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Holiday review by E Furr

Name:
Date of trip: 24/01/2019
Number of people: 2
Country: Costa Rica

Overall level of Satisfaction

 
Tribes Overall: "One of my best holidays (and I travel a lot). I now have to spend a few hours(days/weeks!) sorting through my photos trying to establish correct bird names as I became quite passionate about my birding experience. This came as quite a surprise to me as I'm usually more comfortable underwater naming nudibranchs...! But we had such varied holiday experiences, including close encounters with humpback whales and superman style zip-wiring, all of which I loved. "
 
Tribes Service: "Paul Cook gave us such a personal service that you could easily believe we were his only clients. He responded very quickly to our questions and organised a package that responded brilliantly to our wishes (even when we didn't really know what we wanted!)"
 
Guides: "The majority of guides were excellent, sharing their enthusiasm for the amazing flora and fauna (especially birds) of Costa Rica and going beyond their brief in time and effort. At the hanging bridges in Arenal we could easily have had a nice walk but seen very little (like so many groups that were escorted past us) but our guide responded to our genuine interest and gave us a very personal informative tour. He saw and identified so many birds! One or two guides were average, no doubt competent but possibly a little bored doing the same thing every day. I wish I could remember all their names to give more personal feedback. Sorry! Standard of driving usually very good."
 
Social & Environmental Responsibility: "Hard to know how much of the money filters down to local people but all the guides were part of their local community and appeared to be happy employed in the tourism/guiding industry."

Accommodation

 
Chayote Lodge
Wonderful reception staff (Yorlena). Basic breakfast included (fruit, coffee and granola with yoghurt) but rather pricey for additional items ($7 for one egg on toast). The only bread/toast available seemed to be garlic bread. Not so good with jam...! Beautiful spacious room. Well appointed and simply decorated. Very comfortable beds and the best pillows in Costa Rica! Stunning views over the coffee plantations towards San Jose from the private terrace at the back of each 'chalet'. Warm blankets included so you could sit outside on a chilly evening. Enjoyed a very special coffee plantation tour with Jose, the guide at Chayote Lodge.
 
Evergreen Lodge
An excellent introduction to wildlife viewings of Costa Rica with an enthusiastic resident guide. Good food and service.
 
Hotel Presidente
A good choice for our first night after the long haul flights.
 
Selva Verde Lodge
Comfortable rooms with humming birds close by and outside seating. A very good place for intensive birding with good guides (though the other group had a novice guide who was much less informative). Food OK but rather a basic cafeteria style restaurant, but probably no point paying extra for a pizza in the downstairs restaurant just to get a white tablecloth and waiter service.
 
Lomas del Volcan
Beautiful! lovely staff in the huge (but very quiet) restaurant. We were in cabin 504 and had a fabulous view of the volcano from the back porch. Stunning gardens. Hard to leave!
 
Trapp Family Lodge
Very far out of town so taxis were necessary to go anywhere and were expensive. Wherever you were picked up it cost $10 even for a mile or two. A regular hotel shuttle a couple of times a day would have been appreciated. But we had some wonderful tour experiences from this location in Monteverde. Even got to see the Resplendent Quetzal!

Our Memories

"Mainly lovely accommodation (not too keen on Villa Lapas as there were too many large groups). Loved Lomas del Volcan at Arenal, Cuna del Angel. Aguila de Osa and Chayote Lodge. The guide at Evergreen Lodge in Tortuguero was brilliant and incredibly hardworking. He appeared to start at 6am and finish at 10:30pm and still stay enthusiastic. We loved crossing the Arenal Lake in a boat all to ourselves so that the boatman gave us a wonderful private tour, pointing out the birds and animals along the shore. The shared tour from Uvita for whale watching was excellent and we had fabulous sightings of young humpback whales breaching close to the boats. Obviously we were lucky as this can never be guaranteed. Only disappointment for me was not being able to do two dives at Caño Island as the only dive guide was taking the snorkelling tour. So I did that instead. Well run safety conscious snorkelling trip, just not what I was hoping for."

customer rating

5/5 from 264 reviews

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facts and information

Time: GMT -6 hours

Flight time: The flying time is about 12 hours from the UK. There are now direct flights from the UK using British Airways. We work with all the major airlines and can offer flights from the UK or via the USA, Panama or a European hub. With the connection times you are looking at around 15 or 16 hours.

Language: Spanish is the official language. English is widely spoken throughout Costa Rica

Visas: Not required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations.

 

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