Kimkim Trip Reviews for Costa Rica

4.9
Based on 394 ratings
Read 394 verified reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim. You can also read reviews about kimkim on 3rd party sites including Google, TrustPilot and Yelp.

Yay Kimkim!!!
Costa Rica | Aug 1 - Aug 10, 2022

Sherrie
Sherrie D.
Los Angeles, CA | Reviewed on Oct 06, 2022

We were so pleased with how easy it was to book our trip w/KimKim. Loved how it was all done online, easy breezy. Our guide, Olman, was so responsive and quick to make adjustments as requested. He curated the perfect trip for our family of 4 (two kids 10 and 7), and when my son had an unexpected accident, they were SO incredibly helpful and accessible at all hours.

Day 1: Arrived late night into SJC and as promised our ride was ready and waiting to take us to our hotel, The Radisson, not... read more

We were so pleased with how easy it was to book our trip w/KimKim. Loved how it was all done online, easy breezy. Our guide, Olman, was so responsive and quick to make adjustments as requested. He curated the perfect trip for our family of 4 (two kids 10 and 7), and when my son had an unexpected accident, they were SO incredibly helpful and accessible at all hours.

Day 1: Arrived late night into SJC and as promised our ride was ready and waiting to take us to our hotel, The Radisson, not too far from the airport. Perfectly adequate for an overnight stay. We literally just slept. Hotel breakfast was meh, but again adequate.

Day 2 (sorry, it's long, but relevant): Radisson hotel breakfast was just meh, but fine. Our driver was ready and on time for the 4 hour drive to Puerto Viejo. Note that the drive feels LONG. Much of the road is under construction so it isn't particularly pretty, and because there are so many trucks, the fumes were annoying. We were so excited to reach our hotel, Le Cameleon, which was lovely. Very boutique, though we weren't so thrilled with the service of the one young woman that seemed to always be working the front desk. So unhelpful. I really wish I could remember her name. Never smiled. Never followed through when we made a request (a box of tissue in our room, that the hotel jacuzzi be turned on..). Because our room wasn't ready when we arrived, we went to the hotel restaurant on the beach which was very pretty, but VERY SLOW, so plan accordingly if you have a tour to catch. We weren't actually able to eat our breakfast the next morning, because our driver was on-time and breakfast (despite having a reservation 90 minutes before our pick up time), had to be packed to-go. Anyway, back to today and our unfortunate incident. The restaurant had aerial trapeze ribbons freely dangling from the trees (they offer lessons), which many children were playing on, so of course our kids joined in. Moments later, our son fell HARD from the ribbons and as we found our later, he broke his collarbone. No one from the restaurant acknowledged the injury or helped in any way. The woman at the fort trek was SO unhelpful when we asked about a doctor. She have us a business card and said that they "may or may not be open." Didn;t offer to call or anything, while my son is sitting there in pain, saying he's going to throw up and sweating profusely. She eventually burdened herself enough to call a taxi for us. While there are private doctors in Puerto Viejo, the only doctor open did not have an x-ray machine, so after being seen by him, we drove 90 minutes into Limon via taxi to be seen at the public hospital. BUT, here's where KimKim was great! I called them to find out what would happen if we needed to cancel our trip which had only just begun. They were SO nice and reassuring, They offered to translate with the doctors at the hospital (apparently there aren't many English speaking doctors at the public hospitals) and assured us that IF we needed to cancel that they would help us to reschedule or get refunds. Fortunately, his injury did not require cancellation, but we did have to alter some of the activities in our itinerary, which they happily did, still taking our interests into account. When we finally returned to the hotel, there was ONE bright light--a young man named Daniel that was SO helpful and concerned. He checked in on us for the rest of our stay and was so kind to our son. Thank you Daniel!

Day 3: Believe it or not, our son was a total trooper and wearing his sling, we were able to do the Hike at Cahuita National Park. A MUST DO. We saw SO many animals (boa contrictor, golden viper, howlers monkeys, golden orb spiders everywhere, sloths, very curious raccoons). Be sure to eat a great breakfast, bring water, snacks and a swim suit. It's a long hike and comes with a late lunch so snacks are good.

Day 4: Jaguar Nature Preserve. Super cool experience. Up close and personal and the volunteers are really knowledgable. Go and support a good cause. Oh, when we arrived, they had our reservation, but said they never received payment. I immediately called KimKim and they immediately called the preserve and it was cleared up within moments. This was the only scheduling snafu we encountered. After the tour of the preserve, our driver picked us up at the hotel for the FIVE hour drive to Arenal and The Springs hotel. OMG, did we NEED this beautiful hotel after the stressful injury and all of the driving. It was just stunning. Five-star all the way.

Day 5: Picked up early from the hotel and headed for a boat cruise. This wasn't;t on our original itinerary, but the La Fortuna waterfall hike was out of the question given our sons injury. It actually worked out great. The boat was lovely and again, SO many animal sightings. Monkeys, Caiman, Basilisk lizards, etc.

Day 6: Just enjoyed THE Springs. Needed this relaxation day for sure. Tropical drinks, beautiful hot springs and a stunning volcano. Be sure to go down to the Adventure Center and soak in those Springs. It was a total highlight.

Day 7: On our way to Montverde Lodge and Spa via van, boat, and van again. Pretty cool. The Lodge was great, though several areas are under construction. We LOVED the mid-century modern architecture in the middle of the rain forest. Even if you don't stay at the Lodge, PLEASE do yourself a favor and eat at the restaurant. My husband is a chef and total foodie (so complains alot), but this place was INCREDIBLE. We usually stay away from the hotel restaurants and try to eat more locally, but this place was killer! If you do stay at the Lodge be sure to have breakfast in the Orchid room. So pretty. Here we did a night hike. Didn't get so lucky with the animal sightings, but it's still pretty cool to hike through the rainforest at night.

Day 8: Zip lining, butterfly garden and sloth sanctuary all in one place. This was one of our favorite days. Getting up close with the sloths was a highlight and the zip lining was a kid favorite. My son was even able to go with his sling, they just had a guide accompany him, which was great. The lunch at the restaurant was also pretty delicious.

Day 8: Sadly back to San Jose and the Hampton Inn. We arrived in the early afternoon so we had some time to explore San Jose. The hotel is directly across the street from the airport, so a super convenient option.

All in all, we really loved our trip to Costa Rica and HIGHLY recommend using Kimkim to plan. They were so easy and so helpful. Our guide was fantastic. Thank you OLMAN (and sorry it took me so long to finally write a review ;-)!!!

Hotel Reviews
The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal
La Fortuna

Just do it!!! It's everything that you hope it will be and more. The staff are so friendly and helpful. The restaurants are pretty darned good. The amenities are awesome. The rooms are spectacular and the beds are SO comfy. The hot springs near the hotel are wonderful, but be sure to go down to the Adventure Center to explore the hot springs down below which are scattered throughout the rainforest. So relaxing! Be sure to reserve a full day just to explore and enjoy the hotel with no other tours/activities planned. You need it!

Authenticity & Character
Location
You're in the middle of a rainforest, with a stunning volcano view and hot springs scattered all around. What's not to love?
Staff
Everyone was so happy and helpful. Always smiling and ready to help with any needs.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Those beds!!! I actually took picture of the linens so I can try to find them at home.
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens
Monteverde

The lobby is just gorgeous. That mid-century modern vibe in the rainforest is just too cool. Plus, it's walking distance to town, which is great. Best part of this hotel--the restaurant. OMG!!! We usually like to eat away from the hotel to really get local, but the food was just too good. The cocktails were amazing, the ambiance, the service. Please stop in for a meal or a drink even if you aren't staying at the hotel. The only reason we deducted a star was because there is construction going on (including around the pool).

Local specialist: Olman Romero

Pura Vida - thanks Randall and team!
Costa Rica | Sep 14 - Sep 21, 2022

S
Sarah H.
United Kingdom | Reviewed on Sep 28, 2022

Thanks so much to Randall and team for designing our holiday to Costa Rica, and being so responsive to any requests or changes we had. It was our first time using Kimkim and they were very patient and understanding. They recommended a great mix of locations and activities for us and we managed to fit a lot into 2 weeks. All of the transfers went really smoothly and we felt really well supported throughout the whole trip. Pura Vida!! read more

Thanks so much to Randall and team for designing our holiday to Costa Rica, and being so responsive to any requests or changes we had. It was our first time using Kimkim and they were very patient and understanding. They recommended a great mix of locations and activities for us and we managed to fit a lot into 2 weeks. All of the transfers went really smoothly and we felt really well supported throughout the whole trip. Pura Vida!!

Hotel Reviews
Jaguarundi Lodge
Monteverde
Arenal Manoa & Hot Springs
Fortuna
Activity Reviews
Monteverde - Hanging Bridges Guided Hike & Zip-lining tour
Monteverde
Guided Hike in Arenal Volcano Park 1968
Arenal/La Fortuna
Canyoning Tour
Arenal/La Fortuna
Local specialist: Randall Jiménez

Easy preparation, great trip
Costa Rica | Sep 12 - Sep 17, 2022

Seth
Seth E.
Garberville, CA | Reviewed on Sep 25, 2022

First time KimKim user and will now be an evangelist. I highly recommend KimKim if you lack time to plan a trip yourself. Bryan was our local specialist, and he helped arrange an excellent introduction of Costa Rica for us, with a detailed itinerary that made our trip entirely stress free. We had a quiet trip that focused on short, guided hikes introducing us to the forests. We loved our two cities (La Fortuna and Quepos/Manuel Antonio Park), though in the future we might look for a more... read more

First time KimKim user and will now be an evangelist. I highly recommend KimKim if you lack time to plan a trip yourself. Bryan was our local specialist, and he helped arrange an excellent introduction of Costa Rica for us, with a detailed itinerary that made our trip entirely stress free. We had a quiet trip that focused on short, guided hikes introducing us to the forests. We loved our two cities (La Fortuna and Quepos/Manuel Antonio Park), though in the future we might look for a more remote beach (we were right outside of the park, which was nice, but that part of Quepos wasn't so interesting). One of our favorite parts of the trip was getting to meet all of the different guides, who each had their own way of showing off their country. We look forward to using KimKim in the future.

Hotel Reviews
Hotel San Bada Resort & Spa
Manuel Antonio

Right outside the Manuel Antonio Park entrance, and thus to the park beaches which are incredible. Couldn't be closer, or have better location. We also went to the hotel sushi restaurant and booked a couples massage at the hotel. We enjoyed both experiences.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Arenal Manoa & Hot Springs
Fortuna

Incredible.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Hanging Bridges and La Fortuna Waterfall Guided Hike
Arenal/La Fortuna

Guide Kenneth was fantastic.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Canopy Zip Lining Tour
Costa Rica

Good experience, a nice view of the canopies, a bit of adrenaline for those with acrophobia

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Birdwatching in Mundo Aventura Natural Park
Arenal/La Fortuna

Amazing diversity of birds

Quality of Experience
Food
I think in future might have been nice to have coffee snack *before* starting (it's 530am!) and then get back for hotel breakfast after birding.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Coffee & Chocolate Tour
Costa Rica

Very interesting

Quality of Experience
The guide was great
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike
Manuel Antonio

loved this park!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
The guide was one of the most knowledgeable guides we had our entire trip; he was also weirdly an anti-Darwin evangelist for Intelligent Design, but that just added some character to the trip.
Transport
we were right next door to the park! Couldn't have better transportation.
Local specialist: Bryan Leon

Everything was great!Really enjoyed how sea...
Costa Rica | Sep 12 - Sep 17, 2022

Victoria
Victoria C.
Alhambra, AZ | Reviewed on Sep 20, 2022

Everything was great!

Really enjoyed how seamless the process was. Our trip was exactly what we wanted. Our rides all showed up on time, the drivers were all fantastic. Our guides were local, knowledgeable. Not associated with any company, which we liked.

Manoa Arenal - oh my god. What an amazing hotel. Stunning. Beautiful. Great service. Would go back.
San Bada in Manuel Antonio - Not my favorite. It sells itself as very convenient as it is attached to the national park. However, this... read more

Everything was great!

Really enjoyed how seamless the process was. Our trip was exactly what we wanted. Our rides all showed up on time, the drivers were all fantastic. Our guides were local, knowledgeable. Not associated with any company, which we liked.

Manoa Arenal - oh my god. What an amazing hotel. Stunning. Beautiful. Great service. Would go back.
San Bada in Manuel Antonio - Not my favorite. It sells itself as very convenient as it is attached to the national park. However, this puts you right in the middle of the tourism central, which isn't the relaxing beach vibe I was looking for. Kinda tacky and stressful. It definitely sells itself as more of a party location, and the facilities are a little run down. Service was excellent. Maybe a good choice for some, but looking back I wish I had spent the money for something a little nicer, especially with the convenient bus system.

9/10 great visit to costa rica, will be back
will use kimkim again

:)

Local specialist: Bryan Leon

Cannot recommend enough!
Costa Rica | Aug 31 - Sep 9, 2022

K
Kate R.
Portland, OR | Reviewed on Sep 16, 2022

I had such an amazing trip! Tortuguero was beautiful. Staying in the rainforest and seeing all kinds of wildlife was so great. I saw so many sloths I lost count! Watching the sea turtles lay eggs on the beach was life changing. I could’ve stayed there for my entire trip, but I am also so glad I visited Puerto Viejo and San Jose. All of the tour guides and drivers arranged for my trip were knowledgeable and friendly. As a female solo traveler I was nervous for my first experience going alone,... read more

I had such an amazing trip! Tortuguero was beautiful. Staying in the rainforest and seeing all kinds of wildlife was so great. I saw so many sloths I lost count! Watching the sea turtles lay eggs on the beach was life changing. I could’ve stayed there for my entire trip, but I am also so glad I visited Puerto Viejo and San Jose. All of the tour guides and drivers arranged for my trip were knowledgeable and friendly. As a female solo traveler I was nervous for my first experience going alone, but Brittany and Ryan- my kimkim specialists were so helpful in the planning and coordination. Everything was seamless!

Hotel Reviews
Autentico Hotel
San Jose

Nice and clean, staff were great. Location is good but not quite close enough to walk to downtown area.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Evergreen Lodge
Tortuguero

Amazing place to stay, right in the middle of the rainforest. Staff was super friendly. Activities were amazing, and coordinated well. Food was good, however you are forced to eat at specific times and found myself wanting to eat when food was not being served. Also, since you are secluded and can only get to places by boat, you can’t just go find a place to buy snacks.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Banana Azul
Limón, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Great hotel. Clean and comfortable rooms, friendly staff, and great food. Some rooms are right above the dining area so they don’t feel very private. The beach is beautiful and they offer food and drinks from the beach. Location for me was perfect but it is not close to the town of Puerto Viejo, you would need a taxi or tuktuk to get there.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Balmoral
San José

Worked for what I needed but not worth the money. Location is great, right downtown. Not very clean or comfortable. Lots of people up making noise after the bars. Can hear everything from your room. Didn’t have the food.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Private Tour: Kayak Adventure & Rainforest Hike in Punta Uva
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Highly recommend, especially as a private tour. My guide Rodrigo was great. Super knowledgeable and shared a perceptive of how traveling impacts small communities.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
San Jose Food Walking Tour
San José

Had an amazing tour guide, Luc. She was really knowledgeable about the city, the history of Costa Rica, and even took me by some amazing art when I mentioned I had a teen son at home who loved graffiti, so that I could take pictures to send to him. I learned so much more than just talking about food, it was great!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Guided Boat Tour Through the Tortuguero Canals
Tortuguero

I was part of a small group for this tour and couldn’t have been happier. Our tour guide, Noel, was amazing. He was pointing out so many animals on this trip that I could barely keep track. The area is absolutely beautiful.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Tortuguero Village Visit
Tortuguero

I loved the town. I would’ve liked to have been able to travel here by myself to grab food or drinks, but unfortunately since it is part of your hotel stay you can’t just make arrangements and have to go when they arrange it.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Brittany McNamara

From start to finish working with Olman was an absolute joy!!
Costa Rica | Aug 28 - Sep 4, 2022

N
Nancy G.
East Orange, NJ | Reviewed on Sep 07, 2022

From start to finish working with Olman was an absolute pleasure. His extensive knowledge of Costa Rica coupled with his lovely demeanor and exquisite attention to detail all aided in us having an incredible trip. Because of our short stay Olman suggested that we visit two different locales. And then he provided lovely accommodation options and day trip options. After we confirmed our choices he arranged everything and all we had to do was just show up. What a joy!! We fell in love with beautiful Costa Rica and miss it already!!!

