Holiday review by Mr. Laurence Boyle
Name: Mr. Laurence Boyle
Date of trip: 27/05/2017
Number of people: 2
We saw both 2 and 3 toed Sloths. a rare Tayra a large relative of the weasel, loads of Howler, Cappucin and Spider Monkeys. A tarantula in its nest. Eyelash and pit vipers both extremely venomous from a safe distance. Countless Strawberry poison dart frogs at Tortuguero, Everglade Lodge, where the sound of the rainforest at night was a true experience. The view of Arenal Volcano from our hot tub on the rooms veranda, The Mistico Hangiung Bridges walk was super. The Howler Monkey's calls at Five in the morning in both Evergreen Lodge and Andaz, who needs an alarm call. The Animals and Hummingbirds in the Gardens at Monteverdi Garden Lodge sitting on the balcony of our room watching over the river valley and clouds suddenly rolling down the valley and passing on. We would recommend the Cloud Forrest walk you arranged that we took with Bernardo. within 10 minutes of the start of the walk we saw a male Quetzal and it's Chick. Sky Walk on their hanging bridges where we saw a male Quetzal and a female making a hole in a tree for it's nest, Sky Tram Cable Car and Sky Trek ZIpline tour at Monteverdi. We also went on two night walks, The first at Oasis reserve Arenal with loads of frogs and one of the vipers, The second at Refugio de Vida Silvestra in Monteverdi where we saw Tarantula, Fireflys and our second two toed Sloth. We decided to upgrade our room at Andaz to a top floor room on the upper hillside with a fantastic view of Culebra Bay. The $540 million dollar yacht LUNA dropped anchor the day we arrived and was there when we left and was the talk of the Hotel it was originally built for Roman Abraovich and the comings and goings to and from this yacht was the talk of the resort. We hired a Jet Ski and had a closer look as we crossed the bay. It does rain and a couple of the Thunderstorms were spectacular. We were delayed by the BA computer problem by an hour at Gatwick and were luckily one of the last flights to leave before the fleet was grounded. The most striking thing about Costa Rica is how affluent it is compared to Mexico and other Carribbean Islands we have visited. the people are Polite, Considerate and very friendly and are rightly proud of their Country. The only real downside is the cost of purchases such as good food and souverneirs, we went to Mexico last year and most purchases we made including food were 1/3 to 1/2 as much dearer, The extra tours we took however we found were reasonably priced and of a high quality.
We had a fabulous time and the 5 locations offered something different. This was our first wildlife type of touring holiday and it exceeded our expectations. We saw a lot of the wild life on our wish list many of the animals we had not seen before. This was mostly due to the expertise of the guides. All the Hotels were different, interesting and the Nayara at Arenal and Andaz were exceptional.
Rory made the change to our itinerary we requested and the Monteverdi Garden Lodge Hotel was real fun, lots of wildlife and he also contacted the in-country service company to give us approximate times of ETA at Hotels and approximate tour times ending times so we were able to plan our free time better. The Mistico Hanging Bridges at Arenal Bird watching walk in Monteverdi Reserve were first Class. Tribes in-country service company were excellent and contacted us at our four of our hotels to make sure we were happy and with slight pick up time changes.
Each of the Guides during the package and extra tours we booked in Costa Rica were very good. Not only were they extremely knowledgeable on the particular area and tour we were on, they also had a passion for their work, the environment / habitats and a pride in Costa Ricas green policies. The drivers were all friendly, courteous, extremely punctual, most were early but hey were also keen to share their knowledge of where we were items of interest on the route and the local nature, economy and even Spanish translations.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
Everyone we came into contact with is proud of their Country's environmental policy. Whether they were a guide, driver of hotel staff they were keen to be helpful if we seemed interested in any wild life, plant our terrain. Most of the drivers stopped for photo opportunities or pointed out animals, crops or eographic points of onterest.
The places you stayed
We had rooms on 4th floor on our first night and 5th floor on our last night. The rooms had extensive views over Escazu and the Valley. Good restaurant, walled pool and garden area. The hotel is on a number of levels going down the hillside which was interesting. An excellent base for the start and finish of our tour.
Tortuguero National Park
The package here is great fun. From Coach Journey down the mountains to the boat dock an La Pavona the boat ride in where we saw our first Sloth and a Toucan. and our Lodge room in the Rain forest. The sound of the forest at night was incredible. We saw Blue Jean frogs all over, the Howler monkey's in the morning and the Ground toads at night made the experience with their forest sounds. The Hotel not as good as the other two in the group but better for wildlife by far. Beware the Mosqiuitos. Great fun two day stay. The Cappucins @ 20 in the troop playing in the morning first day and the Night sounds were a highlight. Great Guides Rafael Calvo and Juan
The best hotel room we have stayed in. Room 7 had both indoor and outdoor showers and a hot tub on the veranda which whilst reasonably screened by palms, Bromeiliads and Croton had a view of Arenal Volcano. Excellent food and interesting pathway walks round. The boat trip across Arenal Lake when we left and the View of the Volcano were stunning.
Second floor room with views over the adjacent river valley from our small but adequate balcony where a highlight. The little trails in the garden were fun. Lovely garden views from the first floor restaurant were great in the morning watching Parrots and Hummingbirds, a Coati climbing a tree at breakfast bliss.
Exceptional resort. We decided to upgrade our room here which was $180 for the three days and was worth every cent. Room 436 in Block 4 had great views across Culebra Bay. The room was very large. When we arrived we thought the buildings a little plain but after a day we saw how the blended into the environment unlike the Secrets hotel across the bay with its red roof.. The room was also at the quiet end of the resort. Small but nice beach with complimentary paddle boards and canoes also Jet skis for hire $65 for 30 minutes worth a go for the experience. We would recommend a meal at Ostra restaurant and start with the classic cerviche, quite an exceptional dish of fish and seafood with salad in a Lemon / Corriander dressing. we love sushi but this was better. 10 out of 10. A further tip. the soft drinks in the room are complimentary. Get a few extras from the shop and order a bottle of the local rum from room service. Not too expensive and enjoy drinks on your balcony. Lots of Iguanas and birds and the Howler and Cappucin monkeys are the entertainment. Good snorkelling too,