Holiday review by Ann Clark

Name: Ann Clark

Date of trip: 30/11/2019

Number of people: 2

Wow factor of the rooms we stayed in - Arenal and Corcovado Seeing so many Toucans and monkeys, watching them feeding in the trees for ages Beautiful views from the internal flights. Gravel runways and airports in the middle of nowhere! First try at zip lining - including the Tarzan swing in Aventura Monteverde 2 hour boat transfer to get to Corcovado Never been wetter than when walking in Arenal in an all day downpour - close 2nd was the boat trips in Tortuguero

  • Restaurant and bar at Alta Hotel

     

  • The pool and restaurant at Alta Hotel

     

  • Alta Hotel bedroom

     

  • Alta Hotel terrace

     

  • Mawamba Lodge

     

  • Lomas del Volcan

     

  • Hotel Belmar

     

  • Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

     

  • Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

     

  • Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

     

  • Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

     

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Tribes Overall:

Really well organised and stress free. A brilliant holiday.

Tribes Service:

Can't fault Tribes arrangements and pre booking information. Alex was very patient with all my changes !

Guides:

The private transfers arranged by Tribes were excellent. The driver, Minor, that took us from Arenal lake to Monteverde deserves a special mention as he spotted lots of birds for us on the way and kept stopping for us to take pictures of wildlife and views. He took us to a local cafe too for food en route. The boat across the lake was also a leisurely bird spotting trip.
We did not book any guided hikes through Tribes, only via the hotels.

Social & Environmental Responsibility:

The lodges were all Eco style and doing their best to protect the environment, with employment for local people in the hotels and transport services.


The places you stayed

Restaurant and bar at Alta Hotel

Alta Hotel

Costa Rica

Excellent hotel, very roomy with lovely views. We did not try the restaurant as seemed quite expensive when only a snack was needed. Only issue for us was the location, not being able to safely go out for a proper walk from the hotel to get some exercise. The road outside did not have a pavement but we did risk the short walk along it to the local bar which was excellent for cheap drink and snack.


Mawamba Lodge

Mawamba Lodge

Costa Rica

This was our least favorite accomodation of the trip really so glad it was the first.
Plane transfer in was very good.
Reception and management are hidden away and don't really appear.
On arrival we met the tour leader assigned to the 39 people that arrived that day. It was a bit of a zoo with time hanging around waiting for them to split the group up into smaller units for some of the activities.
The food was very good buffet style.
We had a superior room but it wasn't obvious, still dark and hot, the fan was not over the bed so didn't give full benefit.
Lovely pool and gardens with plenty of toucans and other wildlife easy to see.
Paid for the extra morning bird spotting boat trip but were disappointed that it remained in the main river. They would not run the preferred kayak trip due to high water levels, although people from other places were doing it.
Unfortunately there was heavy rain on the boat transfer out so we didn't see anything. The landing area was up a grassy bank with nowhere covered to wait, so we got onto the coach with suitcases and selves pretty soaked. We had not been pre-warned or given any assistance to get bags waterproofed, other than having to go to the office to request bin bags.
So different at Corcovado, but I expect there is a big cost difference.


Lomas del Volcan

Lomas del Volcan

Arenal

Beautiful hotel, gounds and rooms. Appreciated the air conditioning, such a treat after Tortuguero.
Unfortunately heavy rain for most of the stay means we could not appreciate the views from our room and the hotel restaurant and didn't use the pool. We still saw plenty of birds in the grounds though, including toucans.
We loved the happy hour in the open-air bar and our friendly, flexible bar man.
Food in the hotel was very good, and because it was quiet even the breakfast was a-la-carte except for our last morning.
Roberto on reception was very helpful.
Walked into Arenal town and got a taxi back.Be warned, it was dearer than the hotel for beers!
Only minor gripe, was that we did a hike into Juan Castro Blanco National Park with a guide organised by the hotel. It was a good day out but not quite what was advertised on the website or room info. with less bird life than expected. However we paid for a group trip but had the guide for just the two of us. Should have stuck to a Tribes organised hike maybe!

H


Hotel Belmar

Hotel Belmar

Costa Rica

Fabulous facilities. Restaurant not cheap but we had the nachos bar snack between us one evening that was economic, plentiful and the best I have ever had.
Beautiful views, sunset and rainbows from the restaurant terrace and a second terrace in the tea room, for watching the humming birds.
Very close to the national parks, but also there are rough roads that you can walk from the hotel, up hill and into the forest. Saw lots of monkeys and Coati there.
Loved the Aventura zip line and canopy walk.
Kinkajou night walk was good but a but too commercialised and busy. We were not particularly impressed with the guide supplied by the hotel that took us into Curi Cancha, and would preferred to have had gone on our own and taken longer.


Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

Costa Rica

The best ! This place really has the wow factor. Our room, set in a huge private garden area was beautiful, as are the other buildings spread out in the gardens.
2 hour boat transfer from Palmar Sur airport was a real adventure in itself to start off a great 3 days. Well organised with dry bag protection for all your luggage and snacks and drinks provided.
All the staff were lovely and there is real laid back vibe. It is not at all pretentious. The food is good home cooked style food, with a choice of 2 mains selected earlier in the day.
The beaches are stunning, fun tractor taxi up the hill to the hotel and great views and sunsets from the top.
Both the national park hike and the Cano Island snorkelling trips were amazing and unrushed.
I wish we had another day to be able to take part in some of the optional extra activities, such as the kayaking.
So sad to leave, but another flawless transfer back via Drake Bay airport, leaving just happy memories.