About Us

MEET THE FAMILY AND FOUNDERS

Pacific Journeys is a family-owned and operated business that has been running tours for the past 16 years. It all began when Jon Chapman’s life-long search for beauty in mountainous land brought him to Costa Rica for the first time in the early 1980s. While he did not buy land on his first trip, he did meet his future wife, Leila Chinchilla. Jon and Leila married and moved to Monterey California where Jon worked as a contractor. After 13 years of living in the United States, Jon and Leila moved with their four children to the southern pacific coast of Costa Rica, where they bought a handful of beautiful properties.  

The Chapman family has maintained stewardship over the land surrounding Diamante Waterfall since 1998. Jon and Leila began inviting travelers to visit the area, camping in the natural caves in the canyon and taking people rappelling off the many waterfalls there. The business grew entirely by word of mouth until an adventure tour company was born by the name of Tree of Life Tours. The tour company soon became a regional leader in adventure tours under the tutelage of Phil Perez, Rescue 3 International safety instructor and industry mentor, along with William Fuller, Pacific Journeys’ first professional guide.

Since that time, the company has expanded beyond the Chapman family and even changed its name to Pacific Journeys. The Lopez family, one of 18 brothers and sisters, were brought into the company little by little over the past decade. The Lopez’s grew up two walking hours from the nearest town on a farm in rural Costa Rica. Having spent their lives in the outdoors, first as farmers/foragers, and then as outward-bound instructors, they bring an immense wealth of knowledge to Pacific Journeys. Some of the brothers and sisters-in-law are now the lead guides at Pacific Journeys, although the Chapmans still play a large role in guiding and administration.

It has been our privilege to share this natural treasure with people from around the world. Our passion comes from seeing our guests happy and by helping them experience the beauty of Costa Rica in its full natural spectrum. We hope to see you soon!

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