Local specialist: Olman Romero

Wildlife watching & adventures in Costa Rica
Costa Rica | Aug 27 - Sep 5, 2022

F
Félix C.
Santa Clara, CA | Reviewed on Sep 07, 2022

Had a very good trip to Costa Rica. If you're interested in wildlife viewing above almost everything else, I would greatly recommend spending a lot of time in La Fortuna. I myself brought my 600mm telephoto lens and had a blast with the very colorful wildlife of the area!

I'm terrible with names–but the bird watching and night walk I had on the same day with the same guide from EcoTerra Costa Rica were stellar. For sloths, having a guide is a must–these things are almost invisible to the... read more

Had a very good trip to Costa Rica. If you're interested in wildlife viewing above almost everything else, I would greatly recommend spending a lot of time in La Fortuna. I myself brought my 600mm telephoto lens and had a blast with the very colorful wildlife of the area!

I'm terrible with names–but the bird watching and night walk I had on the same day with the same guide from EcoTerra Costa Rica were stellar. For sloths, having a guide is a must–these things are almost invisible to the untrained eye.

The Danaus Eco-Center in La Fortuna was one of my favorite places to go to. I could barely say a word of Spanish, but the person attending the butterflies was excited to show them to me anyway. The area is very well maintained and I probably spent upwards of 4 hours on the tiny trail! (I was going _very_ slowly, almost obsessively slowly, so YMMV if that's not your thing.)

For wildlife viewing, I found that the Los Lagos resort was an excellent place to stay at. The resort property is huge and there's trails and nature areas that you can walk to freely with quite decent animals to spot.

If I had to do this trip again, I would spend less time in Tamarindo and more time surfing there. The surf lesson with Kurt from Iguana Surf, my first, was very successful and I'd love to do it again!

Hotel Reviews
Hotel Presidente San Jose City Center
San José

Stayed only one night. Hotel was perfectly decent, except that the drawers in my room would spontaneously open? A mere curiosity more than an annoyance.

Authenticity & Character
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Los Lagos Spa & Resort
Fortuna

Not incredibly expensive and very fun to stay at. Cool little wildlife installations around the main resort. Big plot of land that has a lot of exploration opportunities. Food at the resort restaurant is priced similarly to US restaurants, while food in La Fortuna proper is distinctly cheaper. If you go without a car, the resort restaurant ends up being cheaper because of transportation costs.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Don't leave doors open at night or a ton of bugs will get into your room.
Hotel Mahayana
Tamarindo
Authenticity & Character
Location
Tamarindo is fairly small, the Mahayana is a 10ish minute walk to the beach. Some hotels, including many of the more expensive ones, are more remote.
Staff
The two hotel tenders were extremely personable and eager to ensure that we had a good stay.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Whitewater Rafting on the Balsa River
Arenal/La Fortuna

The guide was fun and the river was refreshing. We got wet!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Roads are rough at the moment.
Palo Verde National Park Boat Tour & Artisanal Village
Costa Rica

We saw several cool animals, but in the end we missed several 'poster animals' (although I might have had my hopes a little too high). The second part with the artisanal village was a lot more interesting than I expected.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Given that this is a wildlife tour, it was fun that the bus was willing to stop on the route to point to various Costa Rican animals.
Sloth & Bird Hike
Arenal/La Fortuna

We were able to spot 5 or 6 sloths during our walk. I wouldn't have seen a single one on my own without a guide as these animals camouflage very well, so make sure that you go with one. The wooden area houses some number of toucans, although in terms of sheer diversity, the best spot is at the feeders at the start of the hike. Tons of various tanagers and honeycreepers and great Kiskadees and other birds.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Birdwatching in Mundo Aventura Natural Park
Arenal/La Fortuna

Beautiful birds! My guide was knowledgeable with bird identification. The area, Mundo Aventura Park, was a good location for birds, especially as the tour is allowed to begin before the park normally opens for visitors.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Brittany McNamara

Ryan and Brittany were great, always in commu...
Costa Rica | Aug 20 - Aug 28, 2022

S
Stacey O.
Scottsdale, AZ | Reviewed on Sep 05, 2022

Ryan and Brittany were great, always in communication during both planning of trip, as it reached closer to dates of departure to Costa Rica and when I reached out during my visit to Costa Rica. We had a mix of beach, rainforests and volcanoes - I wouldn't of changed it a bit. I highly recommend KimKim, they are a A+ in my book. Thanks KimKim. read more

Ryan and Brittany were great, always in communication during both planning of trip, as it reached closer to dates of departure to Costa Rica and when I reached out during my visit to Costa Rica. We had a mix of beach, rainforests and volcanoes - I wouldn't of changed it a bit. I highly recommend KimKim, they are a A+ in my book. Thanks KimKim.

Hotel Reviews
Hampton Inn & Suites San Jose Airport
Alajuela
Hotel Arenal Country Inn
Fortuna

Not my favorite, very dated and rustic. Rooms were tiny.

Hotel & Spa Poco a Poco
Monteverde Costa Rica
Authenticity & Character
Location
Cleanliness & Comfort
Karahe Beach Hotel
Manuel Antonio
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Arenal Hanging Bridges Guided Walk & EcoTermales Hot Springs & Meal
Arenal/La Fortuna
Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Nature Hike
Manuel Antonio
Local specialist: Brittany McNamara

Costa Rica - Pura Vida!
Costa Rica | Aug 13 - Aug 21, 2022

Donna
Donna G.
Chino Hills, CA | Reviewed on Sep 05, 2022

This was truly a vacation that was filled with fun, adventure, delicious food, wonderful people, beautiful nature and animals, peace of mind, and memories to last a lifetime! Thank you KimKim and especially Sergio for making this such a wonderful experience. I truly appreciated Sergio’s patience and perseverance as we carefully refined our itinerary!

When we landed at San Jose’ we found our driver easily. After a red-eye flight it was a treat to be driven to our first destination,... read more

This was truly a vacation that was filled with fun, adventure, delicious food, wonderful people, beautiful nature and animals, peace of mind, and memories to last a lifetime! Thank you KimKim and especially Sergio for making this such a wonderful experience. I truly appreciated Sergio’s patience and perseverance as we carefully refined our itinerary!

When we landed at San Jose’ we found our driver easily. After a red-eye flight it was a treat to be driven to our first destination, Nayara Springs! We were greeted by Andreas and escorted to a comfortable chair in the lobby where we enjoyed a cool cloth to refresh and a sample of their delicious drinks. Here is where we checked in to our room and were introduced to the many amenities of this beautiful hotel. We enjoyed a delicious lunch overlooking the Arenal Volcano and infinity pool. Our room was more like a luxury apartment! Their were two vanity areas in the bathroom, an indoor shower, private outdoor shower, large bedroom and sitting area, private patio complete with lounge bed, table & chairs, hammock, plunge pool, and the most beautiful landscape complete with birds and other creatures that graced us with their presence! Our stay here was outstanding! All of the hotel staff were super friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. The head chef was friendly & made creative dishes. It was here that we had some of the most unique and delicious meals, and the service was exceptional! Above the lobby is where I was able to get some of my first Costa Rican Coffee! Amazing! Andreas was always available to help us and even found the sloth we so wanted to see! The hotel even surprised me with a happy birthday decoration, card, and champagne in our room when we arrived home from our first tour.

Kenneth Arenal Guide was awesome! He and Pablo (great driver) provided us with our Arenal Volcano Private Hike & La Fortuna Waterfall Tour. Kenneth was truly amazing as he shared his knowledge of Costa Rica and guided us to the base of the volcano. He brought his scope along and was very talented at taking photos and videos through it to share with us. Kenneth has a passion for his work and has an incredible ability to seek out all kinds of wildlife. We had a delicious snack that Pablo had prepared for us at the end of the hike, and then we headed for the Waterfall. The 500 steps down with the cool mist of the fall was peaceful, and we stopped to take more photos of course! Kenneth was always patient, helpful, and never rushed us. What a way to begin our tour experience! I highly recommend Kenneth and also left him a 5star review on Costa Rica Travel.

Safari Float at the Penas Blancas River was also a fun. We grabbed our paddles and enjoyed a float with a small group to observe more wildlife. The guides on this float were fun, informative, and also had a great ability to find alligators, iguanas, herons, and so much more! After, we enjoyed lunch and had our first intro into extracting the juice from the sugar cane. Lots of pictures! Lots of Fun!

The transfer to Monteverde I would categorize as fun! Our driver had a new vehicle which he took pride in, and was kind enough to make a couple of stops for us to get coffee. We were enjoying the music he played as he expertly avoided as many pot holes as possible. At one point we were all singing the Queen song “Don’t Stop Me Now” at the top of our lungs… we were truly “having such a good time”. :)

Senda Monteverde Hotel was like being nestled in a little mountain cabin. Again we were offered drinks when we arrived and the friendly staff checked us into our room. The rain that was promised finally arrived! We had quite a down pour, but we were thrilled to be safe in our room and enjoyed watching the rain. After all it was a perfect time to relax after our long drive. By the way… I give this hotel the “Softest Robe Award”! Truly the softest and coziest robes of all the places we stayed. There were even hot water bottles at night and complimentary snacks in our room. The bartender and servers here were so friendly that we enjoyed all of our meals here!

Sky Adventures Zip Lines & Hanging Bridges - YES! YES! YES! This is a definite must if one visits the Monteverde area. We definitely chose to enjoy the hanging bridges with a guide. Again the guide was instrumental to finding interesting creatures and fully enjoying the experience above the jungle canopy. The zip lines were truly exhilarating! What an adventure! Again - lots of photos…. Lots of laughs! The staff here works hard to make this a safe and fun experience.

Coffee & Chocolate Tour - Very enjoyable! It was nice to be in a small group. Our guide was so informative and we learned so much about coffee and chocolate. It was here where I felt I was able to learn more about the culture and people who work in these areas as well. Yes, we bought lots of coffee and chocolate for gifts … and ourselves too!

Transfer to Gulf of Papagayo - again another wonderful driver. He was super kind and stopped to show us monkeys and picked a small orchid for me along the roadside. At one stop we were able to see some beautiful McCaws too!

Casa Chameleon Hotel Las Catalinas was another gorgeous hotel with an incredible view of the ocean. Again we were welcomed with a refreshing cloth and special drink. Our luggage was carried to our room for us… thankfully! Fortunately we enjoy walking and hiking and the 75 steps down to our room … and back up….well… let’s just say we stayed in shape! Our room was well decorated, complimentary snacks and drinks, and even hot tea and treats were left at night! Here we experienced still more amazing staff, food, and scenery! The servers all work so hard! I looked forward to the delicious fruit plate, coffee, specialty juice, and pastries that were served every morning. There was also entertainment at night, and they made a delicious Negroni too! William at the front desk helped me to pack some gifts that I purchased there to take home safely. There were so many extra touches… ones that might go unnoticed… such as something as simple as insuring that when we were leaving for a tour that we were notified when the driver arrived and confirmed that it was the correct one. We really appreciated all of the kindness and thoughtfulness of the staff!

Wetlands Boat Ride and Rum Tasting at Hacienda El Viejo - loved this tour too for so many reasons. Carlos/Charlie was our driver and was friendly, patient, & thoughtful too! We enjoyed our time with him in the car and also at the Hacienda El Viejo. Our guide (Daniel, I think) was exceptional as well. Helping us to find more wildlife as we toured the wetlands by boat. After we took a side tour through another section not often traveled and were able to spot so many more birds and even a rare Jabiru’! After another delicious lunch we walked down to meet our tour guide Roberto for the Rum Tasting. Roberto was also passionate about his work and shared so much information with us. We even got to blend our own rum to take home! I definitely would go back here on another visit. Hacienda El Viejo is such a beautiful place with such history, and I hear that they are adding beer tasting room soon too!

Our last tour was the Sunset Catamaran Sailing Tour. The crew was awesome and worked hard to insure everyone had a great time. Drinks were served right away and the sailing began. We even spotted turtles in the water as we sailed. When we reached a cove the crew offered snorkeling, paddle boarding, and kayaking. They were so helpful providing equipment and assisting all of the passengers. I enjoyed kayaking and just relaxing on the boat realizing this was our last full day in Costa Rica. The crew provided some delicious snacks/dinner too! We saw a beautiful sunset and then returned to shore. Although we really enjoyed this tour, I think we would have enjoyed a more romantic type sunset cruise for our last evening here.

Thank you for helping to make this trip to Costa Rica so memorable! Even the weather was wonderful. We were expecting lots of rain, and we only experienced it a few times - once in Monteverde and then a couple of evenings in Nayara Springs. We are so grateful!

Local specialist: Sergio Bolaños

Seamless Honeymoon from start to finish!
Costa Rica | Aug 20 - Sep 1, 2022

Lisa
Lisa C.
Denver, CO | Reviewed on Sep 07, 2022

My husband and I had the most impeccably organized 13-day honeymoon planned by Veronica. She made sure we were able to do everything we wanted and everything was planned with love and top notch detail. Everything from transportation, local recommendations, and tours with knowledgeable and courteous organizations, made this trip truly unforgettable. We’ll never forget our memories of hiking through the Cloud Forest and rappelling down waterfalls near Arenal Volcano. Thank you Veronica and GWA... read more

My husband and I had the most impeccably organized 13-day honeymoon planned by Veronica. She made sure we were able to do everything we wanted and everything was planned with love and top notch detail. Everything from transportation, local recommendations, and tours with knowledgeable and courteous organizations, made this trip truly unforgettable. We’ll never forget our memories of hiking through the Cloud Forest and rappelling down waterfalls near Arenal Volcano. Thank you Veronica and GWA for making our honeymoon the trip of a lifetime and showing us the true Costa Rican experience. Pura Vida!

Hotel Reviews
Nayara Hotel Spa and Gardens
Fortuna

Incredible luxury hotel perfect for a honeymoon.

Authenticity & Character
Attention to detail was amazing
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
W Costa Rica - Reserva Conchal
Guanacaste

Had so much fun at this hotel! Lovely restaurants and staff.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Koora at Monteverde
Monteverde

Beautiful and rustic. Come for the hotel and stay for the service!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Kenneth at the front desk was amazing!
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Veronica Medina

Costa Rica Trip August 2022
Costa Rica | Aug 14 - Aug 25, 2022

Jayshree
Jayshree D.
Berkeley, CA | Reviewed on Sep 01, 2022

Both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our Costa Rica trip. All the planning of our activities and places to visit was done in conjunction with Yuliana and she was able to set us up with very comfortable, inviting and clean accommodations at every stop. All the hotels provided excellent breakfasts so we were well fortified for our activities
Our trip started in San Jose, then a private transportation to La Fortuna/Arenal area, boat transportation to Monteverdi area and finally a private... read more

Both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our Costa Rica trip. All the planning of our activities and places to visit was done in conjunction with Yuliana and she was able to set us up with very comfortable, inviting and clean accommodations at every stop. All the hotels provided excellent breakfasts so we were well fortified for our activities
Our trip started in San Jose, then a private transportation to La Fortuna/Arenal area, boat transportation to Monteverdi area and finally a private car trip to Tamarindo, a beautiful beach town on the Pacific Ocean.
We had excellent guides for all our activities which included hiking near The Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna water falls, riding class 3-4 rapids on the Balsa River, exploring Hanging Bridges and The Monteverde Cloud Forests, Ziplining and finally kayaking in the Pacific Ocean. We were able to see many flora and fauna, including the beautiful Quetzal, Howler monkeys and sleepy Sloths!
The whole trip was amazing, stress free with the excellent planning of Yuliana and her team at kimkim. Would highly recommend planning a trip with them.

