Profile photo for Bryan Leon
5958 messages
active 10 hours ago

Bryan Leon

I was born in one of the coffee plantation areas located right in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. My parents are from the countryside, they guided me about how to enjoy nature. I studied eco-tourism management and I am also a certified tour guide.
I am already traveled all over my country and I love to advise about the best places to have unforgettable experiences. I am passionate about nature, especially I enjoy birdwatching and I’m fascinated by wildcats. Nothing is better than hiking through the forest, it is an amazing therapy for me.
Respecting the tradition, I follow the same path today. I’m showing my own family how important the forest is for human development and I'm also educating them about the richness of our culture. I know that they will do the same in the future.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I'm specialized in naturalist tours in every kind of forest of Costa Rica. I know great places for cultural activities, especially for people that want to know about the costarican real essence. I love to plan adventure tours for couples, families, or work teams, where they can enjoy an exciting time together. I've lived on both, the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of the country, so I have so much experience with local activities. "

How did you get involved in travel?

"I grew up maturing my respect and love for nature. I spent all my vacations from school - hiking, riding a horse, and swimming in rivers.
When I finished high school, I decided to start my career in tourism because I totally matched with the courses about biodiversity and culture, and the activity is also one of the main commercial sectors of my country. I am really happy with my choice nowadays.
Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to enjoy traveling all over the country. I visited magic places where I got immersed in my own culture and I also found amazing animals in the primary forest. I am passionate about every single detail related to travel. The opportunity to share my knowledge about Costa Rica with tourists from different countries and cultures is one of the most valuable gifts that I ever received.
I am also a certified tour guide. I’ve personally operated travel itineraries through the different regions of the country. I have experience in national routes, climate, and intelligent spots available on the way that provide an excellent complement for the trip. I also know about the best time to visit a specific area and I will recommend the best place to find certain kinds of birds, reptiles, mammals, plants, or any other species from our extremely diverse country.
I am proud of my land and people, Costa Rica is an amazing destination to create unforgettable memories.
"

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"I am fascinated by Jaguars!!!
The top of my experiences related to wild cats happened when I was working in Tortuguero, a small village located in the North Caribbean of the country. I've seen a jaguar right from the boat on one of my daily tours, I remember that big cat just taking the sun in a huge stone - It was a magic moment that I will never forget!!!. Fortunately, this is just one of the tons of beautiful stories that I lived traveling throughout Costa Rica.
"

Bryan is part of the following groups: Costa Rica Travel Agents
Spot hummingbirds and many other species on your birding adventure
Birding in Costa Rica: Tortuguero, Corcovado, Carara National Park, & More - 13 Days

Experience the best of birding in Costa Rica on this 13-day journey through tropical paradise. In Tortuguero, learn about turtle conservation and spot dozens of birds and other species. Then, venture to Turrialba Volcano to discover the native birdlife. Next, stroll the cloud forest of San Gerardo de Dota, where hummingbirds and quetzals thrive, followed by Corcovado National Park and Ballena National Marine Park. The finale includes scarlet macaws flying overhead at Carara National Park, before returning to San José for some sightseeing.

Costa Rica's 10 Best National Parks for Hiking
Costa Rica's 10 Best National Parks for Hiking

Hilly nature walks are practically guaranteed while visiting the rugged terrain of Costa Rica. While some travelers prioritize beaches and water sports on either coast, many will want to save space on the itinerary to explore the vast interior and myriad of wildlife. Good news for hiking enthusiasts: The majority of Costa Rica's 27 national parks offer well-maintained trails. From volcanoes, to tropical dry forests, to remote rainforests, here’s a list of the country’s 10 best national parks for hiking.

Arenal Volcano
Costa Rica: Natural Highlights Luxury Tour - 6 Days

Even a mere six days is enough time to experience the highlights of Costa Rica. On this brisk itinerary, you'll do just that, visiting both Arenal and Corcovado National Park as well as enjoying waterfall hikes and exotic wildlife safaris. In between all this adventure you'll find time to relax in natural hot springs and enjoy the first-class amenities of your luxury accommodations.

Storm clouds over Arenal volcano
Best of Costa Rica in 7 Days: Explore Jungles, Volcanoes and Beaches

With a mix of rugged jungles, active volcanoes and world-class beaches, Costa Rica offers some of the best natural sights and experiences in the world, all conveniently packed into one country. Almost a quarter of the land is preserved within national parks, allowing a wide range of animals and plants to flourish, making Costa Rica an ideal destination for ecotourism. With this itinerary, you'll discover the best attractions Costa Rica has to offer in just a week.

