Costa Rica on our own terms

We have now been back for a week and it has taken us that time to settle back home and appreciate the truly amazing, brilliant trip that you organised for us. We were absolutely thrilled with Costa Rica - everything was wonderful - your efficiency in San Jose, every single lodge without exception was really comfortable, excellent food and very nice atmosphere; every trip you organised for us such as the volcano trek with Minor, the hanging bridges tour with Anjie in Arenal, the bird trek with Elvin in Monteverde, and with Antonio in Carara and finally with Jose in Corcovado - each was excellent, and very informative and the guides did their utmost to ensure that we saw everything we wanted to see, which was not always easy! We did take two further specialist bird trips, one in Arenal with Nestor Villalobos, and one in Monteverde with Adrian Mendes and I would seriously recommend both for anyone particularly passionate about birds. They knew all the calls and exactly where to find any birds that were about. The only thing in the entire trip which was a slight disappointment was our first guide, Carlos, who accompanied us to Tortuguero. He just didn't seem particularly interested in passing on his obvious knowledge in English and gave the worst presentation we have ever attended. However, with the great boat drivers etc, we didn't feel that we missed anything in Tortuguero. Everywhere we were met with very nice people, very efficient pick-ups, and the car hire worked perfectly. Your idea for us to go to Carara was inspired and shouldn't be missed, especially that Cerro Lodge. We also loved Johnny in Finca Maresia (and all the cats and dogs) who was a perfect host to end our trip with. Our recommendations would be that everyone should drive themselves - so easy and a lovely way to see the country. Your idea to fly back from Drake Bay was inspired and very easy and fun. I would also recommend that, unless people are sun worshippers, May is a fabulous month to visit. We had lots of sun, some torrential rain but that didn't ruin anything and the best thing was a lack of people, especially in Quepos and Manuel Antonio. (We almost had the beach to ourselves as we went first thing in the morning). All in all, a fabulous trip which far exceeded our expectations in every way. Thank you for organising it so well for us and we won't hesitate to recommend Costa Rica and yourselves to any friends wanting to visit. Please feel free to use any of the above as a review. Nicky and James Vyvyan-Robinson

Nicky, from United Kingdom

Visited Costa Rica in

Overall rating

Planning

Guides

Transportation

Value

96% of our customers would recommend us to a friend.

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What was good about our local partner based in Costa Rica?

Hugely helpful. Very efficient. Great ideas for lodges and additional locations. Organised really good additional trips in each place. Everything worked perfectly all around the country - obviously the local agent has a good reputation with each lodge we stayed in. Understood the fact that we are avid birders and recommended excellent guides. Couldn't have worked better.

What could our local partner based in Costa Rica improve on?

Overall, completely excellent.

What did you think about the guides or drivers on your trip?

All guides and boat drivers were excellent and very knowledgable apart from one in Tortuguero, but luckily the boat drivers there were very sharp-eyed and knew their area, so we didn't feel we missed out at all.

What advice would you give to other travellers planning a trip to Costa Rica?

Definitely go. Don't hesitate. Drive yourselves. Roads are safe but you need 4WD. People are very friendly. Go in May or a shoulder season of the rainy season as then there aren't so many people especially on the Pacific side. Personally, I would have found in too frantic there to go in the dry season and feel that the ambience would have been changed, and not for the better! Do take the little plane back from Drake Bay to San Jose. Saves a long drive and it is safe and fun with wonderful views.

What was the most memorable part of your trip?

Travelling to and from Corcovado NP and the Osa Peninsula but there were so many highlights this is very difficult to say.

How likely are you to recommend TravelLocal?

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Our local partner based in Costa Rica replied...

Hi Nicky, How nice is to hear back from you! I appreciate you took the time to write such a nice review. I am more than happy to hear you had such a wonderful time in Costa Rica, I will pass your message to all the tour guides and to my colleague Henry as well, they will be happy to receive it. I will also have a conversation with our colleagues from Laguna Lodge about Carlos. I appreciate that you informed me about that as well so we can work on the improvements necessary. Last but not least, it was a big pleasure for us to help you organize your trip! All the best from Costa Rica, Mariana

Our local partner based in Costa Rica