Activity Reviews
Whitewater Rafting on the Balsa River Class II & III
Arenal/La Fortuna
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Sky Walk, Sky Tram & Sky Trek Zip Line Adventure
Monteverde

Daniel, our guide for the hanging bridges tour was extremely knowledgeable, patient and had great communication skills. The whole group of assistants working on the 7 different Ziplines were professional, caring and reassuring those who were a little scared of the Ziplines.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Kayak & Snorkel Tour in Tamarindo Bay
Costa Rica
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Tamarindo Estuary Boat Tour
Costa Rica
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Local specialist: Yuliana Valverde

Amazing trip to Costa Rica with kimkim
Costa Rica | Aug 16 - Aug 26, 2022

M
MOTTI T.
Potomac, MD | Reviewed on Sep 08, 2022

I'd like to split my review into 2, our experience with kimkim and the serendipity team, and Costa Rica overall:
1. We knew nothing about CR prior to this trip, Bryan and the serendipity team built a perfect itinerary for us, adjusted it multiple times based on our preferences and were fast and efficient. Before but also during our trip and sometimes in a very short notice, they were always attentive, available and flexible, this trip could not have been so successful if it wasn't for Bryan... read more

I'd like to split my review into 2, our experience with kimkim and the serendipity team, and Costa Rica overall:
1. We knew nothing about CR prior to this trip, Bryan and the serendipity team built a perfect itinerary for us, adjusted it multiple times based on our preferences and were fast and efficient. Before but also during our trip and sometimes in a very short notice, they were always attentive, available and flexible, this trip could not have been so successful if it wasn't for Bryan and the team, THANK YOU 🙏
2. Costa Rica - how can you not fall in love with this country? Starting with the warm and welcoming people of CR and continue with the amazing nature, and finally the different attractions and things to do, we enjoyed every bit of it, our guides (Kenneth and Pablo in Arenal, Edson in the Sloth territory, Hector and David at Rio Celeste horseback riding, Andy at Monteverde, Juan at Damas) all were absolutely amazing!
We will definitely come back to CR following this great vacation.
Thank you, Pura Vida!
Motti and the family

Hotel Reviews
Rio Celeste Hideaway Resort
Bijagua

This was our favorite, amazing hotel and staff, need to go back soon!! 😂

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
El Establo Mountain Hotel
Monteverde

This is probably our least favorite hotel but nothing wrong with it, we just a little outdated comparing to other hotels and the facility on the mountain was a bit tough, limited pool and bar, but again, pretty decent

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Los Lagos Spa & Resort
Fortuna

The villa seriously surprised us, we didn't expect such an amazing accommodation, the hotel is in great location and all was great!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Shana By the Beach Resort
Manuel Antonio

To be honest, when we got there the room wasn't ready and it wasn't what we expected, also the hotel doesn't have a beach, it has access to a public beach and that too isn't easy to go to (or come back from) but I have to say, the management listened to our feedback and insisted on fixing the experience right away, our room was changed, we were given opportunity to enjoy other services and it was absolutely amazing! They have a pool that cannot be beaten, great hotel, definitely coming back.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Bryan Leon

An Ideal and Well Planned Vacation
Costa Rica | Aug 13 - Aug 25, 2022

E
evelyn w.
Denver, CO | Reviewed on Aug 31, 2022

Sergio was terrific in helping plan a trip for my husband and myself to Costa Rica. We were to be in CR for about two weeks and he had to work out an itinerary that involved a commitment in Playa Hermosa, near Santa Teresa. The arrangements were ideal and proceeded seamlessly with an abundance of good suggestions. Accommodations were all excellent. Throughout the trip, Sergio was available to help or answer questions and was always accommodating. He is also very knowledgeable and knows... read more

Sergio was terrific in helping plan a trip for my husband and myself to Costa Rica. We were to be in CR for about two weeks and he had to work out an itinerary that involved a commitment in Playa Hermosa, near Santa Teresa. The arrangements were ideal and proceeded seamlessly with an abundance of good suggestions. Accommodations were all excellent. Throughout the trip, Sergio was available to help or answer questions and was always accommodating. He is also very knowledgeable and knows his country extremely well.

We flew from Denver to Liberia, where we were met by our driver, who took us to Monteverde, which was fantastic. Sergio convinced me to do the zipline above the cloud forest, and I was happy he did. Our privately guided hike was perfect with an extremely knowledgable fellow, who managed to find exotic birds, even one quetzecoatl.

Drivers were arranged to and from our assorted destinations, always punctual, and excellent and friendly. Our stay in Playa Hermosa (near Santa Teresa) was independent and I do not especially recommend that nor Santa Teresa unless the objective is to surf. Getting around means negotiating mud during rainy season and flying dry sand in summers with the smell of gasoline from zooming dune buggy vehicles.

Our driver picked us up from Playa Hermosa and drove us to a private island to Isla Chiquita, which is a fabulous resort with kayaking, whale watching, and a host of other activities. It was great and I would not mind returning.

So all and all a superb holiday with Sergio making ideal choices that were efficient and made the best use of time as he needed to plan around Playa Hermosa.

Hotel Reviews
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens
Monteverde

The hotel is well situated with beautiful surroundings. Not a luxury hotel, but adequate. The staff was always available and very helpful. I was quite happy with the restaurant and menu choices.

Authenticity & Character
A pretty hotel with stunning grounds.
Location
Staff
They were available and did their best to make you comfortable and to address any concerns.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Isla Chiquita

This is a private glamping hotel off on a tiny island, which is leased from the government. It is quite top notch with lots of staff always available and doing their utmost to make sure your stay is perfect and wonderful, which it was. The glamping tent was beautiful, roomy, spotless, and very private surrounded by jungle--quite idyllic. There were plenty activities to keep us busy for four days. The hotel is immaculately maintained with gorgeous plantings and flowers everywhere.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Isla Chiquita is in the middle of a jungle and extremely safe, not a thing to worry about. No need to lock up anything.
Staff
Staff was always there wanting to be sure that we were happy and doing everything we wanted. They bent over backwards. Everyone seemed happy, calm, and never rushed,
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Cloudforest Reserve Privately Guided Hike
Monteverde

Our guide, Andreas, was great and very interesting. He is extremely knowledgeable about all of the plants, vegetation, and wildlife in his region, as well as the history. He loves what he does and loves sharing information, which is obvious. It is great to have a guide to provide information about plants and their habitats and can spot birds and animals which are camouflaged in trees.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Isla Chiquita Optional Activities
Isla Jesusita
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Bioluminescence & Sea Life Tour
Isla Jesusita

Totally enjoyable and a fun thing to do in the evening. We even saw a manta ray.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Sky Adventures: Tram, Zip Lines & Hanging Bridges
Monteverde

This was totally fun. I can't think of improvements other than the hanging bridges are kind of sketchy for overweight people.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
They all had a good sense of humor and made everything fun.
Transport
We had a private driver to take us there and to our next destination, and I recommend that.
Coffee & Chocolate Tour
Costa Rica

This was great, entertaining, and educational. I will be ordering chocolates and coffee directly from Don Juan. I never knew anything about coffee making processes, the holy coffee, in particular. And their chocolates are fabulous.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Sergio Bolaños

Perhaps the best vacation we've ever had!!!
Costa Rica | Aug 20 - Aug 27, 2022

Blair
Blair H.
Los Angeles, CA | Reviewed on Sep 02, 2022

We had the BEST time visiting Costa Rica thanks to KimKim.com! I highly recommend this country and the experience it has to offer. Not only is the country lush and beautiful, the people are so hospitable and genuinely seem to appreciate your visit. In fact the local tour company that KimKim.com arranged greeted us with a note thanking us to contributing to the social-economic involvement of their local communities and said that we were all making our world a better place. You truly notice the... read more

We had the BEST time visiting Costa Rica thanks to KimKim.com! I highly recommend this country and the experience it has to offer. Not only is the country lush and beautiful, the people are so hospitable and genuinely seem to appreciate your visit. In fact the local tour company that KimKim.com arranged greeted us with a note thanking us to contributing to the social-economic involvement of their local communities and said that we were all making our world a better place. You truly notice the local sense of community they share. And the people of Costa Rica make good/right decisions that avoid the kind of exploitation you see in much of the world. (For example, if a baby sloth falls from its momma, you won’t find tourists holding it, passing it around and taking photos for money. Instead, one wildlife specialist is assigned to raise the baby. This person is the only one allowed to interact with it and it will eventually be reintegrated into the forest ecosystem.) There are so many thrilling things to do in this country. In the short amount of time we were there, KimKim.com arranged for us to go white water rafting (Balsa River), zip lining (Sky Adventures Zip Lines), embark on a catamaran tour with snorkeling, take a guided hike to La Fortuna Waterfall (excellent guide, wish I could remember his name), and take another guided hike/tour through Manual Antonio National Park spotting animals, reptiles, and insects along the way (special thanks to our amazing guide Andrey Obando). My daughter wanted me to add that the local food was yummy - healthy and flavorful. We used KimKim.com to book our trip and they orchestrated everything through the local Costa Rica tour company Greenworld Adventures. KimKim.com assigned a local planner (Veronica - who was excellent!) and they were in touch with us through Whatsapp during the trip. We had every activity and transfer planned and did not have to worry about a single thing. It was like having a vacation concierge. Specifically the hotels we stayed in included the Grand de Oro Hotel in San Jose (first night only when we arrived late), Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa in Arenal/La Fortuna for three nights, and Los Altos Resort Private Reserve and Beach in Manuel Antonio for three nights. It was a vacation of a lifetime exceeding our expectations with so amazing memories. I cannot recommend KimKim.com enough.

Hotel Reviews
Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa
Fortuna

Simply beautiful. This is an elegant hotel. The hot spring fed pools were amazing. The restaurants were delicious. The views and location could not be beat.

Authenticity & Character
Very simple and zen like. Lovely taste.
Location
View of the volcano!
Staff
So polite and helpful.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Perfection.
Los Altos Resort
Manuel Antonio

Great location. Lovely pool area. The rooms were enormous! It was like having our own apartment. I think our room may have even had more square footage than our own house.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Grano de Oro Hotel
San José

Very quirky and interesting hotel. We only stayed one night and used them because we arrived late in San Jose and were transferring early the next morning. I only wish we could have stayed longer to enjoy it more.

Authenticity & Character
One of the more original hotels I've ever seen. Very unique.
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Transfer San José to Arenal with Rafting on the Balsa River en Route (Class II & III)
Costa Rica

The guides were amazing! We had a thrilling time. We did this river with our 10 year old daughter who'd never been before. They took us to an appropriate stretch of river for her age. The rapids were thrilling but age appropriate for her. This was an amazing way to travel from one destination to another.

Quality of Experience
So glad we did it!
Food
Very authentic local Costa Rica cuisine and delicious!
Guides, Drivers and Staff
The people make it! All our guides from the shuttle driver to the river guides were wonderful.
Transport
La Fortuna Waterfall Guided Hiking Tour
Arenal/La Fortuna

This was maybe the highlight of our trip. It just so happened we had a massive rain storm during our hike which made the water fall all the more thrilling. We got to see a second water fall form. Our guide said he'd never been there at that exact moment and you could tell just how excited he was too!!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
I wish I could remember our particular guide's name because he was a gem.
Transport
Sky Adventures Zip Lines
Arenal/La Fortuna

Far more than I expected! I thought zip lining in Costa Rica would be cliche (because everyone does it) but it was well worth it. Very high and long lines. Totally thrilling. We'd never done anything like it. I'm mildly scared of heights so had to conquer my fear a little, but doing so was invigorating.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Catamaran Cruise & Snorkeling/Lunch included
Manuel Antonio

It was POURING down rain when we woke up for this tour, but we pressed on and so glad we did. The lead crew member ensured us we'd have a great time and the conditions were safe and he was not wrong! They made a big effort to make sure we also saw humpback whales.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
You could tell the crew member on the ship in charge of taking care of the guest was making a huge effort to ensure everyone had a great time.
Transport
Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Nature Hike
Manuel Antonio

So much nature. Animals, reptiles, insects... I thought this was just a hike but it was more like living a real life national geographic expedition. My 10 year old daughter had her mind blown and literally came home and made her own documentary about how amazing this tour was. Special thanks to Andrey Obando who I think is the best guide there is. He made a special effort to connect to our daughter and she was just thrilled (as were we) with the whole experience. You also end up at one of the most beautiful beaches around.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Andrey Obando was our favorite guide of our entire trip (which is saying a lot because they were all great).
Transport
Local specialist: Veronica Medina

Highly recommend using KimKim!
Costa Rica | Aug 4 - Aug 18, 2022

S
Sarah M.
Qatar | Reviewed on Aug 29, 2022

Right from the start KimKim were just so amazing, Brittany really took the time to go back and forth and help us design our perfect holiday. She helped us with activities and with budgets, it made the process fun and easy. Once we were on holiday, we had delays and cancellations with our flights, KimKim were great here as well. Ryan called us on the phone and helped organise new transfers at our destination and kept in touch the whole time to help us out. It really went above and beyond. The... read more

Right from the start KimKim were just so amazing, Brittany really took the time to go back and forth and help us design our perfect holiday. She helped us with activities and with budgets, it made the process fun and easy. Once we were on holiday, we had delays and cancellations with our flights, KimKim were great here as well. Ryan called us on the phone and helped organise new transfers at our destination and kept in touch the whole time to help us out. It really went above and beyond. The level of care and consideration was beyond expectations and we will definitely be using KimKim again as we had such a fantastic time. We had some fantastic guides and met some great local people as a result of our activities and accommodations. La Baula Lodge was outstanding in its service, I would definitely recommend anyone stay there in Tortuguero. Charlie and Andrea felt like friends after our stay there. Shana Hotel in Manuel Antonio was brilliant as well, and the amount of sloths we saw at the national park was mindblowing. We loved every second of the trip and wish we had stayed another week. Thank you so much to the KimKim team for all your help!

Hotel Reviews
Lavas Tacotal
Fortuna, San Carlos

The grounds of the hotel are just gorgeous. The staff are really friendly and breakfast was good. We had a gorgeous room with a volcano view, very comfortable bed and a jacuzzi bath.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Great views of volcano, there's a shop and restaurant nearby. Uber works well to get around here.
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Suites & Villas Calathea
Monteverde

The rooms had a musty smell, a lot of humidity and that affected our stay quite a bit. The staff were really nice but management present a long list of rules that are a bit over the top. I'd probably recommend finding a different hotel.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Shana By the Beach Resort
Manuel Antonio

Fantastic hotel, great facilities and lovely atmosphere. I'd recommend an ocean view room. It was spectacular watching the sun go down from our balcony. There's a private beach that's great to spend the day on (just take cash). I'd really recommend staying here.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
La Baula Lodge
Tortuguero

The staff here are so lovely! The food served is amazing and the location is beautiful. This was such a great place to stay and I couldn't recommend it highly enough!

Authenticity & Character
Charming and authentic
Location
Sitting by the water on rocking chairs was so peaceful.
Staff
Charlie and Andrea became like friends, such wonderful people.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Always clean, but you do get what you pay for and it is not luxury, but it is comfortable!
Activity Reviews
Guided Night Hike
Tortuguero

Mau was a great guide. This was fun, informative and entertaining.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Canoeing the Tortuguero Canals
Tortuguero

Fantastic experience, we saw so much wildlife and our guide Mau was great!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Arenal Volcano Hike & Tabacon Hot Springs & Meal
Arenal/La Fortuna

The hike itself was a bit disappointing. The views were spectacular but our guide didn't show us any wildlife and we were hoping for more of that, he did not know a lot about the volcano itself which was interesting. The hot springs are amazing! They were a highlight of the trip!

