Meet Your Trip Director: Marco Naranjo
Independent Republic of Turrialba, Costa Rica. Right now I’m living on the Pacific Coast.
What do you do with TFT when you’re not leading trips?
I’m the Central and South America Program Manager.
Sandals or sneakers?
Barefoot for most of the day – I have strong monkey feet game.
Where can we usually find you when you’re not working?
At the beach.
What was the first foreign country you visited?
That was Bocas del Toro, Panamá, an island chain off the Caribbean coast with white sand beaches, crystal clear water, and perfect waves during the winter season.
Best way to interact with the locals:
Stay out of the resorts and away from the food chains. Eat at the local markets, learn a few words of the language and use them every time you have the chance. People always appreciate when you try to communicate with them in their language.
What is your favorite hobby (besides travel) and why?
Surf. Like someone once said, “Trying to explain color to a blind person and trying to explain surfing to someone who has never surf are very similar.” I surf because it is a blessing…because I love it.
If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Casado! It’s a typical dish from Costa Rica that consists of rice and beans served side by side. There will usually be some type of meat (beef, fish, pork chop, or chicken) and a salad to round out the dish. There may also be some extras like fried plantain (patacones or maduro), avocado, a slice of white cheese, or corn tortillas in accompaniment. For vegetarians you can order it without the meat…Well, now I’m hungry!
Fun fact about you that no one else knows:
Harry Styles once said I was his hero.
(So a student was obsessed with this guy and she thought (at that time) we looked a little bit alike, so she made a collage with the above photos and sent it to him and he replied saying that I was his hero. I didn’t know who he was until she texted me freaking out about his reaction to the collage.)
What is the most ridiculous thing to happen to you while traveling?
My first time in Peru I went to visit the ruins in Ollantaytambo. I was waiting my turn to take a picture of a stone Inca doorway and there were at least 25 high school girls on a school field trip taking selfies, making duck faces, you know, trying to look cool for social media. While I was waiting, one of the girls asked me where I was from and I said Costa Rica. Next thing I know I am l taking selfies, making duck faces, you know, trying to look cool for social media with each of the girls for a good 15 minutes. Why? I think they were amazed by spotting a Tico out of his natural habitat!
The most touristy thing to do that you think is still awesome and worth doing:
Machu Picchu, Perú. If you visit this amazing place with the right mindset, you are going to be able to get your body full with positive energy from Pachamama.