Holiday review by Paul Devanney
Name: Paul Devanney
Date of trip: 12/03/2020
Number of people: 2
Spotting a pair of Resplendent Quetzals looking for a nesting place in the Cloud Forest which we understood were not easy birds to see. At the Hotel Capitan Suizo the wildlife comes to you in the shape of iguanas, the local blue crested jays and grackles (which make mealtimes interesting) and howler monkeys. In fact, the best wildlife photos I managed to get on our trip were taken from the bar at this hotel - win win, as they say!
A really interesting itinerary showing a diverse range of regions, landscapes and wildlife in Costa Rica.
Particular thanks to Paul in your office who was unfailingly knowledgeable, quick to respond to any query, whether by phone or email. He was pro-active and gave sensible and practical advice particularly as the coronavirus started to impinge more on the latter part of our trip. We wouldn't hesitate to use your agency again.
All the local guides were enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Some spoke better English than others. However, they all went out of their way to show us interesting things and to give back-stories to places and events.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
Yes, our overall impression was that the locals we met were committed to environmental responsibility.
The places you stayed
Nice place and helpful, pleasant staff, but the rooms are a bit basic. Nonetheless clean and tidy and fine for an overnighter.
Tortuguero National Park
Accommodation is comprised of large cabins dotted around within the rainforest itself. As such, it is about as unique as it gets. The torrential downpours in the wee small hours are entertaining pounding as they do on corrugated roofs! Surprisingly, it is a benign and soporific sound. We felt that although the cabins were spacious they didn't use the space effectively, eg. wardrobe space was limited, and the rooms generally could do with a makeover. The food was OK, but a tad basic and repetitive.
A quirky hotel set high in the Cloud Forest above Monteverde and my personal favourite hotel of the trip. If you like timber lined rooms with a ski lodge ambience then this is the place for you. The rooms are large and comfortable and have a decent amount of storage space. The staff are unfailingly polite and helpful, particularly in the bar and restaurant. The restaurant menu is reasonable and varied. Be aware that the Cloud Forest is at in excess of 1500m and in the dry season is very cool and windy (trade winds) - you'll definitely need some warmer clothing here.
A lovely boutique hotel set in extensive gardens backing on to the beach. We had a balcony room with a large 4 poster bed and sitting room area. It was tastefully furnished with not one, but two ceiling fans! They were silent too. The air conditioning worked a treat and, for once, didn't seem to dry the air out too much during the night. The food is good here and is all waiter service, even the breakfast. We prefer buffet breakfasts, but with all the visiting wildlife a buffet may well have been courting disaster! The jays and grackles may not agree with that point.