Welcome to the 2023 Böëna Guide Summit
Böëna Wilderness Lodges recently gathered its core teams of expert naturalists during a three-day Guide Summit in the ecologically unique mountains of Monteverde, Costa Rica. The unprecedented event took place September 18 through 20 at Böëna’s Cloud Forest Lodge and Monteverde Lodge & Gardens.
The gathering provided a space for guides to exchange lessons learned and enrich their knowledge of Costa Rica’s vast plant and animal biodiversity and its role in the region’s historical and cultural development.
Böëna’s extensive cadre of nature and adventure guides are hailed among the most accomplished experts in the industry. Sixteen guides participated in the summit, including renowned birder, expedition leader, and author of Discover the Magic of Our Birds
, Max Vindas
The gathering’s core objective was to embolden the participants with a deeper appreciation of their role as gateways to the country’s phenomenal natural and cultural heritage.
“Empowering our guides with purpose is the objective here,” explained Vindas. “…to infuse our profession with more meaning, philosophy, and empirical knowledge. As guides, our ultimate role is to transmit the importance of protecting our country’s natural resources through eco-tourism and conservation.”
Expertly trained nature guides in Costa Rica
The summit comprised close to 30 hours of intensive study and reflection. Each session explored topics such as the medicinal plants of the Isthmus, the natural history of Costa Rica, and extensive reviews of neotropical birds, animals, insects, and plants.
Mornings began with birding among the gardens and private reserves of Monteverde and Cloud Forest Lodges. The guides also hiked the legendary Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and were rewarded with sightings of several tropical bird and animal species, including male and female Resplendent Quetzals.
Thematic lectures delved into the cultural diversity that permeates Costa Rica’s past and present, emphasizing the invaluable ecological and anthropological lore bestowed by the country’s eight indigenous groups and scores of international immigrants. Participants also reviewed the colonization of the Americas from the unique perspectives of the local cultural groups who experienced its glories and tragedies across the centuries.
The discussions recognized the many naturalists and scientists who contributed to Costa Rica's conservationist history, from the early Spanish Conquistadores to more recent Costa Ricans and foreigners. Among them are the celebrated conservation pioneers Joseph Tosi, Alexander Skutch, Dr. Holdridge, Enrique Jiménez Núñez, José María Orozco, Mario Boza, Rafael Lucas Rodríguez, Juvenal Valerio, Luis Fournier, and many others.
Costa Rica’s best nature guides have passion.
“In addition to attributes of experience, knowledge, patience, and organizational skills, Vindas explained, a guide's greatest tool is passion.”
Böëna’s teams of nature experts from Pacuare Lodge, Lapa Rios Rainforest Lodge, Tortuga Lodge, Monteverde Lodge & Gardens, and Cloud Forest Lodge are readily on hand to offer guests and visitors a choice of wilderness and cultural excursions into Costa Rica’s most pristine eco-destinations.
Through the passion and professionalism of Boena’s exceptional guides, visitors gain a first-hand understanding of the importance of protecting Costa Rica’s fragile biodiversity. Ecotourism and the visitor’s participation in supporting conservation efforts have a tremendous impact.