In June of 2008, we took our first "real " trip together. It was an adventure thru Costa Rica with plans made little more than 24 hrs in advance. We had our tickets and our first nights lodging and that was about it.
by kbyfield on April 28, 2010
Upon arriving in La Fortuna, we where underwhelmed with the options for lodging. Either you paid thru the nose fo a hot springs resort of you stayed in a Best Western that looked shockingly like 1950's Soviet Bloc design.Off a side street we found a lovely hotel which may not have been overly exciting to look at or visit but which was very clean, VERY quiet and a wonderfully relaxing place to stay. The hotel is family run (they live on site) and all fo the staff is very helpful in arranging trips or transport.
Tabacon is sold as a high(er) end resort with a hot springs attraction. It's certainly expensive (even moreso when you compare to normal rates for Costa Rica) and it does have hot springs but it's by no means worth the money. We ended up there as part of the volcano tour (don't bother) and paid signifcanlt less than the regular rates. We didnt stay there but had access to the hot springs and the buffet dinner. The springs are very relaxing and after a week in CR, it felt good to sit in them for a while. It happened to be slightly raining the night were visited so we had it nearly to ourselves. It actually made it quite enjoyable tohave the cool light rain on yoru face while sitting in a very hot pool.The buffet was fine, nothing to exciting. Lots of fruit, etc but aside from the decor, nothing you couldn't find at a sunday brunch back in the states.
Recommended by our hotel (Arco Iris Lodge in Monteverde), the Aventura Canopy Tour is one of many 'zip line' tours in Costa Rica. Having never been on one before, I can't provide any comparison but what we did do was amazing!The staff was quite friendly, despite having to deal with dozens of annoying tourists all day, every day. The "pre-flight" safety instruction was VERY well done (I have some rock/tower climbing experience and was impressed with how well they did) and they do a good job of easing you into the more exciting parts of the tour.As you'd expect, they save the best for last and the final line was between 2 peeks, over a large valley. If I recall correctly, it was 900 m long, 150 m high. At the end of the lines, they then take you to the "Tarzan Swing" where you climb (stairs) a small tower, strap to a suspended rope and fall off and swing into a pendulum swing. Taking that step off the platform is a real test of faith as unlike the zip line where you fell the harness around you, when you step off, you're literally in free fall until the rope tightens up (you don't even feel that happen - no body jarring yank).
by kbyfield on April 27, 2010
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is nearly beyond description. It is NOT a rain forest, but rather a cloud forest. The area is teaming with wildlife, insects, and amazing plants. IF you go, you would be wise to pay the extra $25 for a trained guide as withoutone, you'll miss a majority of the things to see. Our guide was able to spot wildlife that NONE of our group could find until he pointed it out to us. Granted, he does this for a living but his skills were amazing.Once you finish the tour, be sure to visit the hummingbird area. Once you get over the initial uncomfortableness of having birds swarm your head, you'll find yourself mezmorized by the swam of featherd friends that vie for a spot on one of the many feeders.
Simple, quiet, clean. Exactly what we were looking for. Why stay at an American style hotel when you can sleep in a relaxing wood cabin? What appears to be a collection small Swiss building in the mountains of Costa Rica is actually a very well run hotel. A bit off the main drag and down a dirty path is one of the nicest places we came across. Excellent breakfasts, local monkeys giving a show out the window and resident dogs that want little more than to sleep and be scratched.Be sure to ask the staff about the Rosewood gallery - the CHEAPEST wood bowls and whatnot you can find. FAR FAR nicer than anything sold in the local shops and you're giving money right to the artist. If you speak Spanish, ask him to show you his gardens!!
From the street, this small hotel is nothing to look at. In fact, It's kind of ugly and at first, we thought we'd made a huge mistake. Upon entering, we quickly realized that we had a gem. The hotel appears to be 2 old houses with a central courtyard. The rooms are all VERY comfortable (think Home comfort, not 5star comfort), the staff VERY helpful, and the gardens simply stunning. I've mentioned this to everyong I know who'd traveling to San Jose. Upon entering the front doors, the bleakness of San Jose melts away
by kbyfield on April 26, 2010
First class all the way! From the moment we were met outside out hotel in the morning to being dropped off at night, the staff of Rios Tropicales took excellent care of us. This was my first time rafting and they made it an adventure I'll never forget. Many people in out group were highly experienced rafters and they shared my opinion of the company.
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