Holiday review by Mrs Patricia Staniforth
Name: Mrs Patricia Staniforth
Date of trip: 31/01/2020
Number of people: 2
Wonderful holiday, loved it. Everything very well organised.
Arrangement of the trip with Paul was fine. We felt that as it was a personalised tour, the itinerary should have excluded irrelevant information (such as National Parks we weren't going to) and continuing reference to adventurous activities (such as zip lining and white water rafting) that we weren't going to be able to fit into our programme. You appear to have been unaware that the Poas volcano erupted three years ago, and trips there are limited to 20 minutes (with hard hats on!) with none of the trails or the museum are open. The local information given to us on arrival was confusing in its layout, we had to work at it! But it all worked out very efficiently.
The Vamoos app was of very little use! Some information not applicable and some out of date (eg Poas) and maps of limited use.
All very knowledgable, very friendly, spoke excellent English (except the guide at Bosque de Paz, who didn't speak English, but knew the English names of all the birds we saw (and heard)!)
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
A lot of concern about the environment and many local people employed in the tourist industry, all very friendly and helpful. We felt a bit of concern about the number of people in Manuel Antonio reserve; some control of numbers might be necessary.
The places you stayed
Incredible place, architecture and artistry combined to make a really unique place. Enjoyed the view, the plants, the pool and the trails.
Tortuguero National Park
Loved it, even in the pouring rain! Enjoyed the restaurant arrangements, meeting people in the dining room. Lots of wildlife on site, saw our first sloths (drenched by the rain!)
A bit concerned on arrival by the manicured lawns and lack of trails, but there were lots of birds and we enjoyed the pools. We added a float trip down the river to our itinerary - any more adventurous activities needed a whole day. All the cabins had a view of the volcano, so could be forgiven for their rather regimented rows!
Between San Jose and Arenal
To be remembered for the humming birds and tanagers on the feeders!
And the coaties, agoutis and pacas that visited the garden. The only place where the animals were fed, and it was wonderful to see them.
Staff keen to help with identification. Lovely trails through the forest.
We didn't really like the Parador, too big and rather pretentious! The only place that didn't try and find us a room before check in time at 3.00 (we had to wait until 3.30. for our key in temperatures in the 90s). Having said that, there were lots of birds (sloths, too), good forest trails and excellent meals on the dining room terrace.
Near San Jose
Too short a visit, wondered why we were going so far from the airport for just one night, but it was such an interesting place (based on coffee production!) that we were pleased to experience it.