Holiday review by Doctor Alison Lee
Name: Doctor Alison Lee
Date of trip: 07/07/2019
Number of people: 2
There were many highlights, many of which were activities for the kids, but memorable views and moments for the adults. The real abiding memory is how nice the Costa Ricans are as a race, and the fact that they are so proud of their country and what it has to offer. Some of our best memories include; the national theater in San Jose, and the enthusiasm of our guide for the building which bizarrely is younger than our house in the UK; the view down the canal in Tortugero, and the turtle heading back into the ocean having laid her eggs at midnight; the birds flocking to the feeding table at Selva Verde, and the huge Iguana in the tree by the restaurant, the glass frogs on the night walk; the views up to the volcano at Arenal, and views of the lake on the volcano walk; watching butterflies land on your hand at Trapp Family lodge; the fabulous sunsets over the beach on the pacific ocean from the sun-loungers in Playa Potrero. from an activities point of view, the white water rafting was un-forgettable, and the zip lines in Arenal and Sarapiqui were fab. We did horse-riding in both the cloud forest, and on the beaches at Playa potrero, and felt safe, the guide in the cloud forest was out-standing, and the trip and that company were really impressive. Scuba diving off Playa Potrero was un-believable, swimming within 2m of a 4m Manta Ray!!
We were absolutely delighted with our holiday in Costa Rica.
We have been very impressed with the Tribes service, and would happily use the company again. The companies used on the ground (Swiss Travel) were efficient and we were struck by the fact everyone knew who we were and where we were going. The standard of all transfer vehicles was high, and all the drivers were safe and pleasant.
The guides were universally excellent, they were knowledgeable, and helpful, and responded well to questions. The level of English was remarkable.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
The Costa Rican's are really aware that eco tourism is their major source of income and economy. They have a real focus on the bird and animal life.
The places you stayed
Good hotel, although the city area was a little uncomfortable at night when we were walking back form the restaurant. Placed the children in a room 5 floors away from us, which was not ideal, but the rooms were nice, and extremely comfortable.
Tortuguero National Park
The rooms were very nice, the rain forest noises were initially a little disconcerting but one soon settled in. The food was fair and in good amounts, and the staff were pleasant and the rooms very clean. Point for other travellers to note. This area is extremely humid and nothing dries at all especially all your clothes get a real damp feeling. We flew across from San Jose rather than doing the standard boat/coach with only two suitcases which was a real un-expected bonus, as the rest of our stuff did not get damp.
The rooms were really lovely, and the staff really nice. The guide were particularly knowledgeable, and the bird life absolutely un-paralleled.
This was a really nice hotel to stay in, the initial meal we had was not great, but actually all the subsequent meals were good and the breakfasts were excellent. The reception staff were really helpful they washed and dried some stuff for us, within a day.
The room was nice, and clean, but more spartan than the other ones, and we arrived on a surprisingly cold day and there was no way of heating the room. The distance to the local town meant taxis each way for meals out but there were loads of good restaurants in San Elena. Food at Trapp Family lodge was the best of the hotels we stayed in.
Playa Potrero, Guanacaste
Hotel rooms were impressive and the aircon was a real plus. The bar drinks were particularly good. Food was probably the most expensive of any of the hotels we stayed in, but there were loads of walk able restaurants to try. The subsequent cleaning of our room across the stay was not fab, which would be our only negative comment. The staff were very nice and helpful.