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Quetzals Of The Cloudforest CC

Visiting: Costa Rica
Trip Duration 15 Days
 

Reviews for Quetzals Of The Cloudforest

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

Trip notes

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Quetzals Of The Cloudforest reviews verified by Reevoo

54 reviews

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Quetzals Of The CloudforestScores 8.4 out of 10 based on 54 reviews
(9 out of 10)

Lee and Steph

Worcester
We hit lucky with this trip for a few reasons. Firstly we only had (inc ourselves) four people on the tour which, when creeping up on animals etc, was perfect. Second, we had great weather every day, and although rain sometimes threatened, we never felt a drop. Third, we saw an abundance of animals, sloths, monkeys, Coati's, too many birds too count, it certainly lived up to expectations (and yes, a quick glimpse of the Quetzal)

But most lucky of all, our tour guide was Jose. I cannot praise this man highly enough, he went out of his way every single day to ensure we had a holiday of a lifetime. Nothing was too much for him (and to be honest he had his challenges with our small group!) and his professionalism, knowledge, obvious enthusiasm and energy made him a joy to be with. Thank you Jose, you will be long remembered :-)

Couple of the hotels were very basic and needed tlc, but offset by a couple that were brilliant (Tortuguero springs to mind, i loved that place). Itinerary could be tweaked to make it a bit better.

Our tips
Get the best pair of binoculars you can, and a good zoom camera (> 30x if poss)
Dont fly via Newark, or even via the USA come to think of it
We went in April, no real insect problems until Manuel Antonio where we got bitten to death, pack your deet
Loads of ATM's, no real need for CR Colons, just take US dollars and debit cards
Push yourselves to do the zip lines, terrifying but glad we did it (not doing it again though !)
Pack an everyday rucksack so you can carry the essentials:- lots of water, waterproofs, suncream, camera, bino's and caps which are required every day
Go for that "dry" oil suntan lotion (called Malibu i think), much better on dusty jungle trails and boats. Make sure its factor 30, and take a couple of bottles

And finally, Enjoy, its a brilliant destination :-)
Confirmed traveller: 25 April 2016
Published on: 22 May 2016
(7 out of 10)

Martin

Poole
Great holiday, good itinerary. My 16th Explore holiday.

Explore Leader Marco ranking:

Knowledge of birds, animals, insects and plants, Leadership in forest - 8 score

Friendly and clear communicator. Generous e.g. took us all to visit his mum, where we had drinks and cake - 8 score

Organisation and communicating the itinerary - Poor, not interested, minimum effort - 3 score

Group meetings - Informal in the extreme, Told a few people what was planned for next day, they were supposed to tell the others. Never bothered to put a written next day itinerary up.

Arrived late at the Indian historic village, had to come back next day, which was part of free day. Did not get around to phoning to book the Agricultural Research station until minutes before , no leaders available. Free day a disaster. In general left things to the last minute and winged it when he could.
Confirmed traveller: 05 April 2016
Published on: 20 May 2016
(10 out of 10)

Julia

Cambridgeshire
This was the first Explore trip I have done. The itinerary was excellent and I liked, apart from first and last, that we had at least two nights at each place. José was a terrific guide and made the holiday. He looked after everyone's needs and his knowledge of and love for his country was so evident. A real bonus was his bird knowledge and that, as soon as he spotted something, he had his scope set up so that we all had amazingly good views. nothing seemed to be too much trouble for him....you have a real asset in him.
Tips: don't forget binoculars; I wouldn't worry about waterproof trousers...you won't have time to put them on AND they are so hot, a small telescopic brolly and dri-sacs are much more useful!
Confirmed traveller: 07 April 2016
Published on: 01 May 2016
(9 out of 10)

Alan

Norwich
First of all I must comment that our tour leader, Herman, was outstanding and I say this with the experience of many good tour leaders. His knowledge and depth of experience was excellent and this was reinforced by the comments of many other tour leaders we encountered during our tour of Costa Rica. He was so in tune with the nature of the country and this was infectious amongst our tour group.
The itinerary of the tour was well planned and felt remarkably relaxed. We had spectacular views of the volcanoes at Poas and Arenal. We saw a huge variety of spectacular wildlife - over a hundred bird species, all four monkey species and the two iconic species I had hoped to see -Quetzals and Sloths. However, it all starts with plants and this tour opened my eyes even more to the incredible adaptations of plants in tropical environments.
My favourite parts of the itinerary were definitely Tortuguero and Monteverdi. Of the optional tours I did like the visit to the CATIE research station, the early morning and night walk in Tortuguero and the Bat Jungle in Monteverdi.
Overall the accommodation was good, although I had a feeling of isolation because of the situation of the hotel in San Jose and I would have preferred to have has less time inTurrialba.
As far a tips go - be prepared for any weather. It was remarkabley dry when we were there but it can be very wet. It can be hot and sunny and is usually humid so use high factors suncream. In the evening at high altitude Monteverdi it can be somewhat cool and something a little warmer to wear should be taken.
Overall I would highly recommend this tour. It has left me the lots of photographic images and wonderful memories of the country of Costa Rica and its peoples
Confirmed traveller: 16 April 2016
Published on: 21 April 2016
(9 out of 10)

Joanne

Southsea
Costa Rica offers such a range of wildlife and habitat/landscapes (forests, coast, volcanoes, waterfalls) and this trip really captures that variety. The highlights for me were Torteguero and Manuel Antonio National Park. I also really loved the volcanoes - Poas and Arenal. The nightwalk at Torteguero was great. CATIE and Guayabo were also really interesting. In fact, I enjoyed nearly all!