Favorite experiences

Hike in Corcovado National Park

Starting at Agujitas Beach on Drake Bay, enjoy a dual adventure by boat and foot to explore an interesting and remote part of Corcovado National Park. The park, a spectacular swathe of rainforest and pristine coastline covering much of the Osa Peninsula, is home to many unique species, including...

Birdwatching in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

When avian activity is at a peak in the morning hours, head out into the gorgeous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, one of the most popular protected areas in the entire country for birdwatching. Whether you're an expert or a beginner, this private tour will be tailored to your experience level...

Kayaking Tortuguero National Park

There's something mystical about the system of waterways in Tortuguero National Park. Here, in this fascinating highlight of Costa Rica's Caribbean seaboard, exists an incredible network of interconnecting canals that make the park one of the best places in the country to kayak through the...

Wildlife & Birding Kayak Tour on the Nicoya Peninsula

The Río Nosara and the Río Montana are the two largest rivers in the Nosara region on the Nicoya Peninsula. Where these waterways converge, they meet at the Boca Nosara river mouth, an area of great natural beauty. You'll find expansive mangrove forests home to various waterbirds here, including...

Recent trip reviews for Bryan

Costa Rica was FUN!
Costa Rica | Nov 21 - Nov 27, 2022

A
Anthony T.
Dallas, TX | Reviewed on Dec 04, 2022

Excellent service provided by partners even with a few hiccups along the way. Wish we could have stayed longer!!!

read more

Excellent service provided by partners even with a few hiccups along the way. Wish we could have stayed longer!!!

Hotel Reviews
Hotel Arenal Springs Resort & Spa
Fortuna
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Costa Verde
Manuel Antonio
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
La Riviera Hotel B&B
Heredia
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Sky Tram, Sky Trek & Sky Walk
Arenal/La Fortuna
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Chocolate Factory Tour in Estukurú
Arenal/La Fortuna
Sukia - Night Tour
Manuel Antonio
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Manuel Antonio National Park
Costa Rica
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
San José Explorer City Tour
San José
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
La Fortuna Waterfall visit
Arenal/La Fortuna
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Ecotermales Hotsprings
Arenal/La Fortuna
Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Bryan Leon
Bryan
Bryan Leon
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Reviewed on Dec 05, 2022

Hola Anthony,

It was a pleasure to work with you!

Thank you for your constructive feedback! Costa Rica has a lot to see. Contact me back if you want to plan a second visit in the future.

Pura Vida :)
Bryan

An amazing 19 days, 1500km round trip
Costa Rica | Sep 15 - Oct 3, 2022

Balazs
Balazs L.
United Kingdom | Reviewed on Oct 17, 2022

First of all, Bryan was an amazing help in discussing our travel ideas and after confirming everything, he made an awesome job of scheduling the full holiday.

Every accommodation, activity, guide, travel, etc was smooth and punctual. The only thing we had to do was follow the itinerary and enjoy ourselves.

There were several times when arriving at the new accommodation, the guides were already there waiting for us, so we could go immediately if we feel like it, for example, the river... read more

First of all, Bryan was an amazing help in discussing our travel ideas and after confirming everything, he made an awesome job of scheduling the full holiday.

Every accommodation, activity, guide, travel, etc was smooth and punctual. The only thing we had to do was follow the itinerary and enjoy ourselves.

There were several times when arriving at the new accommodation, the guides were already there waiting for us, so we could go immediately if we feel like it, for example, the river tubing in Bijagua. Unfortunately, I have forgotten the name of our river tubing guide, but he was a really informative, friendly and good guide who made sure we enjoy the river tubing and hiking with him in Bijagua. The Casitas Tenorio B&B in Bijagua was a beautiful and calm resting place for us in the middle of our trip, where we could even spot howler monkeys a few meters away.

One of the most beautiful, calm and nature surrounded and favourite place we stayed at was the Caribbean side, the Congo Bongo EcoVillage Costa Rica in Puerto Viejo - Manzanillo. Here, you feel like you are inside the jungle, with monkeys above the house, with raccoons trying to steal your food remains in the night and hummingbirds buzzing and flying around you (less than a meter away) while you are chilling on the porch and sipping your coffee. It is beautiful.

