Holiday review by Mrs. Karen Roem
Name: Mrs. Karen Roem
Date of trip: 25/11/2017
Number of people: 2
Because of the constant stream of special birds and other weird and wonderful wildlife we carried our binoculars and camera with us everywhere, even at breakfast, lunch and dinner. One day we went to the beach a 5-10 minute walk from the Parador resort (I cannot remember its name) and didn't bring our binoculars or camera. This turned out to be a bad idea ...we saw titi-monkeys and a two-toed sloth for the first (and last) time during the holiday. We have the picture in our mind though. What a special place!
This was our fifth holiday with Tribes and expectations were high because of our previous excellent experiences with the company. Once again the holiday was superb. Many thanks for making our 25th wedding anniversary a special one!
Rory put together a fantastic itinerary. All I wrote was "… wondering whether you have any ideas for a couple in their mid-fifties who love walking (but are not as fit as they used to be) and bird/wildlife watching and prefer to travel solo." All subsequent questions from our side were dealt with promptly. Rory clearly knows what he's talking about.
By the way, I oved the Tribes "wallet" we received a week or so before departure!
The guides were good with a few "but"s ...
In Cahuita National Park the group was split in English-speaking and Spanish-speaking. The Spanish-speaking guide seemed a lot more interested and engaged and during snorkelling took me by the hand to swim to a shark he had spotted.
In Turrialba we felt uncomfortable when the guide lifted a turtle out of a pond to show it to us.
In general, I would definitely recommend using guides. We did a couple of days on our own and didn't see as much as when we did the same area with a guide. (Which we didn't mind, but I thought it would be worth mentioning in case people are dithering whether or not to hire a guide.)
By the way, I would like to specifically mention Carlos from Mirador Quetzales who was our guide in San Gerardo de Dota. We were so impressed that we hired him the next day to see quetzals.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
Our English-speaking guide in Cahuita National Park encouraged us to leave a sloth with a baby that was on the ground alone, which I was happy he did as I felt it was in distress with all the tourists around it.
I'm also happy to see that the guides and rangers are clearly trying to protect their parks so that it isn't turning into what has happened to the Manual Antonio National Park, where local wildlife clearly expects to be fed by tourists and where banana boats, jet skis and paragliding have been introduced.
Please note my previous remark about the guide in Turrialba.
The places you stayed
Beautiful old mansion with excellent food!
Loved the calming, white rooms with its own private little terrace where we would sit in the evening with our bat-detector and a drink.
This was a stunning place, but not really "us". We would have preferred to have stayed an extra night in Cristal Ballena.