After studying the huge variety of tour operators and different tours on offer that leave from San Jose every day, I decided to go with Expediciones Tropicales. This choice wasn’t really down to price, as the tour I had decided to choose was virtually the same as any of the others on offer. It was down to the detailed information they provided about each of the tours they run.
After hours (a slight exaggeration there!), I decided that the $82 4-in-1 tour was the best for our time limit of one day. This tour took in Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfalls, Sarapiqui River, and Braulio National Park. Other tours on offer included trips around San Jose, the rainforest, coast and tropical paradise islands.
The tour started very punctually and the guide was very informative on all aspects of Costa Rica, from the urban landscape of San Jose to the complex geological structures of the surrounding landscape.
After stopping at Doka Coffee Plantation for breakfast, we made our way to Poas Volcano. I was a little worried, as I had read that those arriving after 10am have little chance of seeing the crater due to the influx of clouds. Luckily we managed to arrive just before the clouds rolled in, allowing some beautiful photo moments. Afterwards we made the short trip to La Paz Waterfalls. La Paz Waterfalls are a series of waterfalls, each one as spectacular and magical as the last. For me this was the highlight of the tour.
Unfortunately, after leaving La Paz Waterfalls, a severe traffic accident put price to any further activities, and this is one of the main reasons I felt willing to write this review. Expediciones Tropicales was totally professional throughout, as we sat in a traffic jam for nearly 2 hours. The guide kept us updated almost every 5 minutes, and to stop other tourists getting restless, he was able to not only point out a variety of wildlife from the vehicle, but he was also polite enough to go and find a shop in the pouring rain and come back with strawberries for everyone. I believe such customer service in the face of adversity is a sure sign of quality! Other tour companies I am sure would have just turned around and headed back to San Jose at the first opportunity.
Even though we were unable to finish the tour, I have a lot of respect for this company and the way they conducted themselves and would highly recommend using them to anyone interested. More information on the variety of tours and prices can be found on their website at www.costaricaonfo.com. They also do a 2-in-1 tour of only Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfalls for $70, a tour I would have taken if knowing the future circumstances!