In La Fortuna, I would strongly recommend that you would stay in the Tabacón Thermal Resort and Spa. While it is really not the cheapest (however not the most expensive either), it gives you a transcendental experience. Here, you will not have any other task just to unwind and relax. They are making sure you will have a perfect time there and nothing to worry about. I would really like to go back there, even if the level of pampering there were so new to me that I was sometimes a bit flustered. :)
I would like to mention two people from Tabacón who were extra friendly and helpful. Diego was one of the chefs (at least at the breakfasts) who made sure that you had everything you wanted, and was willing to go the extra mile to make something for you if you had any wishes.
The other person was Diane, who was the most friendly and cute person we ever had the chance to talk with. She was a joy to speak with. (most of the time she was in charge of greeting and sitting the people at the restaurant reception)

In Monteverde, while the accommodation we selected was nothing special (and even had some struggles to change rooms because the rooms randomly don't have safes), the area is wonderful and filled with animals. The coffee and chocolate tour with the Don Juan Tours was really informative and our guide was one of the funniest on the whole trip, always cracking us up. The next day, in Sky Adventures park, we had two really good guides. The hike in the park was really informative and after that I really enjoyed the Arboreal tree climbing experience. It was challenging and rewarding at the same time and had just enough trees to enjoy it.

And for last but not least, we visited Manuel Antonio and stayed in the Tico Tico Villa which was an another amazing and relaxing experience. It is just a small but well equipped nice apartment with swimming pool, BBQ and etc, meanwhile scarlet macaws are flying above you, iguanas relaxing on the porch, capuchin monkeys are travelling on the trees. The owner is the loveliest person we have met on the trip. This place in details was nothing special, however I would really recommend it because overall it is a beautiful and relaxing experience after travelling through the country.
In Manuel Antonio we went to kayaking in the Damas'Island mangrove forest which is a really nice, relaxing and unwinding experience where Emese even realised how much she likes kayaking.
The next morning, we went to the Manuel Antonio national park with Adrian from Paddle 9, who was one of our favourite guide. He was informative, friendly and helpful and through him, we could get to know a lot not just about nature but Costa Rica too. Later on the same day we had another trip with Paddle 9, however it was less successful. While the activity would have been perfect, unfortunately trying to learn to do Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP) on the ocean is not beginner friendly. Unfortunately our guide misjudged our level and we went to a shore where the waves were over our levels and had to cancel our activity, but I have to mention that they really did their best to let us hike out of that bay through the forest the safest and easiest. As a summary of this activity, it is a good fun, but be sure you are not a total beginner or if you are, you are a confident swimmer in a really good shape.

And for the end, I would like to thank Bryan and the Serendipity Adventures team again for their efforts to make sure we enjoyed this trip. Be it organising everything, giving us travel updates about larger road closures or trying to get back our lost belongings, they always did their best and we are really happy to recommend them. Thank you very much. This 19 days and 1500km round trip was a really amazing holiday.

Hotel Reviews
Hotel Presidente San Jose City Center
San José

This hotel is an excellent place to stay when arriving to San José. The staff is friendly, helpful and the hotel looks amazing. The restaurant and cafe on the top of the building with the scenery above the city is beautiful.

Authenticity & Character
The lobby and the breakfast room decorations were beautiful, with a fresco of Costa Rica history
Location
In the middle of the city, close to the museums, attractions
Staff
Congo Bongo EcoVillage Costa Rica
Manzanillo, Limon

This was one of the most beautiful place we stayed in the full trip. Howler monkeys above you, while hummingbirds buzzing around you (1m away) while you sip your coffee on the porch. A small paradise.

Authenticity & Character
The best place you can choose to stay if you want to have a small paradise feeling
Location
It is like you are staying in the forests, meanwhile has its own connection to a beach, is close to both Manzanillo and Puerto Viejo without being crowded with other tourists.
Staff
They were really helpful, gave good recommendations, were easy to chat with.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Everything was perfect. They even had a free of charge daily laundry service which was only available here. No other place provided that
Laguna Lodge
Tortuguero

The place is really unique and beautiful. Sitting at the Laguna at night and sipping your cocktail is a relaxing experience meanwhile the activities are unique too. It was interesting to see a green turtle from this close. It can be a really good and relaxing experience.

