link to founders message

Enquire or Call

UK: 01473 890499
You are here: HomeHolidayreview Id220213
Costa Rica holiday ideas experiences accommodation places to go when to visit costa-rica map reviews

Holiday review by Ann Clark

Date of trip: 30/11/2019
Number of people: 2
Country: Costa Rica

Overall level of Satisfaction

Tribes Overall: "Really well organised and stress free. A brilliant holiday. "
Tribes Service: "Can't fault Tribes arrangements and pre booking information. Alex was very patient with all my changes ! "
Guides: "The private transfers arranged by Tribes were excellent. The driver, Minor, that took us from Arenal lake to Monteverde deserves a special mention as he spotted lots of birds for us on the way and kept stopping for us to take pictures of wildlife and views. He took us to a local cafe too for food en route. The boat across the lake was also a leisurely bird spotting trip. We did not book any guided hikes through Tribes, only via the hotels."
Social & Environmental Responsibility: "The lodges were all Eco style and doing their best to protect the environment, with employment for local people in the hotels and transport services."


Alta Hotel
Excellent hotel, very roomy with lovely views. We did not try the restaurant as seemed quite expensive when only a snack was needed. Only issue for us was the location, not being able to safely go out for a proper walk from the hotel to get some exercise. The road outside did not have a pavement but we did risk the short walk along it to the local bar which was excellent for cheap drink and snack.
Mawamba Lodge
This was our least favorite accomodation of the trip really so glad it was the first. Plane transfer in was very good. Reception and management are hidden away and don't really appear. On arrival we met the tour leader assigned to the 39 people that arrived that day. It was a bit of a zoo with time hanging around waiting for them to split the group up into smaller units for some of the activities. The food was very good buffet style. We had a superior room but it wasn't obvious, still dark and hot, the fan was not over the bed so didn't give full benefit. Lovely pool and gardens with plenty of toucans and other wildlife easy to see. Paid for the extra morning bird spotting boat trip but were disappointed that it remained in the main river. They would not run the preferred kayak trip due to high water levels, although people from other places were doing it. Unfortunately there was heavy rain on the boat transfer out so we didn't see anything. The landing area was up a grassy bank with nowhere covered to wait, so we got onto the coach with suitcases and selves pretty soaked. We had not been pre-warned or given any assistance to get bags waterproofed, other than having to go to the office to request bin bags. So different at Corcovado, but I expect there is a big cost difference.
Hotel Belmar
Fabulous facilities. Restaurant not cheap but we had the nachos bar snack between us one evening that was economic, plentiful and the best I have ever had. Beautiful views, sunset and rainbows from the restaurant terrace and a second terrace in the tea room, for watching the humming birds. Very close to the national parks, but also there are rough roads that you can walk from the hotel, up hill and into the forest. Saw lots of monkeys and Coati there. Loved the Aventura zip line and canopy walk. Kinkajou night walk was good but a but too commercialised and busy. We were not particularly impressed with the guide supplied by the hotel that took us into Curi Cancha, and would preferred to have had gone on our own and taken longer.
Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge
The best ! This place really has the wow factor. Our room, set in a huge private garden area was beautiful, as are the other buildings spread out in the gardens. 2 hour boat transfer from Palmar Sur airport was a real adventure in itself to start off a great 3 days. Well organised with dry bag protection for all your luggage and snacks and drinks provided. All the staff were lovely and there is real laid back vibe. It is not at all pretentious. The food is good home cooked style food, with a choice of 2 mains selected earlier in the day. The beaches are stunning, fun tractor taxi up the hill to the hotel and great views and sunsets from the top. Both the national park hike and the Cano Island snorkelling trips were amazing and unrushed. I wish we had another day to be able to take part in some of the optional extra activities, such as the kayaking. So sad to leave, but another flawless transfer back via Drake Bay airport, leaving just happy memories.
Lomas del Volcan
Beautiful hotel, gounds and rooms. Appreciated the air conditioning, such a treat after Tortuguero. Unfortunately heavy rain for most of the stay means we could not appreciate the views from our room and the hotel restaurant and didn't use the pool. We still saw plenty of birds in the grounds though, including toucans. We loved the happy hour in the open-air bar and our friendly, flexible bar man. Food in the hotel was very good, and because it was quiet even the breakfast was a-la-carte except for our last morning. Roberto on reception was very helpful. Walked into Arenal town and got a taxi back.Be warned, it was dearer than the hotel for beers! Only minor gripe, was that we did a hike into Juan Castro Blanco National Park with a guide organised by the hotel. It was a good day out but not quite what was advertised on the website or room info. with less bird life than expected. However we paid for a group trip but had the guide for just the two of us. Should have stuck to a Tribes organised hike maybe! H

Our Memories

"Wow factor of the rooms we stayed in - Arenal and Corcovado Seeing so many Toucans and monkeys, watching them feeding in the trees for ages Beautiful views from the internal flights. Gravel runways and airports in the middle of nowhere! First try at zip lining - including the Tarzan swing in Aventura Monteverde 2 hour boat transfer to get to Corcovado Never been wetter than when walking in Arenal in an all day downpour - close 2nd was the boat trips in Tortuguero"

customer rating

5/5 from 323 reviews

our travel expert

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Costa Rica. Tell us what you want, and we will tailor make your perfect trip.
Call: 01473 890499

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.



Botswana Specialists Costa Rica Specialists Cruise the Galapagos Peru Specialists

Help me plan my trip

* required fields

Please enter your address

Trip details

Yes No
Yes No

Other information

Your Preferences

Keep in touch with the tribe in the following way/s:

By email: Yes, Please No, Thanks

By post: Yes, Please No, Thanks

I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time.Read our Privacy Policy here.

All information supplied is confidential and will never be shared with anyone else (see our privacy policy)

Brochure Request

Our "Book of Unmissable Travel Experiences - Book Two" includes some inspiring ideas which could be the holiday experience you're looking for. You will find an online version of our brochure which you can flip through at your leisure.

* required fields

Please enter your address

Other information

Yes No

All information supplied is confidential and will never be shared with anyone else (see our privacy policy)

Our e-newsletter offers you travel inspiration, with gorgeous and exciting places to go or stay, plus special offers, and some insight into sustainability/conservation.

* required fields

I am agreeing to receive Tribes e-newsletter. I understand that all information I have supplied is confidential and will never be shared with anyone else (see our privacy policy), and I can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact Us

* required fields
  1. Please enter your address

  2. Would you like to subscribe to our Newsletter

  3. Yes No