We are a pretty well-travelled family - and yet we all concluded this was our favourite country - and our best holiday! Everything ran like clockwork - there were no problems at all which, given we stayed in 6 different hotels and drove ourselves extensively around the country, often on roads we'd never even consider tackling if in the UK, was quite an achievement. Seriously impressed with TravelLocal - from start to finish. Wouter was endlessly patient and helpful when I kept changing our itinerary and once out there, I couldn't believe how efficient and well planned everything was - right down to the excursions and activities in a pretty action-packed itinerary. Costa Rica is a gem - the people are so kind and friendly, you feel completely safe, the roads are (mostly) better than in the UK and the offroad we did was exciting and beautiful and worth all the bumps! Our highlights, in hotel terms were Maquenque Lodge - (my daughter has announced she wants to spend her honeymoon in one of their treehouses!). Breakfasting alongside Toucans and Coatis was very special, as was listening to the jungle cacophony from our treehouse each night and early morning. Ranchos Remo was great in terms of the best view ever over the Pacific (I'll send Wouter a separate review of this hotel which has recently changed hands) and Jinetes de Osa in Drake Bay won points for its stunning location, food and friendliness. I really find it hard to fault CR - the people are lovely, the country is stunningly beautiful, it feels safe, you can drink the water, you're unlikely to get food poisoning, you don't need to take Malarial pills. Apart from the fact that CR is not cheap (which we'd prepared ourselves for in advance, so it wasn't too much of a horrible shock), the only complaint I have was that, thanks to the constant humidity, my hair bore a close ressemblance every day to a wiry mop!! Otherwise, THE BEST! GRACIAS A TODO PARA UNA VACACION MARAVILLOSA!
Friendly, knowledgable, patient, efficient - and when I compared my itinerary to another company, you saved us lots of money!
If I was being picky (which I'm not) then the info you gave us on driving to each hotel wasn't always correct - which is what sent us down an incredibly bumpy offroad track going from La Fortuna down to Uvita (the directions weren't the same as the map drawing) - but we used Satnav all the time anyway, and even that track was an adventure we'll all remember. Really -I'm so impressed and have recommended you already!
All guides were great - really impressive and so knowledgeable. Ones to highlight were Chino at Maquenque - put us all to shame when he told us he'd learnt his near perfect Englsih from an App. Lovely guy. And Orlando in Corcovado - managed to find us everything we wanted to see.
Definitely use TravelLocal! And with regards CR - definitely self-drive. The roads are mostly so good, and although we're both Spanish speakers, our kids weren't and there seemed to be fluent English speakers everywhere. Also, definitely move around the country. I hadn't realised how much the climate would change as we moved around. Our first week was pretty grey and wet because we were in teh east - so it was great to get some sun once we reached the west coast.
Waking up in the Maquenque lodge treehouse to see ourselves surrounded by thick jungle - and falling asleep there knowing all the eyes of the jungle were on us!! The Zipwire at La Fortuna was the most exhilerating part and the view from our room at Ranchos Remo on Christmas Day the most beautiful