Authenticity & Character
Location
In the middle of the water of nowhere. Have to go there by a 40 min ferry ride through the lagunas.
Staff
The were really helpful and attentive. We forgot an item in our room at the rush of the morning, however they tried their best to give it back as soon and safely as possible. Unfortunately in the end we had to pay for an extra ferry ride, however we received it back in a few hours.
Cleanliness & Comfort
The place is clean, comfortable and everything you can ask for there. However, this is still in the middle of the forests, in a laguna surrounding national park, in a wooden cabin, so you should expect some insects, even cockroaches.
Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa
Fortuna

This is a small paradise in Costa Rica. I know this luxury hotel may be intimidating at first, however, we had a wonderful time while we stayed there. Everybody is working on that you will feel relaxed and happy. The resort is beautiful, there is really no better word for like paradise. Just go there, you will not regret it.

Authenticity & Character
Location
A small wonder of the world. In the middle of a rainforest, with a view to a smoking volcano, while simmering in a crystal clear river which is never too cold or too warm, sipping your perfect cocktails. A small paradise.
Staff
I have never experienced a hotel which had friendlier staff than Tabacón. I would even like to mention Diego, the chef who was responsible for our breakfasts and always took the extra mile so that we were satisfied with everything. Additionally, Diane was like an extra sun who brightened our days with her cheerfulness and kindness whenever we met her.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Spotless and perfect. I would recommend room 109, as that has the best view of the volcano in my opinion.
Local specialist: Bryan Leon
Bryan
Bryan Leon
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Reviewed on Oct 17, 2022

Hola Balazs,

It was a pleasure to work with you! Thank you for your detailed review and constructive feedback!

We will share your comments with all partners involved. I am glad to know that you had a great experience in Costa Rica. just drop me a message at any time if you want to visit some other areas of my country :)

Pura Vida,
Bryan

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

Seth
Seth E.
Garberville, CA | Reviewed on Sep 24, 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
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.
Birdwatching in Arenal Mundo Aventura 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
Local specialist: Bryan Leon
Bryan
Bryan Leon
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Reviewed on Sep 25, 2022

Hello Seth,

You are very kind to take the time to conduct such a detailed review. I am delighted to know that you enjoyed your trip. I will share your comments with the partners involved.

Let me know if you want to continue enjoying my country in the future, I will be very happy to help you.

Pura Vida,
Bryan

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
Bryan
Bryan Leon
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Reviewed on Sep 20, 2022

Hi Victoria,

It was a pleasure to work with you!

Thank you for your detailed review and constructive feedback! We will share your comments with all partners involved. Just contact me back when you want to continue exploring my country - I will more than happy to assist you again.

Pura Vida :)
Bryan

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

M
MOTTI T.
Potomac, MD | Reviewed on Aug 31, 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
Bryan
Bryan Leon
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Reviewed on Sep 08, 2022

Hola Motti and the family,

We really appreciate you taking the time to share your rating with us. We look forward to seeing you again in our small but beautiful country.

We are proud of our tour guides because they are passionate about sharing the details of our biodiversity. We will share your comments with all partners involved.

It was a pleasure to work with you! :) Thank you to contribute to our local economy with your visit.

Pura Vida,
Bryan

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
Bryan
Bryan Leon
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Reviewed on Aug 24, 2022

Hola Sabrina,

Thank you very much for your constructive feedback. I am glad to know that you enjoyed your trip.

It was a pleasure to work with you!. Thank you to contribute to the local economy with your visit.

Pura Vida,
Bryan

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

Nilima
Nilima M.
United Kingdom | Reviewed on Aug 17, 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
Bryan
Bryan Leon
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Reviewed on Aug 19, 2022

Hola Nilima,

I am glad to know that you have many ever-lasting memories of our country. Thank you for your detailed review and constructive feedback!

It was a pleasure to work with you - Pura Vida!

Be Well,
Bryan

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

H
Heloise H.
South Africa | Reviewed on Aug 03, 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
Bryan
Bryan Leon
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Reviewed on Aug 04, 2022

Hola Heloise & Sophie,

Thank you for your detailed review and constructive feedback!

We are proud of our tour guides because they are passionate about sharing the details of our biodiversity. We will share your comments with all partners involved. It was a pleasure to work with you!

Have a Pura Vida Day,
Bryan

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

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Erica B.
Poland | Reviewed on Jul 21, 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 Snorkeling & 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
Bryan
Bryan Leon
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Reviewed on Jul 29, 2022

Dear Erica,

Thank you very much for your feedback. It is much appreciated by us because we always strive to improve.

I am happy to know that you have enjoyed the hiking excursions so much because we have tour guides that work hard to show the best of Costa Rica's biodiversity. We will share your comments with the guides and drivers involved.

