Holiday review by Mrs. Christine Sacre
Name: Mrs. Christine Sacre
Date of trip: 19/03/2019
Number of people: 2
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Costa Rica and it met all our expectations relating to exploring different climatic regions and various associated wildlife experiences. In particular we enjoyed watching the scarlet macaws and pelicans flying along a deserted beach at Osa, where we were also treated to spider monkeys eating fruit from a tree about 3m away and a wildlife extravaganza on our journey from Puerto Jimenez to El Remanso with Edgar; howler monkeys overhead at La Hacienda, where we had a close encounter with a fer de lance: observing a porcupine up a tree and a group of squirrel monkeys with young on their backs at La Foresta; and the vegetation in the cloudforest areas, not to mention close ups of quetzals at San Gerardo.
We felt the holiday provided a really good overview of what Costa Rica had to offer, particularly in terms of wildlife and habitat, which is what we intended. We were very pleased with all the accommodation we chose and the organisation of transfers between various areas was very good. We found the Costa Rican people very friendly.
Yes, we found booking with Tribes a positive experience and would recommend the company. Tracy was open to the ideas we put forward and made some helpful suggestions about activities that were available in various areas. We received all the pre-departure details we expected.
Generally we found the guides to be very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and open to questions, and their ability to communicate in English was good. We had one poor experience and that was on the Hanging Bridges tour at Arenal. Whilst we accept that the rain made wildlife viewing difficult, the guide seemed to make very little effort to make the experience within the tour interesting and unlike other guides did not have a scope to be able to identify wildlife.
We had drivers between all our accommodations and all drove well and were punctual. Also all bar two spoke relatively good English which enabled us to learn more about the country and how people lived.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
The holiday was beneficial in terms of providing work for local guides, drivers, hotel workers, etc. It enabled the guides to talk people from other countries about conservation, climate change and other wildlife and environmental issues that Costa Rica faces.
The places you stayed
Tortuguero National Park
The cabin was excellent, set in the rainforest amongst the wildlife,although I would have expected a hairdryer to be provided. The food was ok but the restaurant lacked atmosphere, was self service with a set meal time and shared table. A nice pool but loud music spoilt the rainforest feel and was out of place. Of the inclusive activities, we enjoyed the boat trip, but found the very short guided forest walk at the sister hotel of the Evergreen Lodge very limited and crowded so not much seen, and the trip to the village did not include a guided visit to the small museum relating to turtles - the guide informed us that this was an optional extra and did not particularly promote it.
Fabulous location close to the volcano with great views from the balcony of the Smithsonian rooms. Beautiful grounds, friendly staff, especially at reception, and reasonable food. Great birding experiences, particularly on the birdfeeders from the decking outside the restaurant - a constant interruption to the meal. Free morning walk offered by lodge well worth doing.
Well worth making the long trip to reach, El Remanso offered superb accommodation in the rainforest with plenty of wildlife, particularly monkeys, toucans and macaws. Our garden view room was very spacious, and the restaurant/lounge area had lovely views with surrounding vegetation attracting much birdlife. There were walking trails around the property on which guided walks could be taken. There was a steep path down to a deserted sandy beach below, complete with rock pools and a lagoon given the right tidal conditions.
The staff were very friendly and interacted well. The food was very good and varied.