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Sky Adventures: Tram, Zip Lines & Hanging Bridges
Monteverde

Fantastic! I was a bit scared but the staff know what they're doing and it was an experience of a lifetime!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Monteverde Cloud Forest Guided Hike
Monteverde

This was speculator. So beautiful and the guide was lovely!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Nature Hike
Manuel Antonio

The park is so beautiful and there are so many sloths!! The beaches are stunning! Our guide Danny was great, such a lovely man.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Brittany McNamara

Our trip was INCREDIBLE! Adriana and Yuliana ...
Costa Rica | Aug 14 - Aug 25, 2022

Carolyn
Carolyn C.
Canada | Reviewed on Aug 26, 2022

Our trip was INCREDIBLE! Adriana and Yuliana were BEYOND helpful and had wonderful suggestions to make our holiday even more special! As a single
mom this was a very special trip and we felt safe and participated in EVERY adventure possible from ziplining to rafting to animal walks, a volcano hike, hot springs, surfing, parasailing, whale and dolphin watching to suspension bridges….
THANK YOU!
Carolyn

Local specialist: Yuliana Valverde

Pura Vida!
Costa Rica | Aug 10 - Aug 19, 2022

S
Sabrina N.
Canada | Reviewed on Aug 24, 2022

The trip Bryan planned was great. Overall, we had professional tour guides and felt like the locations we visited were the best for what we were looking for. Pablo, our driver and guide for our first day, was exceptional, had great energy, and left us with many tips that other tourists did not know about. (ie. Soda's are family owned restaurants!)

One room for improvement would be to communicate with local excursions/drivers/and us/tourist if there is a cancellation. For example, our... read more

The trip Bryan planned was great. Overall, we had professional tour guides and felt like the locations we visited were the best for what we were looking for. Pablo, our driver and guide for our first day, was exceptional, had great energy, and left us with many tips that other tourists did not know about. (ie. Soda's are family owned restaurants!)

One room for improvement would be to communicate with local excursions/drivers/and us/tourist if there is a cancellation. For example, our driver picked us up and drove us to the excursion location (50 min away from Nosara to Samara) and back to the hotel upon learning of the cancellation of our diving excursion due to ocean conditions. We thankfully received a refund for the cancellation of the excursion.

Thank you to Bryan and the Serendipity Adventures team for the lovely holiday. Our wonderful trip leaves us with a want to return Costa Rica again in the future.

Hotel Reviews
Hotel Arenal Country Inn
Fortuna
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Selina Nosara
Nosara
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Bryan Leon

Really amazing experience
Costa Rica | Jul 18 - Jul 28, 2022

M
Melissa D.
Flagstaff, AZ | Reviewed on Aug 17, 2022

We had an incredible time traveling with our children to Costa Rica. The accommodations were incredible places we wouldn’t have been able to find in our own and the transport was so seamless. We are so thankful for our amazing time. read more

We had an incredible time traveling with our children to Costa Rica. The accommodations were incredible places we wouldn’t have been able to find in our own and the transport was so seamless. We are so thankful for our amazing time.

Hotel Review
Tree House Lodge
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Absolutely incredible!! Would go back in a heartbeat.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Brittany McNamara

Costa Rica trip
Costa Rica | Jul 31 - Aug 14, 2022

Nilima
Nilima M.
United Kingdom | Reviewed on Aug 19, 2022

Everything about the trip was amazing.
Bryan chose excellent hotels and all the activities that we took part in were amazing ways to explore the rich Biodiversity you can find in Costa Rica . Our only regret is that we couldn’t have added an additional week to explore more of the country.
The guides were excellent and incredibly knowledgeable and happy to accommodate anything we wanted to focus on in our trip. The locals are so friendly and genuinely want you to enjoy their country and... read more

Everything about the trip was amazing.
Bryan chose excellent hotels and all the activities that we took part in were amazing ways to explore the rich Biodiversity you can find in Costa Rica . Our only regret is that we couldn’t have added an additional week to explore more of the country.
The guides were excellent and incredibly knowledgeable and happy to accommodate anything we wanted to focus on in our trip. The locals are so friendly and genuinely want you to enjoy their country and appreciate all the wonderful fauna and flora as well as the delicious food and of course the coffee. We weren’t bothered in any way to buy any of the souvenirs or take part in additional activities. If you’re planning a trip definitely pack for two very different climates, sunshine and bouts of heavy rainfall (it gets very humid at times) but the rain is always refreshing. Definitely recommend the hike around Arenal, the hanging bridges and zip wire in Monteverde, as well as the catamaran trip. Sensoria was amazing too and the opportunity to bathe in the hot springs was a fantastic way to finish the hike around the rainforest and waterfalls. This is one trip we will truly cherish and we hope to return to Central America and use the services of KimKim again to help organise our trip. Nilima

Hotel Reviews
Bahía del Sol Hotel
Potrero

Friendly helpful staff. Great breakfast and excellent cocktails. Lovely local restaurants nearby to try more delicious food and cocktails

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
El Establo Mountain Hotel
Monteverde
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Presidente San Jose City Center
San José

Very stylish and great rooftop garden to soak up some sunshine.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Very central if you have time to explore San Jose
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Arenal Manoa & Hot Springs
Fortuna

Fabulous hotel, great facilities and delicious food. All the staff were helpful and always around to assist

Authenticity & Character
Everything
Location
Everything
Staff
So friendly and great sense of humour
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Bryan Leon

Excellent experience and will use them again ...
Costa Rica | Aug 7 - Aug 15, 2022

A
Anita G.
South Riding, VA | Reviewed on Aug 16, 2022

Excellent experience and will use them again and again. Great resource for the busy parent that wants to make the most of a destination but doesn't have the time to research all the different options! We used this for the first time to visit Costa Rica, our rep, Olman was knowledgeable and helped me throughout the trip with questions and concerns. Can't wait to use them for our next vacation! read more

Excellent experience and will use them again and again. Great resource for the busy parent that wants to make the most of a destination but doesn't have the time to research all the different options! We used this for the first time to visit Costa Rica, our rep, Olman was knowledgeable and helped me throughout the trip with questions and concerns. Can't wait to use them for our next vacation!

Hotel Reviews
The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal
La Fortuna
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Los Altos Resort
Manuel Antonio
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens
Monteverde

Wonderful staff with a Scandinavian ambiance!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Review
Whitewater Rafting on the Balsa River Class II & III
Arenal/La Fortuna

Mario was excellent! Amazing experience with door-to-door service. Very professional and friendly staff.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Olman Romero

Create a CR trip with Diego!
Costa Rica | Dec 19 - Jan 2, 2022

D
Debora H.
Belmont, CA | Reviewed on Aug 16, 2022

Diego planned a great trip for us. All the details ran perfectly and we had a trip of a lifetime! Everyone we encountered was nice but two favorites that stood out were our driver for a few legs (John I think). And our guide for the Arenal Volcano was the best guide of all our hikes. The others were great too but he was our favorite! Thank you Diego. read more

Diego planned a great trip for us. All the details ran perfectly and we had a trip of a lifetime! Everyone we encountered was nice but two favorites that stood out were our driver for a few legs (John I think). And our guide for the Arenal Volcano was the best guide of all our hikes. The others were great too but he was our favorite! Thank you Diego.

Local specialist: Diego Rivera

Great with a couple of early issues. 4 1/2 stars, really.
Costa Rica | Jul 12 - Jul 21, 2022

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James K.
Seattle, WA | Reviewed on Aug 12, 2022

This was tough to judge. Would like to give 4 1/2 stars. We had some issues and frustrations, particularly at the start of the trip. But - those all seemed to stem from the fact that KimKim had to swap out our representative a day or two before our trip started. As a result, some things got dropped or mis-communicated. Once we got further into the trip, things were much more smooth. All in all, it meant our arrival and first night were bumpy, and the start of the second day was messy, but... read more

This was tough to judge. Would like to give 4 1/2 stars. We had some issues and frustrations, particularly at the start of the trip. But - those all seemed to stem from the fact that KimKim had to swap out our representative a day or two before our trip started. As a result, some things got dropped or mis-communicated. Once we got further into the trip, things were much more smooth. All in all, it meant our arrival and first night were bumpy, and the start of the second day was messy, but after that, things were pretty great. So, summary advice: DO use KimKim, they put together a terrific vacation. But if they change out your contact/specialist, DO take some time to review the trip details with the new person, particularly things that were in emails or chat that didn't get added to the actual trip plan document.

Hotel Reviews
Hotel Playa Espadilla
Manuel Antonio

Great vibe, great location, lovely little pool, just a really good fit for us. Monkeys, lizards and exotic birds on the grounds all the time. The restaurant doesn't have the deepest menu, but the food is _fantastic_. Would stay here again, no question. One small warning: in the restaurant, particularly at breakfast, avoid the corners of the sitting area furthest from the kitchen. The flies there are insufferable. Deeper into the seating area, things are fine.

Authenticity & Character
Definite Pura Vida sensibility. Everything was relaxed and smiley.
Location
Easy walk to the beach, but not so close that traffic and noise are an issue.
Staff
The restaurant folks were universally wonderful, in particular.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Park Inn San Jose by Radisson
San José

We went here at the start of a trip, got in late, left early. Didn't really get to evaluate much about the hotel, but what we saw was good. Five stars because they were accommodating (despite our late arrival). Helpful (which we needed because we were sleep-deprived and exhausted, and patient (which we needed because we were grumpy from the delays and other complications that made us late.

Authenticity & Character
Just a business hotel, but a good one. Nothing surprising, which is what you want in a business hotel.
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Monteverde Country Lodge
Monteverde
Authenticity & Character
Maybe 4 1/2 stars? It's not one of the Monteverde hotels that is nestled into the wilderness, but it's not far from some good green spaces. The decor and overall tone is very Pura Vida, including some lovely hanging vines and fountains behind the restaurant, and a peaceful courtyard.
Location
Hard to beat Monteverde/Santa Elena in general.
Staff
Staff was pretty thin, clearly understaffed at mealtimes and early mornings at the desk. Likely due to it being the off-season, I'd expect things to be more fully covered during peak.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Las Caletas Lodge
Puntarenas

It's perfect if it's what you are looking for. This isn't about creature comforts. The path up from the boats to the hotel is steep, slippery and long. You'll be staying in a stifling hot cabin or a noisy, simple platform tent. Everything gets damp and stays that way. Meals are picked for you - there's no menu. No TV, viable internet or cell coverage. But if you are here to be here, to see Osa and Corcovado park, you're in the right place. Everything is astonishingly, endlessly beautiful. Scarlet Macaws nest in trees right on the grounds. Troops of Howler and Capuchin monkeys wander through all day and night. The forest, the ocean, the flowers -- this is the place to sit and soak it all in. If you want to see Osa, and be a part of Osa, this is a great place.

Authenticity & Character
It was like living in Corcovado, but with shelter, gourmet food and a fridge full of soda you could raid at any time.
Location
I mean - it's right there in Osa.
Staff
You pretty much only see one person (at least during the off-season), so if he's busy or resting, there really isn't any staff.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Cleanliness and Comfort are relative. This isn't the W. But they keep the common area squeaky clean, and the cabins/tents are well-maintained. No silk sheets, but there are fans and good pillows. Picture elevated camping, more than hotel living.
Autentico Hotel
San Jose

We weren't here very long, arrived fairly late and left fairly early. We enjoyed our stay, but there are couple of things worth mentioning: * This is a slightly odd layout. Everything wraps around a smallish courtyard. The pool area covers most of the courtyard, and the restaurant seating spills out into the courtyard. The result is that everything feels kind of packed together, and you if your room opens to the inside area, you can hear pretty much everything in the building. It's cool and exciting for large groups, who get to be "together" even when they are in different places. I saw a couple of such groups here, and they were clearly having a great time. You might enjoy it less if your schedule depended on getting some sleep earlier than 10pm or later than 7am. * The restaurant was pretty great, with a deeper and more subtle dinner menu than your average hotel. * It's tough to find, even for San Jose. Parking is even trickier - it's across the street from the hotel, and you really have to plan in order to be able to get there without circling a few blocks.

Authenticity & Character
Very San Jose. It fits in well with the rest of the Central Valley. Don't expect it to feel terribly "Pura Vida," but it has a clean, professional, polished vibe.
Location
Not the easiest place to get to, not a lot of walkable places worth seeing, but a short drive from plenty of spots you might want to see.
Staff
The staff (along with the food!) made dinner a particularly memorable and positive experience.
Cleanliness & Comfort
As mentioned elsewhere, everything feels polished and professional and clean. It's not the Ritz, but it may feel like the top of the next tier. That's wonderful and impressive, considering the reasonable prices. You'll feel like you are getting more than your money's worth.
Activity Reviews
Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Nature Hike
Costa Rica

We did nature hikes in Monteverde, Corcovado, and here. Much to our surprise, Manuel Antonio was the clear winner for variety of wildlife, educational content, and overall enjoyment. Coati, monkeys, huge spiders, snakes, a variety of birds, lizards, and an up-close encounter with a sloth. Don't miss this hike!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Every guide we had in Costa Rica was insanely knowledgeable. Even by that standard, though, our guide in Manuel Antonio was amazing. He was able to track and film moving animals using a scope (which I've always heard was impossible), while delivering a monologue about the scientific details for that animal, some things to look for to find them, etc. It was like traveling with David Attenborough and his film crew.
Transport
One of the great things about Manuel Antonio: the park is super close to the tourist area. We were close enough to walk, and walk back afterwards.
Horseback Riding in the Cloud Forest
Monteverde

I have a life-long, irrational fear of horses. I agreed to do this only as a trade-off to get my kids to try some other things on our trip. Much to my utter surprise, I had a great time. Our guides were patient and very clear with their instructions. They kept a pace that we could manage. We went through terrain that we never could have navigated on foot, and it was just amazing. I got my horse all the way up to a trot a couple of times. I can't say I'm cured. Horses still seem crazy to me. But, if they could deliver 2 hours of exhilaration for me, I expect they can do that for just about anyone.

Quality of Experience
Really cool extra touch - at the end, they fed us some home-made snacks, and let us try making cane juice from sugar cane. Not totally sure what that had to do with horses, but it was a great way to cool off and get refreshed.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
On-time. Vehicle was well-maintained and seemed safe. Driver was friendly.
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving at Isla del Caño Biological Reserve
Drake Bay

I tired out after the first set of dives, but the kids kept going for another hour or more. Lots of great fish (including pufferfish!), sharks, some folks saw turtles. For me, the highlight was floating peacefully while hearing whales sing somewhere out at sea.

Quality of Experience
Food
The tour included a stop at a local restaurant afterwards. Simple fare, but delicious and authentic. Definitely a high note.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Nothing to be done, probably, but that boat ride is rough on older folks' backs and younger children's patience.
Walking tour to Corcovado National Park in Sirena Station
Costa Rica

Some great wildlife! Can't complain about that, really. We saw big coati family, a couple of agouti, a tapir, lots and lots of monkeys. But, I suspect we could have seen a lot more, and would have on a normal tour, but something odd was going on when we were there. Our guide spent a lot of time just _waiting_. Not sure for what. We waiting 15 minutes before getting started, then walked back and forth over the same 100 feet of trail for another 30 minutes with no obvious explanation. We paused and talked to another guide for 15 minutes later. We hung around at Sirena Station for much, much longer than planned. We headed back to the boats 20 minutes early. The end result is that we only spent about 90 minutes actively looking and exploring. I think this was unusual, some mix-up. Maybe a guide didn't show up? In any case, I'd still strongly recommend this tour, but I think we caught them on an off day.

Quality of Experience
As noted above, we did an odd amount of stalling and waiting. That was the only negative. I suspect this was a one-time event, not their normal pattern. The guide seemed unhappy with the waiting, too.
Food
After the boat ride back, they took us to a great local place, and fed us simple, authentic, delicious food. A great way to end the trip.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Very knowledgeable. Maybe a bit preachy - but in an incredibly well-intentioned way. Didn't get in the way of us seeing or enjoying anything.
Transport
Young, spry folks may not mind. Older folks and younger kids may find the long boat ride, and the wading to/from the boats, to be taxing. Just be ready to spend a lot of energy on the trip. The actual hike is gentle.
Zip Line (Canopy) Monteverde
Monteverde

I wanted to give this one star, because I was terrified the whole time and never really got to the point where I enjoyed myself, but that's just me and my fear of heights. The rest of my group had an amazing time. The guides were fantastic. They were very visibly obsessed with safety, which helped keep my panic to a minimum. They joked around with the kids, were patient with me and my wife, and generally did everything conceivable to maximize our enjoyment. Not their fault that it didn't work for me. Also - they used our cameras to get phenomenal number of great videos. I suspect we'll be watching those for decades.

