Jan Yatsko, Artist email:



For those people who wish to contact me through email, please see the note on my Contact Page. 

Explore and Create Tours in Costa Rica

A tour review sent to Frommer Travel Guides:

“I thought readers with even the slightest artistic leaning would like to hear of Jan Yatsko’s Explore & Create tour of Costa Rica, which I’ve just enjoyed.  Through her sensitive eyes, I gained a wonderful insight to this exciting country, it’s ancient and present-day cultures, people, sights, sounds and tastes. Her introduction to the wonders of Art Travel Journalling, drawing and sketching daily images, is something I’m going to enjoy using in all  future travels.  A highly recommended and awakening experience.”

Joan D., 2008 tour participant

Explore & Create in Costa Rica Tour  

July 2 to 10, 2011


Large leaf umbrella plants found on humid Caribbean side of Costa Rica, near La Paz Waterfall Gardens


Distinguish the sound of a toucan from a mot mot; see, touch, smell and taste medicinal and culinary plants that heal skin problems, treat anemia & coughs, fortify the blood, numb an aching tooth, add flavor to food and spice up your sex life. Observe how white faced monkeys work together to steal your lunch at Manuel Antonio Beach.

“Jan, you do a marvelous job... you should be a nature tour guide, too... you know so much!  You were more than I expected.”        Shirley P. from Pennsylvania

Jan Yatsko's Costa Rican friends in Atenas, Costa Rica Maleku Indians in bark cloth dress leaving traditional grass hut in the village of Tonjibe, Costa Rica


Eat a fresh mango with the juice dripping down your fingers and “a spotted rooster” for breakfast; learn new Spanish expressions, Costa Rican customs and the Costa Rican word for “knock, knock”;  witness the sacred fire ceremony of the Maleku Indians and how they can teach us to live more “green” and discover why the friendly Costa Ricans are affectionately called “ticos”.

“Jan instantly infected us with her passion for Costa Rica with its culture, its colors, its flavors and its people.  This is the real deal and not being on the outside looking in.  I have never participated in such a ‘real’ travel experience on a guided tour.” Janine K. from Indiana

Explore & Create journal page created with group Corazones Valientes
Explore & Create journal from participant entitled
Explore & Create in Costa Rica participant journal page of ripped paper landscape
Explore & Create in Costa Rica tour journal using natural colorants from Maleku rainforest


Create your own “postcards” from Costa Rica. Give them to friends and family or compile them into a book for your own trip souvenir. This book will become your travel art journal that will include your expressions of tropical colors, sketches, paintings, collages and/or written observations inspired by your travel experiences in Costa Rica. Fun daily creativity exercises help you to begin each “postcard” as you also develop new observation and creative thinking skills.  You can use these skills in all aspects of your life as well as to create future art journals on your own.

“This was such a great tour! I learned a lot. It was the perfect place to disconnect, decompress, regroup, revitalize and tune into things.”                   Christine J. from Arizona

“I learned there is magic in the everyday and Jan’s program made this possible.  I am not an artist but I was not intimidated by having the daily tasks or instructions for the journals. Jan’s creativity exercises helped me see things in a new way and opened up other areas of creativity in my life.”    Janine K. from Indiana


This tour will totally excite your 5 senses!   Jan Yatsko has tailored the instruction and the interactive workbook to stir your imagination and to take ALL ABILITY LEVELS through the steps to create an interesting and memorable art journal inspired by your travel experiences in Costa Rica. No sterile classrooms.  Workshops are by the beach, on top of a mountain with majestic views, in tropical gardens, under chocolate trees and more. Emphasis is placed on portability and how to creatively use the materials around you.  Physical exercise level is easy to moderate.

“I really enjoyed the daily creativity pages.  They were well planned, interesting and helpful.”      Susan W. from Maine



  • A resident of Atenas, Costa Rica for over 11 years and lives in a Costa Rican neighborhood.
  • Traveled extensively through Costa Rica by bicycle.
  • Bilingual
  • Practicing artist/craftsperson for over 35 years.
  • Maintains different types of journals simultaneously.
  • Studied art education at the university.
  • Over 8 years of Explore & Create in Costa Rica tour experience.  Tours are updated each year.
  • Tour is designed by Jan and expresses her passion and knowledge of Costa Rican art, nature, culture and food. 
  • You benefit from small group travel (limit 8 people).  More schedule flexibility and spontaneity to enrich your experience, attention to detail and opportunities to visit areas off of the tourist route.
  • All inclusive, competitive price that includes travel within Costa Rica PLUS an educational tour that includes Costa Rica’s abundant nature, rich culture, colorful art, delicious food AND an art journal workshop. No hidden tour costs.

“The only downside to this trip is that my expectations for other guided tours are now unrealistically high.  I have previously traveled with well established high profile companies, but this was different. I have doubts that anyone else will ever bring me to a place more entirely than Jan has done.  All I can do is thank Jan for this wonderful, life changing experience.” Janine K. from Indiana