Frank, July 2013

Frank, dad of 6 yr old who traveled with his family and mother (aka grandma)
12 day Cloud Forest-Volcano-Rainforest-Beach Itinerary, eco-plus lodging, July 2013

“Here are our notes / tips from our trip:

  1. Buena Vista hotel
    Loved the location. Some rooms are fantastic (looking out over city). Some rooms are a little loud (rooms that are near front of hotel, right over where workers start arriving at 6am). Play area in back is nice, we didn’t realize it was there until our second stop on way out. Breakfast was great.
  2. Monteverde
    Loved Arco Iris EcoLodge, people at front desk were great, laundry was inexpensive (nice touch), breakfast was great, nice to be able to walk to things. We went zip-lining with Ben at the little place right in town (Ranarium, walking distance from hotel), this was good for us because we weren’t sure how much he would like this. It was a very small group, not too many zips (and drops), people helping out were very nice. Ben loved the tarzan swing at the end, he could have done that 25 times. We went on a night hike which was a lot of fun, just a bit too much stand-and-talk-about-things-that-we-might-see-in-the-trees for Ben.
  3. Arenal
    Loved Arenal Observatory Lodge, what a nice spot. Just wish we could have been there 5 years ago to see eruptions :-). Ben, Beth, and I hiked up Cerro Chato – that was a good strenuous hike. We hiked to the top but did not hike down into the caldera to the lake… while we were at the top we heard that a lady broke her ankle on the hike down to the lake and was waiting to be rescued… I’m pretty sure she didn’t get to a hospital or other medical facility for at least four hours… so that was a bit sobering to consider, and made us watch our step on the way down.
  4. La Fortuna
    We stopped at a restaurant that Luis likes and there was a community pool next door… Ben was dying to swim in the pool because it had a big water slide and a tarzan swing… Luis wasn’t much in favor of it, said the water wouldn’t be too clean, but we went anyway and had a great time… tons of kids and very little adult supervision, but everything worked out just fine.
  5. Saripiqui
    Loved Selva Verde, a little loud some nights with student groups sitting around on their balconies and talking / playing music until late, but nothing terrible. We ate at the a la carte restaurant both nights which was ok but nothing stunning. We went on the chocolate tour and that was a lot of fun.
  6. Cahuita
    Loved the guy running El Encanto B&B… but it was just too hot and humid here for me (and for Ben). I must have taken 5 cold showers a day plus we spent a lot of time in the pool, but still… too much for me. Plus Ben and Beth both got eaten alive by something… no matter how much bug spray we put on. We liked the little town, and Hector (the one cab driver) was very helpful… but we probably wouldn’t go back, and we’d tell people to consider how heat & humidity resistant they are before planning a trip here. We went to tree of life (walked there… not a great decision) and had a great time there… but they are only open very few hours on a few days a week, so best to call in advance. We walked through the natural park and that was very pleasant (except for the additional bug bites that Ben and Beth picked up there).We rented bikes from Brigette and then had Hector pick us up after dropping them off later that night…  probably we should have rented bikes before Luis left town, then just kept them all three days and dropped them off before we left. Brigette was great, even changing a tire so Ben could have a red bike he really wanted.
  7. Luis
    It was *so* nice that Luis is a birder… he and my mom went out pretty much every morning for birding, plus when we wanted to do something ourselves that was more than my mom could do (zip-lining, hiking Cerro Chato, etc), we could have my mom go with Luis for birding. We always felt completely safe with Luis driving, which was nice.

Overall… we are very glad that we used you to setup the trip, it was so nice to have all the details worked out in advance!”