Pernille, June-July 2019

Pernille, mom of 10, 6, 6, 5 yr olds, traveling with family + grandparents
12 day Rainforest, Volcano, Cloud Forest, Samara Beach Itinerary with combo Tico & Plus lodging

Thank you again for an incredible trip. It was an amazing experience that we will not forget.
First of all, Jose was incredible. Not only was he so incredibly knowledgeable, but his enthusiasm, kindness, humor, and ability to be with the kids were out of this world. Our trip simply would not have been as good had it not been for Jose. He went above and beyond any call of duty in order for us to have a great trip, was always relaxed, and ready with ideas, constantly searching for wildlife and a neverending source of knowledge no matter our questions. He was so kind, in fact, that our son told us that his favorite part of the entire trip was being with Jose.

Where we stayed was good too, while the family suite in Chilamata Eco-Retreat was great, the smaller cabin that my parents had is not one we would recommend, it was claustrophobic to say the least. The service at the resort was wonderful too, although we would advise against having the staff cook dinner for you thought there, for $18 a person it was not worth the price. We went to a pineapple plantation tour here which was outstanding, the owner/guide was amazing with the kids and showed us so many things. This tour was the best tour we took on the whole trip and lunch was even included. We saw more wildlife there then we did on the rainforest reserve tour.

Here is what else we did and whether we would recommend it for people with kids:
Tirambina – it was pretty cool for the first place but we didn’t see that much wildlife – we saw more on the plantation tour and it wasn’t because the kids were loud.
Wildlife boat ride – this was a cool experience and Jose got us a good price from the guide, we would recommend this.

Arenal Oasis Lodge – was incredible, great rooms, yummy food (rained the whole time pretty much) but just amazing still.
Volcano tour – definitely a great hike, with great views, good price
La Catarata de la Fortuna – excellent even in the pouring rain
Mistico hanging bridges – beautiful but I think we did too many hanging bridges – so if you were only going to do one, I would do Selvutura in Monteverde and not the others.
Chocolate tour – a great interactive chocolate tour that the kids also enjoyed a lot. Great staff, yummy chocolate, and fun.
We ate lunch at the local panaderia both days which worked out really well.

Monteverde –
We didn’t do anything the day we arrived but just walked around in the small town – it was great to take some time off and not do anything. We had ice cream and tea/coffee from downtown, great.
Both nights we ate dinner at the pizzeria right by the hotel – cheap, decent food, prices were excellent compared to the other restaurants.
Monteverde Villas Lodge – kind, friendly staff, great breakfast, our rooms got messed up but they fixed it so we were able to stay together.
We went horseback riding which was a fun time for the kids, Jose came with us because we needed another adult (despite being uncomfortable with horses!), it was 1 1/2 ride through the forest, fun and worth the money.
Selvatura – so expensive! We paid $260 for our family of 6, that included the hummingbirds and butterfly gardens. I would only go to this hanging bridges and skip the others or skip this one altogether. The hummingbird garden was a huge hit with the kids, by this time our kids were hiked out though.

Playa Samara
Amazing villa {Villas Kalimba}! It was truly incredible, we would have loved to spend another night there rather than end at Hotel Aeropuerto. In fact, I would recommend that and just have people get up early to go to the airport, Hotel Aeropuerto’s restaurant was very expensive and there is just nothing to do there. For the first night, it was fine, but it was a let down to come back for another night at the end.
We ate at two local restaurants and also at Gusto beach (we waited for our ride there) and despite it being expensive it was worth it. We rented boogie boards which was fine but did nothing else planned there. We loved ending our vacation here. We did not do the meal with Roberto as it was $25 a person.

Overall, we are so grateful for this incredible trip to Costa Rica. We could not have planned this experience without your knowledge so thank you! We will be sure to recommend your services to friends who are also looking to go to Costa Rica.

We didn’t see any scorpions, the only indoor critter we saw was a spider in Arenal.