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Costa Rica Canopy and Coast CC

Visiting: Costa Rica
Trip Duration 15 Days
 

Reviews for Costa Rica Canopy and Coast

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

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Costa Rica Canopy and Coast reviews verified by reevooReevoo

101 reviews

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Costa Rica Canopy and CoastScores 8.6 out of 10 based on 101 reviews
(8 out of 10)

Jill

Thame
The variety of wildlife was excellent.
The pace of it was a bit slower than I expected and I was disappointed that there was no option to try to see leatherback turtles. Apart from that, good trip.
Confirmed traveller: 30 April 2017
Published on: 02 May 2017
(9 out of 10)

Derwyn

Ottawa Canada
Overall, very good.
Some closer research would have determined that the National Museum is closed on Easter. We went there but could not get in. Similarly, a reservoir near Turrialba was closed on Tuesdays, which might have been researched before we went there on a Tuesday.
Most days, good tours and timetable.

But the final day itinerary needs to be restructured. We had an aimless Friday morning in Manuel Antonio Park, with no particular activities identified. We left for San Jose at 11:30 am, which meant that we stopped late for lunch (1:00pm) and fought Friday rush hour traffic to get into the city. Then we had only 1/2 hour to see the National Museum before it closed. Clearly, if we had left Manuel Antonio at 9:30 am, we would have stopped for lunch at a convenient 12:00 noon and got into San Jose in time so spend much more time at the National Museum -- and maybe the Gold Museum too. The day was essentially lost.

Tickets and tours were well handled by the guide, who also was adept at spotting wildlife in forests.

Transfers were all good. The driver was terrific, on the available roads.

Accommodation varied a bit, but was all comfortable. Tortuguera was particularly good.

Group size was 11 - a good number, but probably 12 is a maximum
Confirmed traveller: 29 April 2017
Published on: 02 May 2017
(9 out of 10)

Mary

Burnley
A fairly slow paced tour as the walks through the various forests is at a slow pace to enable the spotting of the various birds and animals living and feeding in the foliage.
Confirmed traveller: 23 April 2017
Published on: 26 April 2017
(10 out of 10)

Beverly

Bradford, West Yorkshire
We booked this tour because of the wide variety of activities plus the chance to see a range of wildlife, especially the birds and this trip exceeded all expectations! We chose the end of March beginning of April and this was a good choice because the weather was excellent. We only had one cloudy day with light rain and the rest of the holiday was sunny. It was very hot on the pacific coast so take cool clothes for here at this time of year. At higher levels it was cooler and it was good to have trousers at night. We trekked in shorts and t-shirts for all the walks and you do need walking shoes. I contemplated taking walking boots but at this time of year these are not needed. We were only really bothered with mosquitos when we did a shaded walk behind the hotel in Tortugueo National Park and at night here when we sat out. Take clothes to cover up for this.

It is a must to take a pair of binoculars each for this trip. Jose, our guide, was a bird expert and we were amazed at his bird spotting skills. We wouldn't have seen most of the birds without his expert eye, hearing and knowledge. Jose could name all the birds and he showed us the incredible range of species we saw in his book - The Birds of Costa Rica by Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean. I can recommend this book as we are keen bird watchers and it was good to make a note of all the species we saw each day and then mark them in our book which coincidentally was the same one that Jose had. The icing on the cake was seeing the Quetzal- both male and female in Monteverde. Jose carried his scope with him on all our walks and due to his skill we all saw magnificent views of the birds. Other animals we saw were sloths, racoons, agoutis, coati, anteater and many different types of monkey. Costa Rica really is a wildlife lover's paradise.

The itinerary was excellent and as well as lots of wildlife walks there was the chance to take part in other sporting activities. The walking wasn't strenuous because rather than trekking, the purpose is to spot wildlife so you walk at a slow pace, observing nature. This is entirely what we expected. There are a lot optional activities in this trip so even though it's been said before, take plenty of dollars because we took the advantage of most of these. I can recommend the white water rafting, kayaking along the river in Tortuguero, the zip wires, the canopy bridges, the bird/wildlife watching tours. We also did the waterfall walk in La Fortuna. This is a spectacularly high waterfall and the walk consists of walking down lots of steps, bathing in the plunge pool, then walking back up the steps again - well worth it! Another good walk was in Tortuguero where I did an optional walk to the viewpoint. We saw lots of wildlife again here plus lovely views over the Caribbean.

Jose organised excellent lunch stops on the travelling days which had lovely, good priced food in good locations. The driving was always broken up with stops so it was never tiring. The scenery was amazing and Jose's commentaries about the country were very interesting.

Most of the hotels had large rooms and many had 2 double beds, in Monteverde, Hotel Heliconia, we were all upgraded to a junior suite which had large bath as well as shower, a mezzanine floor and large balcony. La Baula Lodge in Tortuguero did the most amazing meals in a lovely setting at the side of the river. All meals were included here so that was a bonus! El Faro Hotel in Manuel Antonio had the most amazing views of the ocean and the infinity pool was lovely.

In the evening Jose always recommended a good choice of restaurant to eat in and we did a mixture of group meals and also doing our own thing. The prices can be expensive, especially if you like a drink! We took our own duty free from the airport in the UK and it saved us a fortune! A bottle of wine often worked out at 30 dollars a bottle in the restaurants. Still, we were up early every morning so you can't go too mad anyway!