Quality of Experience
For me, the highest achievable bar was: get through it without a debilitating panic attack. Checked that box. For the rest of our group, the trip was a thrill.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
They worked so, so hard to make things safe and enjoyable. Dedicated, skilled, friendly and energetic.
Transport
There was confusion with our initial pick-up, and it seemed like the driver couldn't find our hotel, but then tried to blame the issue on us. It was weird and unpleasant, but really a minor blip overall.
Local specialist: Alberto Molina

Pura Vida in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica | Jul 29 - Aug 6, 2022

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Jenelle B.
Santa Monica, CA | Reviewed on Aug 09, 2022

We had a wonderful week in Costa Rica. This was our first time using kimkim and Yuliana of Amazilia Travel could not have have been more helpful with her suggestions and spot on with her itinerary. We visited three different parts of the country (Arenal/La Fortuna, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio) and thoroughly enjoyed all of the hotels and various activities that she had booked. 10/10 for Yuliana! Thank you so much! read more

We had a wonderful week in Costa Rica. This was our first time using kimkim and Yuliana of Amazilia Travel could not have have been more helpful with her suggestions and spot on with her itinerary. We visited three different parts of the country (Arenal/La Fortuna, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio) and thoroughly enjoyed all of the hotels and various activities that she had booked. 10/10 for Yuliana! Thank you so much!

Hotel Reviews
El Establo Mountain Hotel
Monteverde

Unique and comfortable hotel. The views from the 800’s building were gorgeous and the shuttle busses made traveling the mile (up and downhill) between the rooms and reception/restaurants very do-able. Our only issue was that the wifi, including the premium option, did not work in our rooms. Delicious breakfast and very friendly staff.

Authenticity & Character
Unique layout
Location
Not really close enough to walk to restaurants in Monteverde but the views from the rooms are everything!
Staff
Very friendly staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
The rooms do not have heat or ac so we layered our clothing indoors.
Hotel Lomas del Volcán
Fortuna

Fantastic hotel in beautiful surroundings. The bungalows felt very luxurious and the view of the volcano could not be beat. We enjoyed the swimming pool and hot tub and the breakfast was delicious.

Authenticity & Character
Beautifully appointed bungalows amid very carefully tended landscape.
Location
Overlooking the volcano and close enough to La Fortuna to not have to drive too far to restaurants and activities (too far to walk).
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel San Bada Resort & Spa
Manuel Antonio

Fantastic location right next to the National park. The hotel was comfortable, easy to navigate and only a few minutes walk to the beach and other restaurants. The hot tub did not appear to be working but the pool was lots of fun for the kids. The best part of the hotel was watching the monkeys and toucans in the trees next to the pool!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike
Costa Rica

Danny of Toucanes Tours was a wonderfully kind and knowledgeable guide. His English is phenomenal and he clearly enjoys what he does. We saw many animals during our two-hour walk and enjoyed a brief break at the park’s beach. 10/10!!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Aerial Tram, Zip Lining & Hanging Bridges
Monteverde

AWESOME experience! We were a little hesitant about zip lining in the pouring rain but it was such a great experience. There’s nothing quite like zip lining into the clouds. The guides at Sky Adventures took safety very seriously and their course and hanging bridges are well worth it.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Coffee & Chocolate Tour
Arenal/La Fortuna

Rafael at Don Juan was a kind and knowledgeable guide who taught us so much about cacao and coffee. The kids loved making their own chocolate bars and we thoroughly enjoyed tasting the coffee. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Night Tour at the Wildlife Refuge in Monteverde
Monteverde

Quite a unique experience to walk through the Costa Rican forest at night at Refugio de Vida Silvestre. We spotted a bunch of different animals during the two hour tour.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Nature Walk at Ecological Park & Butterfly Garden Danaus
Arenal/La Fortuna

Very enjoyable, basically private tour at the Ecological park. Karina of Ecoterra Tours was very knowledgeable of the local fauna and flora. The butterfly enclosure had been damaged and all of the butterflies had to be released but we saw many other animals on the tour. The Maleku presentation was interesting.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Safari Float & Hike to La Fortuna Waterfall
Arenal/La Fortuna

Great time rafting on the Peñas Blancas river with a snow Aventira. Our guides, Martin and Brian, were knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Didn’t see any sloths but saw many other animals. The trip down to the waterfall was fun but, in hindsight, this was something we could have done on our own. Lunch at Cava Pizza was the only downer of the day - the guide called our order in ahead of time, sensing that the kids were hungry after a long day, but we still had to wait almost 1.5 hours for our food.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Yuliana Valverde

Family trip for 7 adults and an infant
Costa Rica | Jul 30 - Aug 6, 2022

Jan
Jan W.
The Villages, FL | Reviewed on Aug 09, 2022

Olman planned a fantastic trip for our family of 7 adults and an 11 month old. 10 out of 10 is the score for this trip, as suggested by our adult children. I was apprehensive about the 3.5 star hotels we requested in order to keep the cost down and have more $ to spend on meals and more. The 3.5 star Los Lagos had several thermal springs which was a highlight of our trip as well as a well appointed breakfast buffet. It was perfect for our family as we did not spend much time in our hotel... read more

Olman planned a fantastic trip for our family of 7 adults and an 11 month old. 10 out of 10 is the score for this trip, as suggested by our adult children. I was apprehensive about the 3.5 star hotels we requested in order to keep the cost down and have more $ to spend on meals and more. The 3.5 star Los Lagos had several thermal springs which was a highlight of our trip as well as a well appointed breakfast buffet. It was perfect for our family as we did not spend much time in our hotel room. If you are staying at the Park Inn by Radison in San Jose, take a 5 minute walk to the nearby outdoor farmers market. I loved the butterfly garden, seeing the caged animals from he region
, the hike to La Paz waterfall and the hearty lunch. Wouldn’t have missed it! The zip line has an automatic stopping system making it safe and not too scary for this 65 year old grandma. The light rain jacket is good to have. I wish I had brought a sweater to take on the plane and for going out to dinner in the evening. I wore my raincoat, a sweater would have been nice. I packed more socks than underpants. Bad idea as we were going swimming and in the thermal pools multiple times a day and taking showers. Bring extra underpants and extra swim suits. Swimsuits, and clothing for that matter, don’t dry overnight in the rain forest. Son went on early morning run and spotted 5 toucans in a tree. Sons pointed out that horseback riding at our hotel Los Lagos was a waste as horses were on complete auto pilot . A favorite for the 30 year olds was white water rafting after it had rained for 2 days. It was perilous and exhilarating. The night walk and coffee& chocolate tours were excellent. Wyndham Tamarindo 3.5 star hotel had terrific showers, an amazing view for all hotel rooms, and a beautiful infinity pool. We all enjoyed our stay there. This was a memory maker family reunion. It was better than we had expected. So glad we went with kimkim.

Hotel Reviews
Wyndham Tamarindo
Tamarindo
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Park Inn San Jose by Radisson
San José
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Los Lagos Spa & Resort
Fortuna
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Review
San José - Arenal - Visit to La Paz Waterfall & Gardens
Costa Rica
Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Olman Romero

Our trip to Costa Rica was excellent in every way.
Costa Rica | Jul 22 - Jul 30, 2022

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Jill S.
Jenison, MI | Reviewed on Aug 04, 2022

Our trip to Costa Rica was excellent in every way. Olman did an outstanding job of putting together an itinerary geared to our interests and we were so happy with every part of it. We started with white water rafting on the Pacuare River which was unforgettable and exhilarating. And the Exploradores Outdoors guides were exceptional in their instruction, support, and unwavering vigilance. It was an experience of a lifetime for us . And our hikes near the Arenal Volcano and the Fortuna... read more

Our trip to Costa Rica was excellent in every way. Olman did an outstanding job of putting together an itinerary geared to our interests and we were so happy with every part of it. We started with white water rafting on the Pacuare River which was unforgettable and exhilarating. And the Exploradores Outdoors guides were exceptional in their instruction, support, and unwavering vigilance. It was an experience of a lifetime for us . And our hikes near the Arenal Volcano and the Fortuna Waterfall were also unforgettable in their quieter way. I was very impressed with our guide, Randall, from Amazilla Travel, who was very engaging and remarkably knowledgeable about the volcano and the plants and animals of the jungle. We learned so much and I have brought back home with me the memory of the magical quiet of the rainforest. Every place we went we were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the accommodations, the food (which we will miss), the warmth and hospitality of the people we met, and the beauty of Costa Rica. Kimkim was the way to go for us.

Local specialist: Olman Romero

Beautiful Costa Rica
Costa Rica | Jul 10 - Jul 19, 2022

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Heloise H.
South Africa | Reviewed on Aug 04, 2022

I cannot thank Bryan from Serendipity adventures enough!

He helped us to plan the most wonderful trip in Costa Rica! Not only did he give us wonderful suggestions but he also took into account our interests and our desires to see as much as possible in a short frame of time. He planned our activities meticulously and followed up with us throughout the trip to ensure that everything was going smoothly.

All our guides arrived on time and were extremely well trained and informed. Their... read more

I cannot thank Bryan from Serendipity adventures enough!

He helped us to plan the most wonderful trip in Costa Rica! Not only did he give us wonderful suggestions but he also took into account our interests and our desires to see as much as possible in a short frame of time. He planned our activities meticulously and followed up with us throughout the trip to ensure that everything was going smoothly.

All our guides arrived on time and were extremely well trained and informed. Their enthusiasm to share their knowledge about their country, the wildlife and the forests was contagious.

I would like to particularly mention Arenal Star, their service was impeccable. The owner picked us up and had local sweets and chips as well as drinks for us in the car. Not only that he stopped on the side of the road to get us Rambatans so that we could taste them. We made use of his company the next day for a hike and again we had the most incredible experience with fresh fruit being beautifully cut for us after our hike. Our guide was extremely informative and really went over and above to ensure we had an unforgettable experience.

In Monteverde we would really like to mention Andy from Forest Alive. He was by far the most experienced guide we had for the whole trip. He allowed us to freely use his spotting scope so that we could see all the animals. He had an array of specialist equipment that he used to show us so many interesting things that we would have otherwise not seen. He also understood our desire to take it slowly and really "see" the forest. We noticed how other guides were on their second or third trip with clients whilst we were merely completing our first excursion. He really took his time to show us nature at its best. He also showed us how diverse the forest is and gave us an in-depth explanation of the difference between all the various forests (dry, could, rain, dwarf). Our experience in Monteverde with Andy was one of the main highlights of our trip. He really is an exceptional guide and we will be forever grateful to him for everything he shared with us. Not only that he is also a fantastic photographer and he was able to teach us and show us how to take beautiful photos of what we were seeing.

We had an amazing time and we will definitely be using the services of Kimkim in future for all our trips. They make planning your dream trip a walk in the park!

Thank you to everyone for the most unforgettable experience in Costa Rica!

Local specialist: Bryan Leon

Diego did an excellent job planning our trip!...
Costa Rica | Jul 27 - Aug 2, 2022

S
Shameik B.
Gainesville, FL | Reviewed on Aug 03, 2022

Diego did an excellent job planning our trip! All the excursions and airport/city transfers were timely in picking us up. All our tour guides were knowledgeable and excited about sharing their expertise with us. The hotel selections were perfect. There was one last minute change with one of our excursion providers and we received multiple notifications to ensure we were aware of the change. Overall, my family and I had a wonderful trip! read more

Diego did an excellent job planning our trip! All the excursions and airport/city transfers were timely in picking us up. All our tour guides were knowledgeable and excited about sharing their expertise with us. The hotel selections were perfect. There was one last minute change with one of our excursion providers and we received multiple notifications to ensure we were aware of the change. Overall, my family and I had a wonderful trip!

Hotel Reviews
Hotel Arenal Montechiari
La Fortuna

We arrived at night while it was raining and hungry after our long trip. We were initially frustrated because we did not have great internet access and the front desk was unable to provide guidance on restaurants nearby or ones that could deliver. We eventually went walking to get dinner and found an excellent restaurant (Travesía) within 5 mins. We discovered many wonderful places to eat within a 10 min walk during our time there (Italianissimo, Snapper House). This hotel really has an excellent walkable location and the pool was great! I would 100% stay again.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Walkable, safe
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Karahe Beach Hotel
Manuel Antonio

We stayed on the beach access side of the property and it was excellent! The property is lush and beautiful. We could hear the waves from our room. We ate most of our meals at the restaurant and it was delicious— Marilin was especially helpful! The pool is a great size and was never overcrowded when we were there. We did not have hot water the first night for showers but the office had it fixed the next day. Liked seeing the monkeys on the property until they stole food directly off my plate. Overall, wonderful stay and would 100% recommend this gem.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Not as walkable to other restaurants/shops as I’d like
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Rooms cleaned daily without having to request it.
Local specialist: Diego Rivera

Totally customized 2 week family trip to Costa Rica (10 Jul - 23 Jul)
Costa Rica | Jul 10 - Jul 23, 2022

A
Anna L.
United Kingdom | Reviewed on Aug 02, 2022

We've just come back from an amazing trip with another family to Costa Rica. Planned and supported by Yuliana, KimKim and Amazilia throughout. Fantastic service from start to end. Thank you Yuliana and KimKim/Amazilia.

From the moment I contacted KimKim with a speculative query, KimKim’s responsiveness was immediately apparent.

A local agent was assigned to help me plan the trip within 24 hours and thereafter, all queries were responded to, at maximum within 24 hours, or within... read more

We've just come back from an amazing trip with another family to Costa Rica. Planned and supported by Yuliana, KimKim and Amazilia throughout. Fantastic service from start to end. Thank you Yuliana and KimKim/Amazilia.

From the moment I contacted KimKim with a speculative query, KimKim’s responsiveness was immediately apparent.

A local agent was assigned to help me plan the trip within 24 hours and thereafter, all queries were responded to, at maximum within 24 hours, or within minutes if my queries were sent within office hours of Costa Rica time zone, which I've noticed can often run to 7 or 8pm local time. Our minds were made up to choose KimKim to help plan our holiday within the first few interactions and supported by the excellent reviews they've received for trips all over the world.

We were not disappointed. Yuliana was the local agent assigned to us, she has been professional, helpful, and responsive throughout; irrespective of the number of questions I had and boy, I had a few questions as we knew very little about Costa Rica. Whilst there were a few tweaks to her draft trip plan, it had met the brief straightaway. We played around with hotels, number of nights at each destination and activities to suit our families. We had some specific requirements and date constraints as two of our teenagers were volunteering at a Turtle conservation centre in Uvita, in week one, therefore we had to fit in with their timeline. Yuliana helped us arrange the private transfer to collect them up from the conversation centre before picking the rest of the party up to our onward destination. She changed things around, provided additional options or clear feedback on suggestions where things may not suit, we really valued the honesty and her local knowledge.

The trips and transfers were done with a mixture of providers but we felt reassured that KimKim/Amazilia were there in San Jose to support if there were issues. The trip ran like clockwork, transfers were prompt, activities were enriching and fun and the guides were knowledge and entertaining. There were only a couple of hiccups which were not the fault of KimKim but they were on the case promptly and helped us resolve.

Hotel Reviews
Parador Resort and Spa
Manuel Antonio

A large hotel, with beautiful ground and great facilities - multiple pools, 3 restaurants including a sushi bar, it's own crazy golf course and monkey trail. Rooms were not the biggest but adequate and well equipped. Small balcony, looking onto the courtyard. A wonderful local beach, Playa Biesanz which is walking distance but quite a steep walk. We felt the hotel was very security conscious, all entries and exits were questioned and confirmed for vehicles and pedestrian. Great ocean views. We loved the Pedro, the resident iguana!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Up a very steep hill, which put us off venturing out to try the local restaurants.
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Rooms were clean and comfortable, however, there was a faint damp smell to the linen.
Hotel & Spa Poco a Poco
Monteverde Costa Rica

Not the biggest hotel. More basic than the previous two we'd stayed in. We ended up being allocated a room without air con although it did have a fan. The hotel room was quite small but adequate. Storage was a bit of a challenge in that the hanging space was limited, within a short cupboard where my husband was not able to hang his shirt up without being crumpled. We had an issue with our plumbing which was quickly rectified. The grounds were very well maintained with beautiful planting. The hotel had a covered pool area with a good bar, a large jacuzzi and a large fire pit with seating which were popular in the evenings. There was a short walking trail around the grounds and plenty of outdoor seating, which I made use of to compensate for the smaller rooms. It's the only hotel out of 5 that had a menu option for breakfast, which was lovely.

