Amy May 2023

Mom of 8 & 4 yr olds, traveled with another couple and their 8 yr old
9 day Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, Cloud Forest, Samara beach with eco-Upgrade lodging
We had an absolute blast!  Thank you for planning such an amazing trip for us – it was really a dream come true.
The absolute highlight for us was Jose Pablo.  He was so amazing and absolutely made the trip for us.  I never knew guides like this existing in Costa Rica, and he made the trip so much easier and far more enjoyable.  He was extremely patient and entertaining with our children.  I cannot speak highly enough about him.  Thank you for connecting us with him for this trip.
Some other highlights:
– Hotel Belmar – The Nicoya suites were absolutely stunning, and a highlight for all of us.  The kids were delighted with the bathtub on the deck and the adults loved the views.  We ate at the restaurant multiple times and found it to be kid-friendly, even though it’s high-end.  The staff at the Belmar was also extremely kind and helpful in every regard.
– Spa at Hacienda Guaciplein hotel – Callie and I had massages at the spa.  The services were just okay, but the spa itself is such a treat!  Worth going just for the atmosphere of the spa area.  (We did the 75 minute coffee/mud massage for $110 each.)
– San Lucas Dining Experience – My husband and I did this as a date night in Monteverde, and we loved it.  Definitely a good splurge dinner for couples wanting to do something special in Monteverde.  Not kid-friendly, but very fun for adults.
– Tico Surf School – My husband and I had a wonderful time with our instructor (Emerson) at Pablo’s surf school.  Highly recommend for surf lessons in Samara.  They also rent out beach chairs with umbrellas ($20 for the day).  [Side note: a lot of the information in both your guide and another guidebook I bought for Samara is out of date.  I asked a couple people about this, and apparently there has been a lot of business changes in the area recently.]
– Gusto Beach restaurant – This is a beach-front restaurant in Samara that we ate at most of the time.  They even had beach chairs you can use if you order from the restaurant.  We really enjoyed the food and the nightly shows (fire dancer and reed-tying).
– Gelato at food court in Samara – We all loved this gelato and ate it multiple times.  We’ve all traveled in Italy and think this gelato rivals some of the best gelato from Italy!
We did all experience some stomach trouble during our trip, so your advice about being careful with food/water and bringing stomach medicine is good.  We were all careful and experienced these issues at different times, so I’m unable to pinpoint the root cause.
Thank you again so much for everything!  I plan to send many friends your way!!