- We went in February using the premium accommodation option.
It's a good trip. It's not as stunning as say an African safari with big animals but, if you like birds (there are plenty and they're very colourful) and if you enjoy seeing weird new animals like sloths (very cute) or bizarre frogs and lizards, then it's a fun trip.
There were also some thrills from the zip wire (go superman style at the end!), swimming by a waterfall, kayaking in the rain forest, and, for those that chose it, white-water rafting. There was good scenery, especially around the Arenal volcano. Overall there was plenty to photograph.
We had a fun group (16) and our fellow travellers were very good company - plenty of banter. We ate together most but not all evenings and our guide (Paulo) made some great restaurant choices. He proved to be very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and was well-liked. We also had a great driver (Hector). Both accommodated our requests, e.g. on the last Thursday evening to visit the bar inside a 1950s American military plane - yes we did do the dambusters theme! Note: food and drink is not cheap in Costa Rica.
The hotels were indeed above the Explore norm, particularly at Tortuego by the river and at Manuel Antonio (great pool). The San Jose hotel is a bit functional and, as another reviewer mentions, it's out of town. But, due to earthquakes, there isn't really a lot to see in San Jose aside from the museum . It's probably better to be nearer the volcano and airport. By the way, the tap water in the hotels is safe to drink. Some had irons and all but one had safes. Reasonable wi-fi.
The new BA flight from Gatwick is fine - at least we weren't going via Madrid or Miami. As it was simple to get back, we chose to extend our break by 3 nights. So instead of going home on the Saturday, we took an hour's flight south and had three nights in Panama City. It's great - a really attractive old town, some nice bars and restaurants and the opportunity to do a partial transit of the Panama Canal. We flew back to San Jose on the Tuesday morning and took the afternoon flight back to Gatwick.
So, another good trip that can be recommended. Thanks again Explore, Paulo, Hector and our fellow explorers!
Published on: 04 March 2017