Authenticity & Character
lovely grounds, with plenty of outdoor seating and a walking trail within the grounds. It was also very handy to have ramp access for the heavy cases on check out!
Location
Great location for access to Santa Elena, where we were able to sample the local bars and restaurants of which there are many.
Staff
responsive and friendly
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Arenal Springs Resort & Spa
Fortuna

Lovely hotel set in a lot of grounds. I like the lodge arrangements that was separate to the pool and restaurants. Good choice of restaurants, we particularly liked the Italian, the Sushi bar and the snack menu which was offered during the day. There was plenty of choice for breakfast and the service time from 6:30 helped with several of our early morning excursions. We preferred the evening meals from the other restaurants on site. There was a mix up upon checking where my acceptance of an upgrade for one of the rooms turned out to be a change the hotel had made, reducing our 3 room requirement to a single room which was upgraded to the Master Suite. Whilst this did come with a double room, it would not have worked accommodating with 2 families, 7 people. The hotel did insisted that we had to settle for this arrangement as they were full, fortunately KimKim were already on the case and by the time we went back to reception after assessing the room. Arenal Springs did provide us with another double room which we made work. That was an unfortunate start to an otherwise wonderful stay at Arenal Springs. We all loved the daily towel displays and chocolates and the Master Suite was luxurious with two in-room jacuzzis powered by Hot Springs, an indoor and outdoor shower and a hammock with a view of Arenal Volcano.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hampton Inn & Suites San Jose Airport
Alajuela

Good hotel, room size and facilities as you'd expect of a large chain.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Very convenient for the airport and the free shuttle was handy
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Cristal Ballena Boutique Hotel & Spa
Playa Ballena

Cristal Ballena is one of our favourites on the trip. The hotel was fairly small therefore an intimate feel. It was tucked away off the main road and had amazing views, floral, fauna and wildlife. We got best close up view of a sloth of the whole holiday at Cristal Ballena. The staff were attentive, the food was good. We had dinner at the hotel on all 3 nights we were there. Rooms were of a good size, with air con. We had a balcony with a view into the the hotel grounds, swimming pool, the ocean in the distance for incredible sunsets.

Authenticity & Character
Relatively small and intimate, with great staff.
Location
Tucked away from the main road. Well maintained and beautiful gardens. It would be 5 star if the beach was a bit more accessible. Great views and sunsets.
Staff
Friendly and attentive. They would often come over to let us know if wildlife had been spotted.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Clean and comfortable.
Activity Reviews
Whales & Dolphins Boat Tour in Marino Ballena National Park
Costa Rica

A great adventure with a relatively small group. We were rewarded with sightings of plenty of dolphins and a turtle, even though the whales didn't make an appearance on that day. We liked the way the guide was in communication with all the other boats out with the same purpose so if one boat spotted wildlife, the others would rush to the same spot so others could also. It brought an additional element of excitement to the tour. We particularly loved the way the tour started and ended, where the passengers had to enter the boat from the beach rather than a jetty and surfing the waves to get back onto the beach! What fun. The fresh fruit was a nice touch.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Damas Island Mangrove Kayaking
Costa Rica

Thanks Alain and the other guides for a wonderful experience. We saw lots of wildlife, had enough freedom to go at our own pace although there were some quite competitive kayaks :). We appreciated the food at the end of kayaking.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike
Costa Rica

Thank you to our wonderful guide, Carla for spotting all the wildlife (we don't know how you manage to see some of the well camouflaged insects and animals), flora and fauna and particularly for help us take some tremendous photographs through your binoculars with our smart phones.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Sloth Watching Tour
Arenal/La Fortuna

We spotted 7 in all, two and three toed sloth. We also saw plenty poison dart frogs, a Jesus Christ Lizard, howler monkeys and a tiger heron. Thank you to our knowledgeable guide and the local spotter who'd spent hours before tracking down the animals.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Guided Hanging Bridges Hike
Monteverde

Thank you to our guide Phillipe, we thoroughly enjoyed the tour. We learnt a lot about Costa Rica's eco system and climate. The transfer was a little confusing, as it was a bus full and no communication about where we had to go at the beginning so we joined the main queue, along with the other bus loads. However, all was clear when we got to reception. We were assigned Phillipe as our guide. It was really busy at the time so Phillipe suggested that we did the bridges backwards, ie. from 8 to 1 to avoid the crowds. That worked really well.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Night Tour at the Wildlife Refuge in Monteverde
Monteverde

3 star, not because we didn't see as much as we'd like but because our guide whilst informative was less conversational. Again, he tried to avoid the crowds and the searches felt a little desperate towards the end. That said, we did enjoy it and managed to capture great photos of a glass winged butterfly, pit viper, hummingbird amongst others. Thank you for providing torches.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Pick up was slightly late. We came to the realisation that this can happen where there are multiple pick ups. The buses can get very full which can be a challenge for those over 6 foot.
Arenal 1968 Hike & Visit to Ecotermales Hot Springs
Arenal/La Fortuna

Thank you Franklin, we believe he's one of the best. We were entertained. The teenagers even enjoyed the singing and the dad jokes ;). Hot and humid but we really enjoyed it. Franklin kept a good pace, although he did say at the beginning that we could ask him to slow down if we'd need him to. The heavens opened when we got to the thermal springs and for the most of our time in the springs but we enjoyed the experience nonetheless.

Quality of Experience
Food
Good choice
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Horseback Riding to the La Fortuna Waterfall
Arenal/La Fortuna

This was never going to be our favourite activity, as a group we're not experienced, therefore I don't review the horse riding part. The 3 star review is because of the mismatched in expectations around the La Fortuna Waterfall and optional opportunity to swim. We didn't expect this to be a hike (at least 30 mins) down steep steps (and back up for the return) to get to the waterfall. We were prepared for a short walk but not this level of difficulty. The walk also didn't bring us to the waterfall, whilst it was visible at the end of the walk. For those who had opted to swim, they can cross the water with a further short walk to get to the waterfall. For those who had opted not to swim, there was no way to get to the waterfall and there was nowhere to stand/sit and wait for the rest of the part. We collectively felt that this detail need to be reflected in the activity description.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Safari Floating by Raft at Peñas Blancas River
Arenal/La Fortuna

What a finale activity for us. Once again, our guide was brilliant, knowledgeable, full of humour and chat thank you Martin. We had to do a little bit of work but not a lot given the flow of the river. Our activity was made some what more exciting by an unplanned rescue of a couple of stranded kayakers (both were rescued, unharmed and laughed about their experience).

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Yuliana Valverde

Our trip was awesome. We had zero issues, it ...
Costa Rica | Jul 20 - Jul 31, 2022

L
Les A.
San Fernando, CA | Reviewed on Aug 07, 2022

Our trip was awesome. We had zero issues, it went very smoothly. read more

Our trip was awesome. We had zero issues, it went very smoothly.

Local specialist: Sergio Bolaños

Everything was perfect!
Costa Rica | Jul 13 - Jul 26, 2022

John
John K.
Canton, GA | Reviewed on Jul 30, 2022

From the initial planning stage through the changes and modifications and until the final transfer to the airport, everything was wonderful. I always felt informed and up-to-date on everything thanks to Olman's prompt communications. We could not have asked for a better specialist to help us arrange this trip. read more

From the initial planning stage through the changes and modifications and until the final transfer to the airport, everything was wonderful. I always felt informed and up-to-date on everything thanks to Olman's prompt communications. We could not have asked for a better specialist to help us arrange this trip.

Hotel Reviews
Selva Verde Lodge
Sarapiquí

This was the last leg of our trip and the lodge was very different from the first two places we stayed. This felt like the least crowded place we stayed and we had a lot of peaceful time to ourselves and we enjoyed two guided tours, on one of which we had the wonderful guide Faviola all to ourselves and on the another there were just two others. The staff in the restaurant were lovely and friendly and made us feel very welcome.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Faviola is a wonderful asset to Selva Verde and her knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm on the tours made each of them memorable and special.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Cariblue Beach and Jungle Resort
South Puerto Viejo

We had a wonderful and relaxing 6-night stay at Cariblue - this was the middle leg of our trip and we enjoyed the extra time and lazy days that a long stay afforded. The accommodation was lovely, the air-con was a luxury and we enjoyed the pool and the restaurant. We were also able to experience the beach and the immediate location outside the hotel on foot. It was quiet and never crowded out and about.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Mawamba Lodge
Tortuguero

We enjoyed our stay at Mawamba Lodge and were glad to have stayed three nights to allow us to take our time on tours and enjoying the grounds. We never felt that the place was crowded nor did we ever have to wait for anything. The staff at the restaurant and bar were very friendly and professional and welcoming. You can tell that they are being trained properly by a well-managed company.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Parque del Lago Boutique Hotel
San José

Though we stayed just one night, this was a lovely little hotel in central San Jose. If we ever return to SJ to explore the capital further, I would certainly stay here. The staff are very friendly and welcoming.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Enjoy the Beauty of Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero

The boat tour of the national park was wonderful - we were in a small group in an open top boat and we pretty much saw everything that we expected to see and more. I had binoculars and was able to help the guide with spotting and we were busy viewing wildlife almost the whole journey.

Quality of Experience
Food
There was no food on this trip
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Guided Hike in Cahuita National Park
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

There were four adults and 3 children on this tour and that was a perfect size - any more people and the trail would have been crowded and we would have had difficulty spotting wildlife and hearing the guide. It was a long, hot walk in the rainforest with a welcome dip in the sea halfway through and some fresh pineapple to refresh us. We also had a boat collect us at one point to help speed up our return trip.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Visit Jaguar Rescue Center
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

This was the most crowded tour and place that we visited in our whole two weeks but it was worth it. The work they do here is incredible and the volunteers and staff are to be commended.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Kayak Adventure & Rainforest Hike in Punta Uva
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Our kayak trip was cut short because the river was high due to overnight rains - so we could only go a short distance upstream - and the seas was too rough for the second part of our paddle. we had a short hike around Punta Uva, but the guide seemed like he wanted to be somewhere else and he was much less engaging than any of the other guides we met on our holiday.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Rainforest Guided Hike
Sarapiquí

The hike in Selva Verde's primary forest was fascinating. Faviola is an excellent guide and her knowledge of, and enthusiasm, for the flora and fauna is impressive. They even provided wellies for us to walk through the mud!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
There was no transport as the hike was at the lodge.
Local specialist: Olman Romero

Costa Rica Highlights
Costa Rica | Jul 20 - Jul 27, 2022

Albert
Albert C.
Sunnyvale, CA | Reviewed on Aug 16, 2022

Alfredo was our tour guide for 1968 Arenal Park. He was amazingly knowledgeable and great to hike with. I wish we could have taken more tours with him.

Andy (Andres) was our guide for the night hike and guided hike in Monteverde through ForestAlive. He was a super interesting character and I loved our experiences with him. Very knowledgeable, cool gadgets, and a very interesting discussion around life, spirituality, and nature.

Nayara resort was the best hotel I've ever stayed at. It... read more

Alfredo was our tour guide for 1968 Arenal Park. He was amazingly knowledgeable and great to hike with. I wish we could have taken more tours with him.

Andy (Andres) was our guide for the night hike and guided hike in Monteverde through ForestAlive. He was a super interesting character and I loved our experiences with him. Very knowledgeable, cool gadgets, and a very interesting discussion around life, spirituality, and nature.

Nayara resort was the best hotel I've ever stayed at. It was an amazing experience and the quality of service, food, environment, etc was top notch. I wish I could have stayed for longer.

Hotel Reviews
Senda Monteverde Boutique Hotel
Monteverde
Authenticity & Character
Location
Very walkable.
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Nayara Hotel Spa and Gardens
Fortuna

Hands down the best resort/hotel I've stayed at. In a word, impeccable.

Authenticity & Character
Location
A little out of the way, but most everything you'd need is on site anyway.
Staff
Everyone was so friendly.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Casitas Tenorio B&B
Upala, Alajuela
Authenticity & Character
Staff was great, breakfast was great. Cabin was super cool design wise. They fed the animals at breakfast which was a neat little show.
Location
It was pretty close to "downtown" but required driving up a unpaved road. Was not walkable.
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Rio Celeste & Tenorio Volcano Guided Rainforest Hike
Costa Rica

The overall hike was nice, but our specific experience was not amazing. Our guide was a no-show due to some sort of misunderstanding (presumably). We had to pay for parking at the main lot since our guide wasn't there to tell us to park in their private lot. It was rainy, so the river was not blue like in the pictures (but that's just luck of the draw). The guide who did jump in to help us was pretty good, but the ending of the hike was a bit awkward while we waited around to figure out payment (basically fact checking that we had pre-paid).

Quality of Experience
The river, in the sunlight, would have been very pretty.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Oscar, our impromptu guide was pretty okay, but the fact that our real guide didn't show up was awful.
Tabacón Hot Springs & Dinner
Arenal/La Fortuna

We stayed at a resort that did have hotsprings, so although Tabacon had a gimmick of the river hotspring, it was not worth it for us. It was crowded, the pools were very shallow, the natural rock was painful, and the man-made pools even more painful. They charge a deposit for towels, so you have to worry about people walking off with your towel and owing money at the end.

Quality of Experience
Food
Options were somewhat limited (set menu). Food was good, but the reservation timing was awkward.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Night Hike in the forest
Costa Rica

Our guide Andy was great. We saw some interesting things, got to play with cool gadgets like infrared cameras, night vision goggles and UV lights.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Cloudforest Reserve Privately Guided Hike
Monteverde

Andy was great. Super interesting to talk to and very knowledgeable about the forest and animals, cameras and photo techniques, and just life in general. Very attentive to our questions and desires.

Quality of Experience
Everything was great.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Andy was an amazing guide.
Transport
Coffee & Chocolate Tour
Costa Rica

It was good, but very touristy. The handmaking of the various products was an interesting experience, but overall it wasn't the kind of thing we typically do.

Quality of Experience
Smaller groups, more authenticity.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Staff and guides were all very nice. No complaints here.
Canopy Zipline Tour
Costa Rica

Roy and Ebi were great guides. It was a fun experience, never felt like we were in any danger. Great views and very exciting.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Hike in Arenal Volcano Park 1968
Arenal/La Fortuna

Alfredo was a really great guide. He was very knowledgeable and very fun to talk to. I would have taken more tours with him if I could have. We ended up going over on time because Alfredo would give such detailed and interesting answers to the questions we asked. The park itself was very cool and pretty. A lot of interesting history here that isn't just generic "this is a jungle hike."

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Canyoning in the Lost Canyon
Arenal/La Fortuna

It was really fun but a little bit dangerous. The rocks were slippery and if you don't have good balance you can easily trip. The rappelling was not inherently dangerous, but I did tweak my arm coming down one of the waterfalls. Our guide Roy was fun to work with. I didn't realize how wet we would be getting and should have worn different clothes.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
It was delayed by 20 minutes or so. Couldn't leave stuff on the bus either.
Local specialist: Charlotte Törnqvist

Wow! Great travel solution for busy people!
Costa Rica | Jul 19 - Jul 27, 2022

Christine
Christine C.
Berkeley, CA | Reviewed on Jul 28, 2022

Wow! Back when we were younger, we used to put everything together ourselves when we traveled but this time we were traveling with another family and did not want to drive ourselves around. We also didn't have time to do all the research that we used to have before kids. Brittany and KimKim made this trip possible.

Brittany and her team was fantastic and patient when it came to answering our questions. The website interface was pretty good and intuitive, though there was a bug where... read more

Wow! Back when we were younger, we used to put everything together ourselves when we traveled but this time we were traveling with another family and did not want to drive ourselves around. We also didn't have time to do all the research that we used to have before kids. Brittany and KimKim made this trip possible.

Brittany and her team was fantastic and patient when it came to answering our questions. The website interface was pretty good and intuitive, though there was a bug where the changes I made to the schedule wouldn't "stick." Brittany found a workaround quickly. When we made scheduling choices that wouldn't work given the rain season, we got good advice for making better choices.

