10 day Volcano, Cloud, Forest, Samara Beach with eco-Plus lodges
We had a lovely time in Costa Rica, thanks! You itinerary was precise and your activity suggestions were very helpful. José Pablo was very good at organizing the activities we were interested in, and proposing others that were in the area and might fit into the schedule. He was patient with our lateness, found suitable restaurants that might cater to the adult or kid preferences of the moment, and managed those LONG drives.
In terms of the itinerary and trip notes, my only suggestion is that it seemed to me in such highly touristed destinations as Arenal, Monteverde & Samara, that – although you might not want to risk drinking litres of tap water – we became increasingly confident that there was probably not a huge risk of illness from consuming minor amounts in brushing teeth or eating salads. José was equally confident that the salads were probably safe to eat (we continued with some caution, but did eat a few).
I was surprised (although the trip notes fairly warned us!) that Costa Rica is pretty much as expensive as North America. However, we also came to appreciate that it clearly has services and structure (such as the above-mentioned water quality, as well as garbage & recycling services, and a notable lack of panhandling and harassment) befitting of a developed country. We were also disadvantaged by the currently weak Canadian dollar against the US dollar. That being said, your price estimates were accurate so we were well-prepared.
All-in-all we had a great time. My daughter was thrilled to get to go ziplining (tandem) at the Ranarium – and of course, we all loved it. My son has already given a presentation to his Grade 1 class about how to make chocolate with pics (and beans) from the Chocolate Tour. We had a nice mix of walking & activities in Arenal & Monteverde and a nice time with no schedule at the beach. Thanks again for pulling our holiday together so quickly, it was just what we wanted!