Tracy August – September 2023

Mom of 9 and 12 year olds
12 day Cloud Forest, Volcano, Rainforest, Tortuguero tour with eco-Tico & eco-Plus lodges
Overall we really enjoyed our trip! Luis was a great guide and driver.
My boys LOVED the zip lining in Monteverde!! And I managed to enjoy the first time we went. We went the next day too (bribe to my youngest for going on a bird walk in the morning) – he picked Xtremo – to be fair Luis did warn us . . . . That one was less fun for me –  though the boys loved it until we got stuck for 90 min or so at the top of a mountain waiting for a lightning storm to pass.
The whole family loved the white water rafting in Sarapiqui. Our guide (Reydar?) was amazing!  He did a fantastic job knowing the rapids and also was great a pointing out birds and other wildlife. We were even able to extend our trip as he didn’t have an afternoon group. This was the whole families favorite activity.
My husband and I loved staying at the Arenal Observatory Lodge. We could have stayed there at least another day and enjoyed more time exploring their trails and just sitting on our deck watching humming birds. The boys enjoyed the pool and ping pong table. We also lucked out with amazing clear views of the lake and volcano for the large deck the first night.
When we first got back, I was thinking that maybe going 4 places was maybe too many transitions for my family  and that maybe it would be Torteguero I would have skipped because it was quite a bit of travel to get there and the first night at Mawamba was rough as it was very hot and VERY humid with no access to any air conditioning. We were all a bit grumpy. But the next day was less humid and some cloud cover. Plus of course seeing the green sea turtles lay eggs was amazing!  I just asked both boys their thoughts on the trip (see below) and was a bit surprised that they both really liked the Mawamba lodge – I think maybe it was that the pool was central to everything and they liked the food.  I will say that it was nice for us when we were staying places where we could leave the boys  when my husband and I could go off on a “nature” walk – which I guess was true at all of the places except for maybe Monteverde.
I really enjoyed my early morning birding walks with Luis at several locations. We also enjoyed the Sloth Territory in LaFortuna and got to see quite few sloths – including faces and one even moved around a bit. The boys had fun at the Las Laureles  hot springs and went down the water slides a bazillion times – so that was a good hot spring choice for out family and it was nice to see lots of other more local families out enjoying the day.
In Monteverde we enjoyed the night tour and the farm tour though they were both a little bit longer than my youngest would have liked 😉
Favorites from my boys:
Emmett (aged 12)
area: Monteverde
hotel: Mawamba
activity: zip lines and white water-rafting
Jeremy (aged 9):
hotel – Mawamba lodge and Arenal Observatory Lodge – because of the pool and nice place
activity: zip lines and white water-rafting
area: Monteverde  – he said it was because of Bobby (the dog at the Monteverde Villas hotel)
Thank you!