Because I had never used KimKim before, I did a bit of homework to check the KimKim prices vs. the prices offered by the tours on their own websites. In some cases, the tours were less expensive through KimKim, some the same price, and some about $10 more, but absolutely worth it to not have to do the coordinating ourselves. All in all, it would have cost us about the same to do it ourselves but it would have taken us a lot more time to do it ourselves.

KimKim offered many price points for accommodations except for the last location, since it was the most expensive area and not a fault of KimKim. Since we paid so little for accommodation earlier, we were able to splurge for this last location. Even with the lowest-priced accommodation, the splurge was luxurious and worth every penny. We never, ever would have booked a resort in the past but this was really great for families.

Every tour operator, driver, and guide that KimKim worked with were helpful, punctual, flexible, knowledgeable, and phenomenal. There was only one tour guide we didn't think was exceptional and that was the only tour guide that KimKim wasn't responsible for booking. I am looking forward to working with them again!

Hotel Reviews
Parador Resort and Spa
Manuel Antonio

We don't usually spring for resorts but it was the most reasonably priced option that we saw. I'm glad we did it! The rooms were immaculate and top-notch. Reception and guest services was super helpful for a huge variety of questions. Breakfast was great. Pool is great. Staff are great. Kids loved the pool table. It was generally very kid friendly. We saw a sloth on our first day!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Kokoro Mineral Hot Springs
La Fortuna

I was glad to be isolated from the busy town. The trees and view of the volcano are magnificent. Even on our first day, we saw so many different birds and wildlife! The pool and the springs were a hit with the kids. The delicious food in the restaurant was very reasonably priced and my kid won't stop talking about their fish fingers. The staff is super helpful and flexible, and was always helpful with tours and accommodations. They even made to-go breakfasts for us in the mornings we'd leave too early for the included breakfasts! I appreciated the opportunity to have laundry done for about $8. The rooms were spacious and simple, but we didn't need more than that. It was great!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Arco Iris Lodge
Santa Elena

We saw lots of critters here! Monkeys, agouti, and the resident dogs and cat are a hoot. Great location right in town and close to restaurants (we liked Legado Monteverde, esp. the seafood plancha with Peruvian sauce). Breakfast buffet was delicious and varied. The rooms were clean and thoughtfully laid-out. Our suite was perfect for a family. Lots of hanging hammock chairs for the kids to mess around outside. Staff was helpful, especially Laura. Highly recommend!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Venado Cave Spelunking & Exploring
Arenal/La Fortuna

We've been on lava tube tours and other limestone cave tours in the US but this one blew them all away! Part of this was the structure of the tour and the cave setting (no guided trails) but a huge part of this was our guide. Marcus knew so, so much about everything. Seriously, I don't know if he has an advanced biology or botany degree or what. We mentioned not having seen a sloth yet (we were only 2 days into our trip) and not 3 minutes after we mentioned this, he located a sloth in the trees on the way there! He stopped the van, got us all out to look with his monocular telescope, let us ask questions and take photos, loaded us back into the van, and then found another one! That was even before we got to the cave. Marcus was great with our varying ranges of ages, fitness, and confidence going into this amazing adventure. We learned so much about the critters and the geology. He was encouraging and friendly, patient and passionate. We did this early in the trip and we knew right afterwards that topping this experience would be hard!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Horseback Riding Costa Rica - All Day Cowboy Ride
Monteverde

Wow! We have done a bunch of riding tours in other places so I was expecting more of the same, but just for longer. We signed up for the whole day and I am so grateful! We learned a ton from Marvin about horses and it is so clear he loves them. They are so cared for and responsive, the easiest horse I have ever ridden—speaking as someone who only does 1-2 hour trail rides with a lifetime total of 10 rides and doesn’t consider themself a rider. Our kids have probably done 5 lifetime rides and they did great. I enjoyed the western style of riding (felt easier on my knees) and the horses didn’t have to wear bits. Marvin had lots of gentle and useful reminders for riding, and his English is much better than he gives himself credit for. The scenery was phenomenal and easier to absorb than on a zip line. The lunch was delicious and filling, nicely accounting for our pescatarian diets. We had time for the kids to scramble around and in a stream and the number of butterflies we saw verged on ridiculous. We were on the horses for almost 5 hours and we will be sore tomorrow for sure but everyone agrees it was worth it, even the kids. Advice? He will provide ponchos if you don’t have any (rain jackets are insufficient for keeping the saddles dry) and you don’t need to bring water because he will pack it. Bring stuff you can wear into the stream, or at least enough to stick your legs in. I probably should have worn jeans but I wanted to pack light, oops. I don’t wear contacts often but did for this trip and I am glad because some parts were very bumpy and my glasses would have fallen off. Definitely a highlight of our trip and we won’t ever forget this!

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Brittany McNamara

Excellent
Costa Rica | Jul 9 - Jul 17, 2022

C
Christie F.
Hickory, NC | Reviewed on Jul 28, 2022

I was honesty very skeptical about using KimKim because I simply discovered it while researching online but I could not have been more pleased! Everything worked out perfectly. All of our stays were amazing. The drivers were excellent and never late. I highly recommend them. read more

I was honesty very skeptical about using KimKim because I simply discovered it while researching online but I could not have been more pleased! Everything worked out perfectly. All of our stays were amazing. The drivers were excellent and never late. I highly recommend them.

Hotel Review
Hotel Linda Vista
El Castillo de La Fortuna

This view is amazing.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Location
The view
Staff
Great service
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Brittany McNamara

The trip was overall great. I would of liked...
Costa Rica | Jul 7 - Jul 20, 2022

D
Deborah D.
Lake Forest, CA | Reviewed on Jul 27, 2022

The trip was overall great. I would of liked if Olman was able to be reached on weekends in case of an emergency. I feel that KimKim needs to make sure people that they work with in other countries are available to their clients all the time if they are traveling within their country. Tour excursions should be booked as weather permitted. As thunderstorms in their winter are most likely in the afternoon, morning excursions would be more appropriate. I loved everywhere we went and our... read more

The trip was overall great. I would of liked if Olman was able to be reached on weekends in case of an emergency. I feel that KimKim needs to make sure people that they work with in other countries are available to their clients all the time if they are traveling within their country. Tour excursions should be booked as weather permitted. As thunderstorms in their winter are most likely in the afternoon, morning excursions would be more appropriate. I loved everywhere we went and our lodging was really good. My favorite areas were the rainforest and cloud forest as the beautiful tropical lushness of the country is simply gorgeous. A must is to zip line in Monteverde and white water rafting in La Fortuna/Arenal. I added the chocolate tour which included coffee and sugarcane. It was hands on and a great learning experience. I look forward to returning to Costa Rica soon.

Hotel Reviews
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens
Monteverde

I really enjoyed this hotel. Upscale, classy hotel with good food and presentation. Small room but a cottage feel. Pretty grounds.

Authenticity & Character
Classy feel
Authenticity & Character
Location
Close enough to walk to town to eat at a local restaurant that was really good
Location
Staff
Very. Nice
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Cleanliness & Comfort
Jungle Vista Boutique Hotel
Manuel Antonio

Our room was very nice. We had a tree outside our room that belonged to a sloth so we enjoyed watching her in her several positions. We also saw a howler monkey on our tree as well as a white bearded monkey. I liked that it had a kitchenette as well.

Authenticity & Character
Small boutique hotel with hardly any other travelers
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
It always felt so clean and the jungle view was nice
Local specialist: Olman Romero

Trip of a Lifetime to Costa Rica
Costa Rica | Jul 6 - Jul 20, 2022

A
Aude H.
Newton, MA | Reviewed on Jul 27, 2022

Our family (including 16- and 13-year-olds) traveled to Costa Rica for 15 days. The trip was amazing!! Charlotte and Serendipity Tours did a wonderful job arranging all the details and we could not have asked for more. Charlotte was very collaborative in planning the trip and made sure that all details were covered; this made our trip completely seamless We really enjoyed all of the hotels and tours she arranged for us, especially those in Turrialba, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, and Manuel... read more

Our family (including 16- and 13-year-olds) traveled to Costa Rica for 15 days. The trip was amazing!! Charlotte and Serendipity Tours did a wonderful job arranging all the details and we could not have asked for more. Charlotte was very collaborative in planning the trip and made sure that all details were covered; this made our trip completely seamless We really enjoyed all of the hotels and tours she arranged for us, especially those in Turrialba, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, and Manuel Antonio.

We really appreciated that many of the hotels and tours were smaller companies--they provided amazing service and we were grateful for the careful attention and thoughtfulness that the personnel infused into our experience. Aguas Claras in Puerto Viejo and Arenas Del Mar in Manuel Antonio might be the best hotels we have ever stayed in!

Highlights of the trip included: 1) canyoning in Turrialba with Cesar and Sergio from Natural Paradise
2) whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River (courtesy of Exploradores Outdoor and our amazing guide Roberto "Taltu")
3) zip lining at the Vista Arenal Adventure Park in Arenal/La Fortuna
4) horseback riding around the Arenal volcano region with Go Adventures)
5) a guided tour of Manuel Antonio National Park with an incredibly knowledgeable guide from Edgar New Concept

I have already recommended Kim Kim, Serendipidity Tours, and Charlotte to two friends who are interested in visiting Costa Rica and will definitely use Kim Kim for visits to other countries in the future.

Thank you again,

Aude

Hotel Reviews
Casa Turire
Turrialba

The hotel is located in a beautiful area and is a charming, relaxing place to stay. It is a little older but very comfortable. The service was wonderful and we very much enjoyed our stay. There were several nice touches including bicycles to ride around the beautiful property, and a bottle of wine in the room. The meals were very good.

Authenticity & Character
the hotel is situated in an old plantation and is filled with charm and character
Location
the setting is breathtaking and peaceful
Staff
the staff were very warm, welcoming and attentive
Cleanliness & Comfort
the beds were comfortable and the room was cozy and pleasant
Aguas Claras
Puerto Viejo

Aguas Claras is one of our favorite hotels of all time. It is a small, boutique hotel located just outside of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (which is great because the town can be quite bustling and busy). It consists of several separate bungalows surrounding a main area (with a restaurant, pool, and reception). The bungalows are beautifully decorated, spacious and comfortable with every amenity. The restaurant was phenomenal and we enjoyed breakfast and dinners there. The service was unparalleled--the concierge Nathalie was attentive and incredibly thoughtful. She helped us arrange several things including dinner in town and service from our rental car company to replace a flat tire. Other staff were equally wonderful. The hotel is a short walk to a beautiful, seemingly secluded beach. This hotel is a hidden gem and we could not recommend it more highly.

Authenticity & Character
The hotel bungalows are beautifully appointed with many artistic touches. The grounds are beautifully maintained and we saw wildlife just walking around the property;
Location
The proximity to the town and the beach
Staff
Staff were a highlight of our stay and were very attentive, thoughtful, and warm.
Cleanliness & Comfort
The hotel was very comfortable--everything from the beds, to the living areas, to the showers were perfect.
Local specialist: Charlotte Törnqvist

KimKim.com made planning my trip to Costa Ric...
Costa Rica | Jul 8 - Jul 15, 2022

K
Kathy S.
Tahlequah, OK | Reviewed on Jul 26, 2022

KimKim.com made planning my trip to Costa Rica easy. The service was excellent. I received messages from Brittany and Ryan every step of the way. If I had a question, they had an answer for me within the day. In addition, the ability to select locations, activities, and hotels ala carte made planning more personal. Activities were a combination of group and individual choices. Hotel selections included three- to five-star aminities.

Thank you so much, Kimkim.com, for helping me create a wonderful trip!!!

Local specialist: Brittany McNamara

Some thoughts on Costa Rica
Costa Rica | Jul 6 - Jul 22, 2022

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Gareth H.
Switzerland | Reviewed on Jul 29, 2022

Firstly about KimKim (and I guess by definition about Olman) - whilst in hindsight I probably COULD have organised most of the things on this trip myself - having Olman do it (and super efficiently as well it has to be said) certainly took all the hassle away, and gave me a very useful security blanket (which was called upon and deployed successfully) - so you pay more - you get more - the choice is yours.

Olman was patient with me as I changed my mind on what I thought I wanted to do and... read more

Firstly about KimKim (and I guess by definition about Olman) - whilst in hindsight I probably COULD have organised most of the things on this trip myself - having Olman do it (and super efficiently as well it has to be said) certainly took all the hassle away, and gave me a very useful security blanket (which was called upon and deployed successfully) - so you pay more - you get more - the choice is yours.

Olman was patient with me as I changed my mind on what I thought I wanted to do and the price I was willing to pay. No rush in getting us to pay our final bill which was appreciated.........

Mixed feelings about Costa Rica have to say.

Darned expensive for family of 5 from the UK right now - exchange rate not helping for sure. We also forgot (coming from the UK) that sales tax is levied - but never included in menus or on price tickets - it always hits you as a surprise when you pay the final bill. So whenever you consider a meal out - factor in 13% sales tax, plus service charge and so on...

Not surprisingly I guess, given the reliance on the tourist dollar, Costa Rica charges you for EVERYTHING…Wonderful scenery - if you can afford to pay for the view!

Every National Park charges entry of $16 / person / per day - no family rates, no multi-day, multi-location passes (missing a trick here for us families for sure). Every wonderful waterfall you read about is fully “monetised“ (on private land always so unsurprisingly again) but $20 each for a walk to a albeit fantastic waterfall gets pretty expensive. I KNOW our wealth as tourists is substantial in comparison but when you’ve saved for eons doesn’t mean that you have loads of options to do all the things available to you. I know that tourism is CR’s lifeblood in many ways but it does make you appreciate some of the fantastic sites, and holiday possibilities closer to home. How many waterfalls are charged for in the UK for example?

Having said all that there were plenty of memorable experiences:
- Monteverde / St Helena area - chilled vibe
- a night tour in a private reserve with a great guide spotting stick insects, frogs, tarantula, toucan etc. that was pretty special (via Reserva Curi Chanca in Monteverde)
- boat tour around jungle canals with monkeys and iguana in Toruguero
- Zip lining above the forest canopy was pretty exciting with last section over a k in length - again near Monteverde (via https://selvatura.com/).
- Hotel Plaza Yara near Manuel Antonio - lovely chilled hotel
- Hiked up to the top of an old volcano - Cerro Chato on the Arenal area - really challenging up a dry stream bed conscious all the time that a storm would make it an altogether different challenge! It is apparently illegal to do this trip (so less said about this great experience the better possibly....)

Trips I was less enamoured with were
- canyoning near La Fortuna - via https://www.puretrek.com/ - they rushed us through - pretty much tied us the ropes, lowered us down, ushered us the next drop and were keen to see us through and gone. No element of the slightest danger for sure - but hey - at least let us play the rope ourselves if we choose to do some rappelling eh??
- hot springs, again in La Fortuna - at https://ecotermalesfortuna.cr/ - one pool "hot" - others pretty tepid - all very plush but misses the natural feel you'd have in Iceland for example. Meal was good though!
- Manuel Antonio National Park - crowded, not allowed to take any food in (for understandable reasons) - but then have grotty cafe with overflowing bins and wasps, no access to furthest beaches - very underwhelming for me personally
- Diving off the Catalina Islands - shit viz - but them's the breaks when you go diving

We went in the rainy season - so that meant the afternoon storms when they happened were biblical - and very impressive in their own right! Having said that - quite a few days where we had no rain and it certainly didn't spoil the trip. It pays not to be out on anything less than a really good road if you have a hire car in these conditions.

We’ve paid quite a bit for good hotels and for me personally it’s meant a certain lack of real interaction with other travellers - kids have loved the comfort though!

Local specialist: Olman Romero

Great family trip (last minute planning)
Costa Rica | Jun 22 - Jul 1, 2022

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Jackie J.
Medford, MA | Reviewed on Jul 28, 2022

We had a spectacular time in Costa Rica. Sergio assisted us in an itinerary that met our interest in adventure, variety and family time. He was there through the entire time as things needed to shift because of weather or road closures - and also just to provide recommendations as we went along. The tours and guides he matched us with - from rafting to hiking to surfing - were all wonderfully competent and personable. read more

We had a spectacular time in Costa Rica. Sergio assisted us in an itinerary that met our interest in adventure, variety and family time. He was there through the entire time as things needed to shift because of weather or road closures - and also just to provide recommendations as we went along. The tours and guides he matched us with - from rafting to hiking to surfing - were all wonderfully competent and personable.