In regards to the hotels, we do visit them regularly but it is possible we have never got to see the exact rooms you stayed in, and that is why it... read more

Dear Erica,

Thank you very much for your feedback. It is much appreciated by us because we always strive to improve.

I am happy to know that you have enjoyed the hiking excursions so much because we have tour guides that work hard to show the best of Costa Rica's biodiversity. We will share your comments with the guides and drivers involved.

In regards to the hotels, we do visit them regularly but it is possible we have never got to see the exact rooms you stayed in, and that is why it is so valuable when clients point out details like the ones you mention since it gives us the opportunity to follow up with the hotels and make sure future clients do not end up in less convenient areas of the hotel properties. Once again, thank you for taking the time to share your experiences, and despite the fact that not everything was perfect,

I hope you will treasure many special memories from your visit to our country.

Warm Regards,
Bryan

Bryan was fantastic in organising our trip. ...
Costa Rica | Jun 28 - Jul 5, 2022

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Sheelagh A.
South Africa | Reviewed on Jul 07, 2022

Bryan was fantastic in organising our trip. The drivers were all excellent especially Pablo who took us from La Fortuna to Manual Antonio. Costa Verde was a very nice hotel with very nice front desk staff especially Marcella. All in all very enjoyable and highly recommended. read more

Bryan was fantastic in organising our trip. The drivers were all excellent especially Pablo who took us from La Fortuna to Manual Antonio. Costa Verde was a very nice hotel with very nice front desk staff especially Marcella. All in all very enjoyable and highly recommended.

Hotel Review
Hotel Costa Verde
Manuel Antonio

Very nice hotel with excellent service and friendly front desk staff especially Marcella.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Local specialist: Bryan Leon
Bryan
Bryan Leon
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Reviewed on Jul 07, 2022

Hi Sheelagh,

I appreciate your feedback. I am glad to know that you had a great experience in my country.

Thank you for your visit. It was a pleasure to work with you!

Pura Vida,
Bryan

6 Days in Costa Rica
Costa Rica | May 30 - Jun 4, 2022

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Trevor K.
Cedar Park, TX | Reviewed on Jun 28, 2022

Usually, when we travel, I do all the research, book everything, etc. but, with two kids under four in the house and work schedule, I went ahead and checked out KimKim to book a trip to Costa Rica. We ended up using Bryan with Serendipity Adventures, which worked out quite well.

We stayed in Liberia for a couple days, a couple days a Rincon de la Vieja, and then a couple days at Playa Portero. Honestly, our least favorite part was Liberia. However, the night we arrived, Bryan arranged for... read more

Usually, when we travel, I do all the research, book everything, etc. but, with two kids under four in the house and work schedule, I went ahead and checked out KimKim to book a trip to Costa Rica. We ended up using Bryan with Serendipity Adventures, which worked out quite well.

We stayed in Liberia for a couple days, a couple days a Rincon de la Vieja, and then a couple days at Playa Portero. Honestly, our least favorite part was Liberia. However, the night we arrived, Bryan arranged for us to have a coffee experience with Tierras Altas. This was incredible. It was informative and fun. We learned lots about the different type of beans, methods of brewing, and even the about the coffee industry world-wide. We have already ordered coffee beans from Tierras Altas back to the States. Rincon de la Vieja was action-packed- rappelling into canyons, tubing, zip-lining, horseback riding. And, then food was incredible! Those certainly were our favorite days. But, the accommodations at Bahia del Sol at Playa Portero were phenomenal: swim up bar, incredible beach access, and the rooms were great for us as a couple.

We loved Costa Rica! I'm thankful for Bryan putting this together. The best part of working with Bryan was that there were a few times during the week we wanted to make tweaks, and Bryan was quick to contact drivers to make sure we could get it all done. Bryan worked quickly and efficiently to make sure all was smooth.

Hotel Review
Bahía del Sol Hotel
Potrero
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Coffee Experience in Liberia
Liberia

Informative, personal, casual

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Palo Verde National Park Boat Exploration
Costa Rica
Half Day - Deep Sea Fishing Charter
Costa Rica
Local specialist: Bryan Leon
Bryan
Bryan Leon
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Reviewed on Jun 28, 2022

Hi Trevor,

It was a pleasure to work with you!

Thank you for your detailed review and constructive feedback! We will share your comments with all partners involved. Especially I am glad to know that you enjoy the coffee experience, the guys from Tierras Altas ever do their best to provide a great explanation about costarican gold beans.

Kindest Regards,
Bryan