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6733 messages
active 19 hours ago

Holden Ketchum

I have lived in Costa Rica for seven years and made it my home. My role is to help travelers connect to the activities and experiences that will bring them the most joy and provide lasting memories. Costa Rica is a unique travel destination and I hope that my clients will get to know its many qualities by making up-close and personal connections through the activities in their personalized trip plans.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I specialize in Costa Rican highlights. Additionally, I like to recommend unique places that are less frequented but offer peace and quiet for those looking to leave the crowd behind. I love sharing places where travelers can experience the biodiversity of Costa Rica, relax in peaceful places, and enjoy delicious food. Ask me where the best cheesecake can be found!"

How did you get involved in travel?

"I have been traveling my entire life. I have lived in multiple states in the USA (California, Texas, Florida, Alaska, Arizona, and Washington State) as well as other countries, including France, the United Kingdom, and Costa Rica. I completed my undergraduate degree in Paris. Being a student of history and cultural studies allowed me the opportunity to travel extensively across Europe: everything from modern museums and castles to ancient ruins and cave painting sites.
I began my new life in Costa Rica eight years ago, and I have been traveling and exploring here ever since. I have worked in travel marketing as a way to connect people to the adventures and experiences that are available to them here in Costa Rica. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"My favorite place in Costa Rica is San Gerardo de Dota, which is a hidden cloud forest not far from Cartago. On a trip last year, as we were hiking through the forest, we saw a pair of quetzals in an aguacatillo tree. We sat quietly at the side of the trail and watched them eat their fill. Eventually, the male flew from tree to tree calling to the female. The usual light mist was falling, but the sun still sent sparkling rays through the canopy. The sights and sounds were incredible, and we were all alone in the forest with them. As an avid birdwatcher, this was unforgettable for me."

Top itineraries and travel advice

Favorite experiences

Río Pacuare Whitewater Rafting

Located along Costa Rica's Caribbean slope near Turrialba is a deep gorge considered one of the best river-rafting sites in the world. The Río Pacuare runs 67 miles (107 km) from the Talamanca Mountains to the Caribbean in the southwest of the country. Along the way, it passes through some of the...

Recent trip reviews for Holden

Family adventure:Arenal/La Fortuna, Golf of P...
Costa Rica | Jun 15 - Jun 21, 2024

Vanessa
Vanessa S.
Sunnyvale, CA | Reviewed on Jul 12, 2024
Family adventure:Arenal/La Fortuna, Golf of Papagayo. This was relatively last minute trip with one adult (me) & 2 kids. It was a week filled with zip lining , nature walks, snorkeling and good ol ‘beach time. First time for all 3 of us in Costa Rica and I think we all are a little bit in love. Wilman picked us up from our hotel in San Jose in his nice clean car & drove us to Arenal. Wow what a beautiful place. Hotel room is on the foot of the volcano with our private hot spring. Mistico Park... Read more

Family adventure:Arenal/La Fortuna, Golf of Papagayo. This was relatively last minute trip with one adult (me) & 2 kids. It was a week filled with zip lining , nature walks, snorkeling and good ol ‘beach time. First time for all 3 of us in Costa Rica and I think we all are a little bit in love. Wilman picked us up from our hotel in San Jose in his nice clean car & drove us to Arenal. Wow what a beautiful place. Hotel room is on the foot of the volcano with our private hot spring. Mistico Park hike: so many hanging bridges through pristine jungle: it’s hot, loud and beaming with life: toucans, sloths, all kids of insects. Mundo Aventura zip lining was combination of adrenaline rush and amazement of zipping thought forest canopy. Staff were all so nice to my 9 and 14 yo sons. Night hike at wild frog sanctuary did not disappoint either, but we were really tired at this point:so many tiny frogs, huge spiders, sloth, and snakes. Next day we were picked up by Alex who drive us to Golf of Papagayo with a stop at Danaus eco park and butterfly garden. We saw crocodiles and more rainforest frogs. We arrived late in evening at our beachfront hotel just in time for quick swim before sunset: sun sets at 6: then pitch dark night.(which was amazing to us, boom, lights out) Next day Snorkeling with Pacific coast dive center was probably the top highlight in an action packed week. This was really unforgettable. Last day we enjoyed the beach and pool at Bahia del Sol, which was perfect. Transfer to Liberia airport was with Genaro who took different route:main road was flooded (rainy season). Big thank you, he knows how to navigate those muddy hills. When we could, we tried to eat at Sodas: family run restaurants serving Costa Rican dishes. I can’t really describe how beautiful Costa Rica is without mentioning the immense kindness and warmth of all the people we met during our trip. I feel very grateful I was able to experience this with my two kids. Thanks so much🙏I sincerely hope to be back and see more

Local specialist: Holden Ketchum
Holden
Holden Ketchum
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Replied on Jul 12, 2024