Hotel Reviews
Autentico Hotel
San Jose
Casa Turire
Turrialba

Nice place, pool / bikes are great additions.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Congo Bongo EcoVillage Costa Rica
Manzanillo, Limon

Amazing experience - but be sure to note that you are living "outside" for much of the time - and will likely want to bring your own food. The walk to the beach is spectacular.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Pacuare River Rafting
Turrialba

Wonderful guides. We didn't get to do the Pacurare but they made the best of if.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Long Nature Hike at La Selva
Costa Rica
Chocolate Tour
Costa Rica

Loved their enthusiasm / knowledge and the story of how they are making a difference in their community. Will change how we choose/eat chocolate!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Surfing on the Caribbean Coast
Costa Rica

Super accommodating and encouraging staff - wonderful place for beginners to feel successful.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Local specialist: Sergio Bolaños

Ups and downs but overall ok experience.
Costa Rica | Jun 30 - Jul 14, 2022

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Erica B.
Poland | Reviewed on Jul 29, 2022

Ours was a mixed experience using Kim Kim. The design and booking process was AMAZING. Bryan was super responsive, very patient, and really dedicated to making sure we ended up with a trip that we loved. The implementation of the plan wasn’t as smooth in all cases. Bryan handed us over to someone else - Charlotte - for on the ground logistics who was also so incredibly responsive and patient. We had to change a number of things because of a tropical storm and Charlotte was quick to make... read more

Ours was a mixed experience using Kim Kim. The design and booking process was AMAZING. Bryan was super responsive, very patient, and really dedicated to making sure we ended up with a trip that we loved. The implementation of the plan wasn’t as smooth in all cases. Bryan handed us over to someone else - Charlotte - for on the ground logistics who was also so incredibly responsive and patient. We had to change a number of things because of a tropical storm and Charlotte was quick to make everything — including new additions and added requests — happen very quickly. Where it wasn’t as successful was in the details. It did not feel as if Bryan or Charlotte had visited the hotels themselves(recently) or had any intimate knowledge on quality. I’ve used numerous travel agents in the past and they are typically able to say, listen, I know the photos on the website are amazing but….in real life the rooms are run down, noisy, etc. Speaking candidly, three of the four hotels we went with were mediocre — one was straight up bad (for which Charlotte got us some credits)— and I would have expected better insight from people on the ground. The hiking excursions they planned were absolutely spectacular — we asked for, and got, private guides that could move at a family pace, engage kids, teach our about ecosystem, and not hassle us over being 15 late with a meal or needing an extra potty break. Truly, the vendors and guides they connected us with made the trip. The local transportation was hit or miss — in some places we could leave a bag in the car while we hiked and in others it was more of a taxi drop/off pick up — which is fine — but the communication about this was spotty and unclear. There was also a catamaran booking where we were on a 90+ person boat that was dirty, had blaring music, and cafeteria food when we agreed to a small group boat, with a guide who would point out wildlife and a BBQ lunch. The whole point of our trip was to be in a quiet setting that respected nature and was as private as possible — so this booking really made us feel like Bryan and Charlotte did not understand the point of the trip — we don’t care about mishaps but this made us feel like we weren’t on the same page about the experience we were looking for and had been talking about. In the future this has made me realize that although Kim Kim is easy to use and so convenient as a platform, if you don’t connect — really connect — with your trip planners on quality and expectations the details could get lost in translation. Normally I select a travel agency or excursion company because of their values and how they describe their trips and partners and so I know I’m working with a company that is on the same page as me in terms of hotel quality or excursion vibe — with this experience I didn’t have that and in the end, felt it in the details. So a mixed bag — lots of learning on my side — and deep respect for much of what I got on the Kim Kim side.

Hotel Reviews
Hotel Costa Verde
Manuel Antonio

We found Hotel Costa Verde to be mediocre and, based on our room location, the opposite of a beach vibe. We were in the A block of rooms which is right on the road. It was really loud - lots of trucks and cars and people yelling. If your room is away from the street and near the beach, I could imagine having a different experience. We had two rooms A7 and A8. A8 was upstairs and had a sitting room, high ceilings, kitchenette, balcony with a far away ocean view + 2 queens and a bunk bed. A7 had the same bed set-up, kitchenette, and balcony but had really low ceilings and was dark and depressing. The top bunk in A7 was not usable given the ceiling height and fan placement. Both rooms were run down and dingy — rusted faucets, gross molding and corners, and bedding that could really use an upgrade — the A/C is run by a key so you can’t leave it on, the hot water is super unreliable, and you are supposed to use the same towels for pool and shower. The A block has its own cute pool but requires driving to the beach which, with little ones, is a hassle. Breakfast is made to order and was good — the other restaurants were totally overpriced for the quality — especially when you have such good food at local restaurants nearby. The staff was nice but not really service oriented — the overall experience was more “hostel” than “hotel”.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
La Riviera Hotel B&B
Heredia
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Peace Lodge
Vara Blanca

We stayed at Peace Lodge our first two nights in Costa Rica. No words to describe how lovely our experience was — every detail was thought about, from your name on tiles outside your room to the fire going and late night snacks waiting for the kids upon arrival. The rooms have natural indoor living gardens and jacuzzis in the bathrooms. The balconies have hammocks, jacuzzis, hummingbird feeders and the views are staggeringly beautiful. The food — at breakfast and in the restaurants was fabulous — and literally, any change or request was honored without an issue. One of our bags did not arrive and they opened the gift shop after hours so we could buy our son a few things!!! And the grounds are truly spectacular — the exhibits are small but lovely and the waterfall loop a truly perfect hike with kids on day one. Trout lake was also really fun — even in the rain :-) Just can’t say enough good things — it’s about the details — the staff were just absolutely extraordinary and we loved our experience.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Arenal Springs Resort & Spa
Fortuna

The Springs, like Peace Lodge, gets the service aspect down 100%. They do not miss any details and are totally focused on making sure adults and kids have whatever they need to relax and enjoy. The property is big but they run you wherever you want to go on golf carts. We had two adjoining rooms (610-611) and they put my parents right next door without us even asking. The rooms are nice — not luxurious but spacious and super comfortable. The food was really good — again, nothing out of this world but really solid. The hot spring pools were a hit for everyone and the kids could be in the main one for hours. The large pools weren’t the cleanest which was my only issue but they are heavily used. There is a swim up pool vibe — fun, music, cocktails and so If you are looking for luxury or quiet this isn’t it. We did a lot of hiking and so only used the pools for an hour or so between or after excursions and so it was fine for us for these pop ins. Overall, a really solid comfortable choice for families or groups. If only adults, I would likely look for something a bit more unique.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Rooms and restaurants were spotless — the main pool area not as much. Lots of floating hair (no joke) and the area by the swim up bar was rundown and not clean.
El Establo Mountain Hotel
Monteverde

El Establo was okay. We had two rooms — one was a duplex with two king beds (311), one was a standard room with two queens (204). The duplex would be good for kids but the stairs are totally open so not ideal for little ones. Overall the rooms were dark and rundown. Internet was really bad, hot water was limited, and definitely nothing luxurious about either room but both had nice balconies and lovely views — but no furniture to sit on. Breakfast was really good but the food we ordered from room service after a long day of hiking — pizza and rice stir-fry — was literally inedible (not an exaggeration) and very expensive. The property is huge — and pretty — and there are shuttles to take you everywhere if you don’t want to/can’t walk but the overall vibe is just super disconnected and impersonal. The service was odd — breakfast crew was awesome and helpful but then it took 3 calls and a personal trip to reception to get a room service menu or an extra blanket. There was nothing awful about it and since we spent most days on hikes and tours, we were fine to crash here at the end of the day but we also were not impressed at all. The location is good for views and walkable to butterfly garden and Valle Escondido and a quick taxi from downtown but if I return I would definitely try someplace else.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Review
Catamaran Adventure from Manuel Antonio with Meal
Manuel Antonio

This was terrible! It is a 100 person boat with terrible blaring music and filthy conditions. The floors are gross after two minutes from all the people, spilled food, soggy snacks. Someone vomited and it wasn’t cleaned up for an hour. The food was nasty — packaged cookies and soggy fruit for snacks and awful large plastic cafeteria trays of rice and fish served to people standing in long lines for lunch. There was someone on a loud speaker saying look at this volcanic rock or that beach but no information worth listening to. There was a water slide that was open for an hour and “snorkeling” — which means they handed out life jackets and masks and said if you don’t know what you are doing, don’t go because we are far from a hospital (not joking). Honestly, it was terrible and dirty and we could not wait for it to be over.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Bryan Leon

Amazing Costa Rica trip planned by Kimkim
Costa Rica | Jun 22 - Jul 4, 2022

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Wei S.
Bellevue, WA | Reviewed on Jul 19, 2022

We have always wanted to visit Costa Rica to see the amazing animals in their natural habitate. However, we just didn't have the time and energy to plan a big two-week trip. Reading endless reviews for many tours and deciding on which region/city to visit. So, we decided to use a travel agency for the trip planning. I found Kimkim from online searches and liked the fact that until the trip is finalized to my liking, we don't need to pay for anything. Brittany was amazing in getting exactly... read more

We have always wanted to visit Costa Rica to see the amazing animals in their natural habitate. However, we just didn't have the time and energy to plan a big two-week trip. Reading endless reviews for many tours and deciding on which region/city to visit. So, we decided to use a travel agency for the trip planning. I found Kimkim from online searches and liked the fact that until the trip is finalized to my liking, we don't need to pay for anything. Brittany was amazing in getting exactly what we were looking for. We only had to book our own flights, and the rest was handled by her. We were a little worried if a driver or tour guide wouldn't show up as we had scheduled before we went on the trip. As Brittany had told us that hasn't happened yet, they were all on time and even arrived earlier than us. We had 0 incidents of any issue with the drivers and tours. They were all very professional and knowledgable! We had a problem with one of the hotels mistakenly charged us at the checkout. I contacted Brittany and Kimkim's emergency phone number and got a response in 10 minutes! They even handled sorting out everything with the hotel after we left Costa Rica. I am really happy that we chose to work with Kimkim for this trip. Otherwise, we would have to spend so much time on our own to plan for the trip and still not know if things would work out. We would have definitely had a lot of hassle to have to deal with correcting the mistake of the hotel charges on our own. I would highly recommend Kimkim to anyone who is planning on a bigger trip to a country that they are not familiar with, or just don't have the time to plan the trip themselves, or don't want to risk having things go wrong on your trip.

Hotel Reviews
W Costa Rica - Reserva Conchal
Guanacaste

High-end hotel. The food is pretty good, but pricey. We had all inclusive packages, so we didn’t have to worry about the price. Their sushi is not that great though. Best of this hotel is that you get to see the howler monkeys and coatis and other creatures close up. We took several tours to see wildlife and actually saw the howler monkeys most close up right on the trails of this hotel. It also has a nice beach. You can check out kayaks, body boards. There are also local tour vendors on the beach by the hotel, so you could do horseback riding, ATV type of things on your own. I would recommend this hotel.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
We didn't like the person at the checkout. Other people were great.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Baldi Hot Springs Resort & Spa
Fortuna

I like the hot spring pools and the location of the hotel. The staff is great here too. The rooms are very nice as well. The thing we don't like about this hotel is the food is not great. Breakfast was included and it was pretty good. Lunch and dinner here in their restaurants are not great. We especially didn't like their Italian restaurant food. The dinner buffet was ok ($20/person, kids has a discount) for up to two times there. Then it gets pretty boring.

Authenticity & Character
pools are pretty nice
Location
close to hotsprings
Staff
very friendly
Cleanliness & Comfort
very clean
Activity Reviews
Sloth Observation - Day or Night Walk
Arenal/La Fortuna

Great fun doing the night tour. Got to see creatures that are active at night. If you haven't done a night tour before, I would highly recommend it. Our tour guide was super knowledgeable and fun too.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Proyecto Asis Wildlife Rehabilitation Center - Volunteer Experience
Arenal/La Fortuna

Got to see animals close up and learned a lot. The guide was fun and had a lot of stories to tell. We also did hands-on food preparation (cutting veges) and making fun fodd containers, and then saw them enjoy our prepared food. Kids loved it especially.

Quality of Experience
Food
There was water, coffee and cookies served.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Tamarindo Mangrove & Estuary Boat Tour
Gulf of Papagayo

The guide was nice, but there were hardly any animals we saw. I know there is a lot of luck envolved in these nature tours. It was fun seeing mangroves and monkeys though. We were able to see monkeys close up on our hotel's campus later. So if you want to see monkeys, I would still recommend this tour.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Venado Cave Spelunking & Exploring
Arenal/La Fortuna

Love this one! How often do you get to explore 15-million year old caves! I wrote a google review for this too. Highly recommend doing it at least once in your life.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Catamaran Sailing Adventure
Costa Rica

The water wasn't clear so we couldn't see any fish. It was fun being on the catamaran, but we've done it a number of times before. We saw one sea turtle on this tour. If you have done catamaran at other places, I would just skip this one.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Arenal Hanging Bridges Guided Walk
Arenal/La Fortuna

A very easy walk in a well maintained park. Saw a lot of monkeys there. The guides were very knowledgeable. I would recommend this one!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Chocolate Farm Visit & Workshop
Arenal/La Fortuna

I personally liked this low key tour. My kids also liked it. There is no factory here, just some trees. I think we just liked watching them making chocolate and us tasting chocolate. If you just want to do something less physically demanding, and your hotel is close to this farm, I would recommend it.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Brittany McNamara

Our Costa Rica adventure! 🇨🇷
Costa Rica | Jun 29 - Jul 8, 2022

Esther
Esther R.
Indio, CA | Reviewed on Jul 18, 2022

Our trip to Costa Rica was absolutely inspiring and every destination was as breathtaking as the one before! Having Brittany to guide our planning through every step of the way eliminated so much of the stress and confusion of traveling to a place that I had only dreamt of visiting but in reality, didn't know much about and honestly, didn't even know where to begin. Her suggestions were right on point, almost as if she knew us personally. Every single booking from lodging to transportation... read more

Our trip to Costa Rica was absolutely inspiring and every destination was as breathtaking as the one before! Having Brittany to guide our planning through every step of the way eliminated so much of the stress and confusion of traveling to a place that I had only dreamt of visiting but in reality, didn't know much about and honestly, didn't even know where to begin. Her suggestions were right on point, almost as if she knew us personally. Every single booking from lodging to transportation was flawless. Even during an emergency evacuation, she took time to make rearrangements for us and communicated with me during the times of uncertainty and after the fact to ensure that our trip continued smoothly and safely. Having that peace of mind is simply priceless. Aside from that, we are blessed with added experiences and memories that my family will treasure for the rest of our lives. With all the different destination offerings and my family's love for travel, there is no doubt in my mind that we will book through kimkim.com again soon!

Hotel Reviews
Pachira Lodge
Tortuguero

There are so many activities within the hotel and you will not experience a single dull moment. Immerse yourself in the natural surroundings and simply enjoy!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Their energy is contagious
Cleanliness & Comfort
Cleanliness was good, not so much the beds.
Hotel Arenal Lodge
Fortuna

All staff was amazing (with the exception of one). We felt right at home in this cozy lodge. My son even made friends with the children of guests visiting from Germany. They communicated through Google Translate, lol. This was probably my favorite part of our Costa Rica trip!

Authenticity & Character
Location
A bit isolated if you plan to really get away.
Staff
Everyone was simply amazing 👏 with the exception of one person.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Clean-yes, but the beds were a bit hard.
Hotel La Mariposa
Manuel Antonio

Very cute and quaint and the wildlife was impressive. The monkeys and birds were on full display. Breathtaking!

Authenticity & Character
Cozy and peaceful
Location
Near town and beach
Staff
Always polite
Cleanliness & Comfort
Clean-yes, but once again, beds were not the most comfortable
Local specialist: Brittany McNamara