Holiday review by Mr. Christopher Ellsum

Name: Mr. Christopher Ellsum

Date of trip: 20/04/2019

Number of people: 2

For a very small country the landscape is quite varied. From lush rain and cloud forests to the most idyllic beach resorts and not forgetting the dramatic volcanoes. The varied wildlife is stunning. We were so lucky to see so much, helped mainly by the local guides. We tried to keep a list of everything we had seen but there was so much it was difficult to keep up. However some of the highlights were both a 3 toed and 2 toed sloth, monkeys, coati, cayman, armadillos, frogs, snakes, iguanas, so many different types of birds but the highlight had to be the beautiful and elusive Quetzal. It is a animal lovers paradise. One of the highlights had to be waking up on our first morning in Arenal to see the volcano dominating our view from our hotel room. Wow.

  • Radisson San Jose swimming pool


  • Cafe Tropical at Radisson San Jose


  • Mawamba Lodge


  • Dining at Hotel Fonda Vela


  • Bahia del Sol pool at sunset, Costa Rica © Bahia del Sol

    Bahia del Sol pool at sunset, Costa Rica

  • Standard double room, Studio Hotel, San Jose, Costa Rica © M2Photos

    Standard double room, Studio Hotel, San Jose, Costa Rica

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Tribes Overall:

Our holiday far exceeded our expectations. We expected it to be good but the amount of stunning wildlife and beautiful scenery was amazing.

Tribes Service:

From the very first enquiry right up to arriving in Costa Rica, the service and delivery has been exceptional.
Tracy Edwards has been excellent in keeping us informed at every stage and has dealt with all questons and changes to the itinerary promptly and efficiently.
The Vamoos App has also been excellent.


The knowledge and enthusiasm of all the local guides was to be admired. They quite clearly love their job and country and therefore want to show it off. Nothing was too much trouble and a number of the excursions we took lasted way beyond the schedule as both guide and guests were having such a good time.

Social & Environmental Responsibility:

On the whole we felt that Costa Rica cares very much about the environment and the impact that people and their actions can have on it and the effect on its wildlife.
However we did encounter shops still using plastic bags and drinking straws.
We also appreciate that a lot of Costa Ricans are quite poor but we feel more should be done to clean up the large amount of high polluting, very old vehicles and boats.

The places you stayed

Radisson San Jose swimming pool

Radisson San Jose

Costa Rica

We were extremely tired from the flights when we arrived so wre looking forward to have a good night's sleep before starting our holiday adventure properly the next morning. However that was not to be the case. The air conditioning was extremely noisy and with it switched off the room was far to warm. The fridge kept making loud rumbling noisies through the night but to cap it all the road noise all night long was very frustrating.
On a more positive note, the staff were very nice as was the breakfast.

Mawamba Lodge

Mawamba Lodge

Costa Rica

We loved our stay here. Although the cabin was rustic it met our needs adequately and the setting was perfect. Set in beautiful gardens and fronting onto the waters edge it is home to so many birds and animals. Each morning we were woken early to the dawn chorus of the most amazing bird song especially from the Montezuma Oropendola.
The organised trips were superb as well as the extra ones we did.
The resort was beautifully laid out and the food and service were very good.

Dining at Hotel Fonda Vela

Hotel Fonda Vela

Costa Rica

The room we were given was not surprisingly a bit of a come down after Arenal, especially as it was tucked away in a corner with no view or anywhere to sit outside our room. That being said the room was adequate and comfortable with a very nice shower.
The staff were very friendly especially the waiters in the restaurant but we got the impression that the hotel did not have many guests when we stayed. The one evening we were the only couple in the restaurant and the waiter admitted that they were all going home for the evening after we had finished our meal, which was still relatively early.

Bahia del Sol pool at sunset, Costa Rica © Bahia del Sol

Bahia del Sol

Playa Potrero, Guanacaste

We were given a very nice room with very efficient air conditioning which was very much needed and appreciated as it was so hot when we stayed.
The resort was very pretty with a gorgeous pool, bar and restaurant. Also being right on the beach front it was nice to be able to walk along and see the local cattle doing the same.
Although we don't normally enjoy beach holidays as lounging around isn't normally our scene, it was a very welcome break to recover from all the exciting and busy days we had had and reflect on such a fantastic holiday overall.

Standard double room, Studio Hotel, San Jose, Costa Rica © M2Photos

Studio Hotel

Costa Rica

Again this Hotel was extremely nice. From the moment we arrived the service from the staff was exceptional and the room was very spacious, quiet and comfortable.
The Art adorning the walls everywhere in the Hotel was interesting if a little unusual in some cases but all added to a nice feel about the whole place.