I'm not sure that we needed three nights at Monteverde - although the accommodation here was very comfortable. I was a bit underwhelmed by the Serpentarium at Monteverde (optional extra) and I thought the nightwalk at Monteverde (optional extra) was not very well run (e.g. noisy groups shining torches into the trees that scared off a group of howler monkeys that were trying to sleep). But overall I thought the itinerary was spot on. The beauty of Costa Rica is that it's quite a small country so, although there are a few rough roads, travel distances between places are not too long.

I saw everything I would have wished to see in terms of wildlife - sloths, all 4 types of monkey that live in Costa Rica, an anteater, toucans and plenty of other birds!

Our guide, Julio, was a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic wildlife guide, offering his expertise on all of the walks - both those on the itinerary and some optional ones.

Tip - the tour does rely on quite a lot of optional extra activities - so it helps to know what these are and how much they cost otherwise you could be left with a bit too much 'spare time' (I think was particularly a potential issue at Monteverde).

Overall, this was a fabulous holiday in a fabulous country!
Confirmed traveller: 10 April 2016
Published on: 19 April 2016
(9 out of 10)

Theresa

Manchester
Whilst not a strenuous trip by any means, it is nonetheless quite 'full-on' in that every day is pretty full and most days start ca 6 am or so. However, if you're interested in wild life, flora & fauna - and ecology, it is terrific. Our guide, Marco, and our driver Rodrigues, went out of their way to ensure we got the most from the trip. Marco's knowledge of Costa Rica's wildlife was terrific - and his obvious pride in his country was really heart warming.
Would advise not relying on use of credit cards as we encountered problems with chip&pin technology in some establishments.
Highlights for us were the (optional) white water rafting and one of the early morning boat trips. The Pacific was pretty memorable as well!
Confirmed traveller: 06 April 2016
Published on: 17 April 2016
(9 out of 10)

Mark and Margaret

Burton upon Trent
Highlights

1, Wildlife viewing,
2, white water rafting on Pacure river,
3, canopy zip wire tour in Monteverdi
4, optional small boat wildlife watching tour in tortuguero (very different to the more commercial included boat tour in the near by area, although both have positive qualities), 5, cultural site at Quyabo and historical info at the museum in San Joseł

Lowlight
Walk to the village in tortuguero (comes after long journey, in our case it was a very hot day, little wildlife interest on the walk and the village was a very commercial tourist area,) personally would have preferred some relax time at the hotel (Mawamba Lodge) with great facilities

Our tour leader, Ron was a great facilitator running a smooth trip, with on site changes to the published itinerary and individual requests attended to without fuss. He has great wildlife knowledge and organised no cost additional bird watching tours in the morning. Our tour group size was 16, some of the hiking trails are narrow and he sometimes had difficulty conveying info to all the group.

Tips

1, Budget for doing as many of the optional tours as your interested in, as otherwise there will be gaps in the tour. Between my partner and I we completed most of the optional tours and could recommend them all.

2, Tour notes and reviews recommend that a full range of clothing is required to cover all eventualities in weather conditions. The tour travels to high cloud forest conditions, and low coastal regions in both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts and so does have a potential for extremes in weather but we travelled in March/April in the dry season and had only one night of rain in three weeks and temperature ranges from 15C to 35C so think about what you pack.

3, Costa Rica may be more developed than you think, but remains an excellent ecological destination.

4, Costs of food, services, tours and travel are not as cheap as in other parts of South America, budget knowing that and you'll have a great time.

5, bear in mind that wildlife viewing and scenery conditions are not guaranteed. We visited Poas volcano and 2 mins after viewing the crater lake the cloud rolled in and everybody arriving later would not have seen it.
Confirmed traveller: 03 April 2016
Published on: 16 April 2016
(8 out of 10)

Bridget

Guildford
This was a fantastic holiday, and fully met my expectations. I particularly loved the rainforest, especially at night.
Confirmed traveller: 10 April 2016
Published on: 15 April 2016
(9 out of 10)

Jean

Wales
Costa Rica is an environmental gem. Saw so much and in variety due to the expertise of the tour leader guide, Marco. Monteverdi and Tortuguero amazing places to stay.
Turrialba not so good for options unless white water rafting.
Confirmed traveller: 12 April 2016
Published on: 14 April 2016
(8 out of 10)

Hilary

London
A great way to discover Costa Rica. My highlight was walking the hanging bridges in the cloud forest. Seeing birds at such close quarters was amazing. A good paced tour, but you need to be fit for there is much walking on uneven, hilly ground. Jose was a magnificent tour leader, his ability to spot wildlife and his knowledge enhanced the experience, plus he knows the best places to eat at every stop. Hotels basic and clean.

My personal tips, find a direct flight and take lots of money as trip notes under estimate the costs of eating, drinking and additional excursions.
Confirmed traveller: 08 April 2016
Published on: 09 April 2016