So in summary, this trip is a must for wildlife lovers who enjoy stunning and varied scenery and who also like to do some more adventurous optional activities. Those who want relaxing also have options to choose so there is something on this trip for everyone. We all commented that the trip seemed more like a month than 2 weeks because we fitted so much in. It is a well thought out itinerary, with well chosen hotels and as usual Explore gave us a leader who made the trip that extra special for all of us.
Confirmed traveller: 09 April 2017
Published on: 11 April 2017
(10 out of 10)

Sarah

Salisbury
Tour leader, Jose, was fantastic. Excellent knowledge of the wildlife and country. Informative, friendly and kind. We saw soooo many birds, including the quetzal. Also several sloths, monkeys, an anteater, coatis, agoutis, frogs, spiders and lizards. Loved the hanging bridge walks, the white water rafting and the zip wires, especially superman style! Lucky to have spent the two weeks with a fab group of people, too.
Confirmed traveller: 08 April 2017
Published on: 11 April 2017
(7 out of 10)

Jeremy

London
This is a well thought out trip, covers most things that Costa Rica has to offer. Paulo, our tour leader, was very experienced and helpful. The tour is 90% about wildlife and of that about 80% about birds (the ones that have wings). It was a good experience but for me that is more than enough bird watching. Sloths are tricky to find but we saw a few, one even turned around which is quite something as they are normally fund hunched up with their back to you high up in the trees. Monkey amusing as always. The evening/night walk is recommended as you will different species at that time of the day, even a tarantula if you are lucky or unlucky?
For me the highlight was the Cloud forest in Monteverde. Cooler up there and the largest rooms at the Hotel Heliconia. By the way ignore the reviews on a well known website, quite honestly this was one of the best hotels we stayed at during the trip. Luckily we had sun and no rain, the rain was mainly down in Tortuguero and did it rain. On that subject do not expect it to be rain free just because you are going in dry season, but we only had rain on the Caribbean side. We had temperatures during the day varying between say 20C up in the Cloud forest to 35C down in the Pacific area at the end. Coolest for evening was the Cloud Forest at say 13-15C, rest was 22C+. Take plenty of sun screen and deet mosquito repellent.
For costs while travelling think UK prices as Costa Rica is not cheap, they charge tax and service on top of most prices although some menus show with and without tax. A bottle of beer is about $3-4, lunch maybe $15 and evening meal with say 2 beers, $25-30. Wine is about $7-9 a glass and a bottle about $30+ at restaurants.
Considering the amount paid for the land trip (I bought my own flights) with a single room, which is obviously my choice, I think the hotels were poor. Thankfully we got upgraded for the first two nights as the Villa Tournon for one night was more than enough, no aircon working or hot water. Hotel Wagelia in Turrialba is really poor and the El Faro Beach Hotel is a container hotel that is noisy. Whilst I am happy to pay a single supplement, this is the second time on an Explore trip where people have had single rooms due to uneven numbers without paying the supplement. Somehow this does not seem quite right......
Confirmed traveller: 01 April 2017
Published on: 07 April 2017
(8 out of 10)

Stephen

Rickmansworth
Overall good value some hotels a bit basic may be one the Wagelia highlights quetzal macaws Guayabo and tortuguero however manuel Antonio too busy at 900 hrs for a tour mostly Americans going to the beach no concern for wildlife .tour leader very good as was driver very enjoyable
Confirmed traveller: 19 March 2017
Published on: 23 March 2017
(8 out of 10)

Michael

High Wycombe
A very good tour overall. The highlights were the stay in Tortuguero and looking for birds and animals from the boat, another day there would have been better as only half a day of this didn't seem enough. The stays at Monteverde and Manuel Antonio National Park came a close equal second. Slightly disappointed with the stay at Arenal Volcano as hotel was out of town and had no facilities, like a bar or food other than breakfast. The full day there seemed very rushed for very little other than the hanging bridges walk. So much so that we didn't do the hot springs even though this was included in our deal.
One tip is be prepared for all sorts of weather.
Confirmed traveller: 12 March 2017
Published on: 28 March 2017
(10 out of 10)

Gillian

Canterbury
A fabulous tour, far exceeding all expectations. Excellent tour guide, very knowledgeable and passionate about wildlife. We saw so much, enlivened by his great sense of humour. A beautiful country.
Confirmed traveller: 12 March 2017
Published on: 19 March 2017
(10 out of 10)

Carole

Marlow
An amazing country and an amazing trip. Our tour guide Diego is the David Attenborough of Costa Rica - very proud and very knowledgeable about its history and wildlife. Our tour allowed us to experience the different landscapes, climates and altitudes of this country which is situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. We saw a volcano crater, both 2 and 3 toed sloths, 4 different types of monkey and numerous beautifully plumed birds including the elusive quetzal bird …as well as an orange legged tarantula spider and a poisonous green pit viper whilst on a night walk. The food is excellent and locally sourced – fish and fruit are delicious. Finally, cleanliness…Costa Rica is very clean! You can drink the water, eat the salads/ice-cream and you won’t get a stomach bug. Toilets, even in the middle of a cloud forest are clean and smell free. I thoroughly recommend this tour.
Confirmed traveller: 12 March 2017
Published on: 19 March 2017