreana, in 1932, and declared herself “Empress of the Galapagos.”

The cathedral is a favorite hiking destination for guests on The California Native China ToursCOPPER CANYON’S LOST TREASURES

In 1880, Alexander “Boss” Shepherd, the last territorial governor of the District of Columbia, packed up his family and, in the remote village of Batopilas, at the bottom of Copper Canyon, developed one of the richest silver mining operations in the world.


Naxi ladies strolling home after work can be seen on The California Native China ToursBecause the Olympics were hosted in Beijing, chances are that you learned more about China in 2008 than at any previous time. On the other end of the country, far from bustling Beijing is Yunnan Province—home to the largest variety of ethnic groups in China.

The newsletter also includes schedules, prices and descriptions of California Native’s tours to Mexico’s Copper Canyon, Peru, the Galapagos, Patagonia, Costa Rica, Yucatan and Chiapas, Myanmar (Burma) and Laos, Bhutan, Yunnan, China, and Ireland.

Costa Rica Rivers Rock for Rafting

For many people, no tour of Costa Rica would be complete without a thrilling rafting trip on one of the country’s beautiful jungle rivers. Costa Rica’s rivers are perfect for both beginners and experienced rafters. With ample annual rainfall, mountainous landscapes, and plenty of road-to-river access, the country prides itself on being a whitewater paradise. To top it off, Costa Rica has warm weather year round.

Your rafting adventure begins when you are met at your hotel in San Jose and driven to the outpost for a delicious breakfast. Then it’s on to the river’s edge where your equipment is issued and adjusted for a proper fit. There, you receive safety instructions and tips for basic paddling strokes. Safety is always at the forefront during any tours hosted by The California Native and the guides are experienced professionals with extensive knowledge of navigation, river rescue, and first aid.Whitewater rafting on Costa Rica tour

The Reventazon River is great for beginners and intermediate rafters. It is also perfect for those curious about the sport who want to experience the sensation of bobbing downstream, through magnificent rainforest, and experiencing the thrill of exciting—but not too scary—whitewater rapids.

For those who want even more adventure, the Pacuare River is your best bet. Chock full of expert-level rapids, the Pacuare is a world-famous run guaranteed to get the pulse pounding. Flowing toward the Atlantic, the 14-mile section winds through the jungle giving you plenty of opportunities to spot parrots, toucans, monkeys, and butterflies. But be sure not to take your eyes off the water for too long, because the Class I – V rapids are best viewed from inside the boat rather than out. If you do become separated from your seat, don’t panic, the guide will be quick to fish you back on board.

For those who can’t get enough, The California Native offers a 2-day option where guests are able to overnight on the Pacuare at a comfortable riverside lodge. There is no better way to relax from a day of paddling than to be lulled by the sounds of river while looking forward to another day of whitewater rapid transit. On the second day, more rapids with names like ‘Two Mountains’ and ‘Cimmaron’ (translated from Spanish as wild) lay downstream ready to challenge you and your crew mates. Back at the outpost, hot showers and a warm lunch await you before you are driven back to San Jose.

So grab your river-runner sandals, join The California Native on a Costa Rica Adventure, and come aboard!