Holiday review by portisheadblue
Date of trip: 01/02/2019
Number of people: 2
Special moments were many ... some caught on iPhone and more just in our memory ... here's a few: Tortuguero seeing three troops of different monkeys in space of 150 yards, the Resplendent Quetzel and the Keel Billed Toucan the Macaws at Lapa Rias the sloths, hanging, sitting, crawling, adult - youth a hair cut in Manuel Antonio - it cost me $7 plus $20 in taxi rides the Parador at Manuel Antonio the dolphins from Lapa Rias
Excellent trip to a great country ..... flora and fauna in abundance with some of it quiet unique; great variety of and choice of accommodation; lovely local people.
We took our time and spent just over three weeks in country ... if you have the time and budget its the best way to do it.
Pre-trip - excellent
In-trip - excellent
Post-trip - excellent
We had different guides at each place we visited .... they were all well-informed, spoke good English and knew their stuff.
We also had different drivers each time we moved location ... they all drove very carefully with zero incidents .... not all of then spoke English but we managed it well nevertheless with good humour on both sides.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
In country they do their best .... massive commitment to National Parks; lots of "farm to table" catering; learning that introduction of palm oil and pineapples might not have been good choices; very clean country.
Getting there - not sure scored many green "brownie points" flying almost 6,000 miles to get there.
The places you stayed
A somewhat quirky hotel with no two rooms the same; lovely food with great views from the deck.
We went for the coffee plantation tour - well worth it and a great place to start or end your trip.
The hotel is small, 12 rooms, but each room is like a bungalow, everything works including the AC. The food and the staff were excellent.
The guided tours were excellent too - and that's why we went.
Getting there is a long ride by car plus a boat ride too .... fortunately we were booked out by plane to La Fortuna which worked just great.
What a gem.
Rooms are basic - well, ours was! No AC but a fan, insect screen and a breeze kept us nice and comfortable.
They actually do "farm to table"; the herb teas and homemade yoghurt are amazing. They have their own micro-brewery producing 3 fine ales and a stout.
The gardens are are amazing as is the secret valley.
Probably our favourite stop.
The Parador is a great place to come and stay - and stay. If you want to leave its a minimum $10 taxi ride to get to the end of the road .... the hotel is 2kms up a cup-de-sac - and so worth it when you get there.
The gardens are better for wild life than the nearby National Park. the staff are friendly, polite and enthusiastic about everything they do. They all seem to be part-time wild life experts and seem to now where every bird, butterfly and monkey live.
We spent 6 nights here and loved it.
This was the peak of eco-lodges for us .... the whole place is "green".
We had an amazing room with no walls (just insect netting) and net over the 4 posted bed; a large deck with outdoor shower and lovely views.
The only downside was our room number - any room number higher than 11 means you are down the ridge from the main building. Down means in excess of 200 steps to get down/up (steps not paces) which is about a ten storey building. After the first day we learned how to plan our day and limit ourselves to 2 up and 2 down per day.
The abundance of wild life and the expertise of the guides made the whole adventure worthwhile. We walked miles each day, saw spectacular birds, met lovely fellow guests and really nice staff - most of whom were proud to live and work in Pt Jimenez the local "town".
The only time we left Lapa was to go on a dolphin seeking boat trip - they organised everything and it was a-maz-ing.
Easily the best food we had in the whole of Costa Rica. Breakfast was amazing.
Very stylish hotel.
Really enjoyed our stay.