Holiday review by Mr. David Irving

Name: Mr. David Irving

Date of trip: 23/01/2020

Number of people: 2

A howler monkey waking us at first light from the tree next to our lodge. The hanging bridges walk. A boat trip on Arenal lake. The Monteverde National Park The visit to a coffee/chocolate/sugar plantation My first yoga session (?)

  • Hotel Presidente lobby

     

  • Twin room at Hotel Presidente

     

  • Park near Hotel Presidente

     

  • Breakfast at Hotel Presidente

     

  • Lomas del Volcan

     

  • Trapp Family Lodge

     

  • Bahia del Sol pool and gardens

     

  • Standard room at Bahia del Sol

     

  • Bahia del Sol on Potrero Beach

     

  • Yoga class at Bahia del Sol

     

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Tribes Overall:

A really stimulating and memorable experience

Tribes Service:

Paul was able to deal with all our queries before and during the trip. The problem with our booking at Evergreen lodge had been resolved with alternative accommodation before we had even landed. The test of a service provider is how quickly and efficiently problems are dealt with.

Guides:

Uniformly excellent. All were very enthusiastic and knowledgeable and seemed able to answer all questions . This was true even for tours not booked in advance.

My strong advice to anyone contemplating going to Costa Rica is always go on a guided tour, especially in the national parks. Although one can go independently, I doubt that you will spot much of the wildlife.

Social & Environmental Responsibility:

Environmental responsibility seems to be taken very seriously, especially in the national parks. It was a joy to see our tour boat make a small diversion to pick up a floating Coke bottle. With the possible exception of San Jose, which we only saw in the dark, the country appears litter free!

We have sometimes felt uncomfortable when visiting poorer countries as tourists, essential for the local economy, are seen as a necessary evil to be exploited. We never felt any resentment from Costa Ricans, or any suggestion that we should be exploited to the maximum. Everyone seemed very pleased to welcome our visit, and although we were initially sceptical, the welcome was so widespread we are now convinced it is genuine.


The places you stayed

Hotel Presidente lobby

Hotel Presidente

Costa Rica

This seemed a good hotel, although we were only there for a few hours sleep before an early start.

The drive from the airport was tedious, and what we saw on the drive out of San Jose confirmed what we had been told by friends, I.e. it is a bit of a dump.

I don’t know if it feasible to find an hotel nearer the airport which fits in with tour itineraries without making long journeys even longer. If so, it would be preferable - the only benefit of going into San Jose is to make the rest of the country seem even more attractive.


Lomas del Volcan

Lomas del Volcan

Arenal

Very comfortable accommodation in lovely gardens. The restaurant was a bit disappointing, seeming a little too international when we wanted more Costa Rican cuisine. However the food served at the bar was more authentic and very good.

Although the hotel has a superb location with views of the volcano, it is some way from the nearest town, which limits options.


Trapp Family Lodge

Trapp Family Lodge

Costa Rica

Walking distance to the National Park, but quite a trip to town. With hindsight we would have done better with a hotel closer to town.

The hotel was good, but the provision of seating for guests wanting to sit outside in the sun was woefully inadequate.

The staff were very friendly and helpful.


Bahia del Sol pool and gardens

Bahia del Sol

Costa Rica

Ideal for a few days’ relaxation by the beach, but probably not for any longer stay. The grounds are beautiful and the staff welcoming and helpful.

We had an animal/bird? scratching around during the night (especially the first night) that sounded as if it were in the space between our ceiling and the room above.