Holiday review by Mr. Raymond Avery
Name: Mr. Raymond Avery
Date of trip: 13/04/2017
Number of people: 2
Just simply the wildlife and the scenery. We do not normally go on package holidays preferring the freedom of arranging our own accommodation and exploring areas of our choosing by rental cars. However, although the trip and venues were organised for us this did not feel like an organised holiday. Plenty of time to do our own thing and so easy to get about the local areas under our own steam as well as taking advantage of Tribes expertise in organising good locations and hotels for us.
First time we have travelled to Central America and didn't really know what to expect. Have travelled extensively to nature reserves in Europe; although beautiful places lucky to see wildlife. In Costa Rica this was not the case, wildlife in abundance wherever we were and we only saw a fraction of it. In general, the countryside is diverse and breathtaking; the local people we encountered friendly and polite. Excellent holiday and would recommend to anybody with an interest in nature and wildlife.
This was a last minute booking on our part. The service and information given was excellent and fuss free. Everything went like clockwork. Five different hotels in two weeks, pre-arranged transfers between locations and a several pre-arranged activities. We did expect one or two hiccups along the way but from being met at San Jose airport on day one until our return everything went smoothly and on time.
All of our guides were friendly and knowledgeable. The drivers on our transfers were responsible and safe and all vehicles used for the transfers/activities were of a high standard. Only complaint is that all of the transfer times were underestimated in your brochure. for example, our last transfer from Playa Potrero to San Jose took well over six hours and not the advised four and the traffic was light. The driver gave us one 15 minute break on this journey. Even the younger people on the van were squirming in their seats towards the end of this journey with numb limbs and back ache. This was echoed on all of the longer transfers. On one we had a 45 minute break but would be far better to have had 3 fifteen minute breaks for a limb stretch on all of these journeys.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
Not too sure where you are going with this question. As mentioned, the holiday was great for seeing the wildlife, forests, etc. and the locals appeared to be very proud and positive about their country. However, the deprivation of a vast section of the population could be felt and witnessed in San Jose. As a whole we found Costa Rica to be very clean and tidy in most areas, not a cigarette butt or piece of rubbish on the streets or in the forest. By contrast, areas around the shanty towns had mountains of uncollected household rubbish thrown into ditches and witnessed locals throwing rubbish out of car windows, etc. Makes you wonder how much of the local Governments boast of "social responsibility" is just lip service to tourism. People are the same the world over.
The places you stayed
Large, comfortable and clean rooms. Friendly, helpful staff. Excellent breakfast but evening menu basic and limited; however plenty of local restaurants in the immediate area. Good hotel for its purpose, i.e. transfer hotel. Centre of San Jose which, for us was preferable to some of the plusher ones on the outskirts. Meant we could spend a few hour exploring the commercial centre of San Jose.
Really feel you are in Costa Rica here. Built around and into the edge of the jungle and on the Caribbean coast. Jungle type vegetation and trees in the hotel grounds and around the rooms. Exotic birds, butterflies and frogs naturally in and around the grounds. Howler monkeys can be heard and seen in the trees within the hotel grounds. The rooms are adequate, clean and comfortable. Friendly, helpful staff. Good restaurant and only a short hop to the local town which should not be missed of the evening. Very buzzy but of course, everything shuts early by our standards.
Beautiful setting. No matter where you were in this hotel, your room, the landscaped grounds or the restaurant, a magnificent view of the Arenal volcano. The cabin we had was spacious, very clean and comfortable. Staff friendly and helpful. Very good restaurant and the trip to the "hanging bridges" is recommended.
Playa Potrero, Guanacaste
Well run hotel, comfortable, clean rooms. Friendly, helpful staff. When rain was forecast, and boy did it rain that evening, cleaning staff had left an umbrella in our room. Nice touch. The grounds are beautiful and overlook the beach and Pacific ocean. Very good restaurant for breakfast, midday snack and evening meal alike. Beautiful beaches and scenery in the local area and short walk to several local restaurants open in the evenings.