Thank you Vanessa for your kind words for our team. We are all happy to hear that you and your sons have created treasured memories here in Costa Rica 🇨🇷
We look forward to working with you again! 🦥🦋🌋
Sincerely
Holden Ketchum
Serendipity Adventures

Family Vacation - La Fortuna, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio, Dominical
Costa Rica | Jun 21 - Jul 8, 2024

Lori
Lori C.
Oakley, CA | Reviewed on Jul 10, 2024
We recently had the pleasure of working with Holden and his team to plan a trip to Costa Rica, and we cannot speak highly enough of the experience. From start to finish, Holden provided exceptional service, attention to detail, and a deep knowledge of the destination that made our trip truly unforgettable. First and foremost, Holden took the time to understand our interests and preferences, ensuring that every aspect of our itinerary was tailored to our needs. We had a good idea of where... Read more

We recently had the pleasure of working with Holden and his team to plan a trip to Costa Rica, and we cannot speak highly enough of the experience. From start to finish, Holden provided exceptional service, attention to detail, and a deep knowledge of the destination that made our trip truly unforgettable.

First and foremost, Holden took the time to understand our interests and preferences, ensuring that every aspect of our itinerary was tailored to our needs. We had a good idea of where we wanted to visit and what we wanted to do. However it was Holden’s recommendations of lodging accommodations and activities we had not even thought of that made the trip extra amazing.

Holden and his team’s expertise was evident in the seamless coordination of all our trip arrangements, from accommodations and excursions, to even arranging the rental car to be dropped off and picked up from our hotel. Throughout the planning process, Holden was always available to answer our questions, provide valuable insights, and make adjustments to our itinerary as needed. We had several changes in our itinerary over the few months prior to finalizing our trip, and each time the charges were made without hesitation.

Whether it was recommending the best lodge for hot springs near the volcano, arranging thrilling adventure activities like zip-lining and ocean kayaking, or suggesting serene beaches for relaxation, Holden had us covered. Our group of five included two almost-adult kids and Holden found the perfect accommodations that provided us just the right amount of privacy and togetherness.

We were particularly impressed with the local guides and tour operators they connected us with, who were not only knowledgeable but also passionate about sharing the beauty and culture of Costa Rica.

One highlight of our trip was the personalized wildlife Safari Float tour in La Fortuna, where we had the chance to see an incredible array of animals, including sloths, monkeys, crocodiles, a porcupine and tropical birds. Thanks to Holden’s recommendation, we also enjoyed a top notch hike through the Monteverde Cloudforest and were lucky enough to see not one but two of the elusive Quetzal birds.

While we were in Costa Rica, Holden checked in with us a few times to make sure everything was going well and his colleague, Wellman, reached out multiple times to prepare us for the next day’s adventure.

I wholeheartedly recommend Holden to anyone looking to plan a trip to Costa Rica or any other destination. His personalized service, extensive knowledge, and genuine passion for travel made our adventure extraordinary.

Local specialist: Holden Ketchum
Holden
Holden Ketchum
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Replied on Jul 11, 2024
Thank you very much Lori ❤️
I'm so happy to hear that your family had a great time here in Costa Rica 🇨🇷. It was many months of planning and customizing your vacation but it sounds like it all paid off.
That's super exciting that you saw quetzales, they can be so hard to find. A good guide is worth their weight in gold. It's great that you saw so much wildlife on the safari float as well.
Thank you for recognizing the efforts of the entire Serendipity Adventures team. We all worked hard...
Read more

Thank you very much Lori ❤️
I'm so happy to hear that your family had a great time here in Costa Rica 🇨🇷. It was many months of planning and customizing your vacation but it sounds like it all paid off.
That's super exciting that you saw quetzales, they can be so hard to find. A good guide is worth their weight in gold. It's great that you saw so much wildlife on the safari float as well.
Thank you for recognizing the efforts of the entire Serendipity Adventures team. We all worked hard to craft this successful trip for you 🌋🐒🦥🦋
I hope we can work together again in the future!
Thank you
Holden Ketchum
Serendipity Adventures

Personal Touch - Serendipity Adventures .
Costa Rica | Jun 9 - Jun 16, 2024

Eric
Eric D.
Kansas City, MO | Reviewed on Jun 25, 2024
Thank you Holden and the rest of the gang from Serendipity Adventures! Me, my wife, my 8 year old, and especially my wildlife loving 10 year old all had an awesome time! First, during the months before finalizing the trip, I appreciated being able to continually customize my itinerary. I sent a lot of messages, questions, late night thoughts, etc, and Holden would immediately answer every message. My goals were to have a week that was half jungle, half beach with a variety of... Read more

Thank you Holden and the rest of the gang from Serendipity Adventures! Me, my wife, my 8 year old, and especially my wildlife loving 10 year old all had an awesome time!

First, during the months before finalizing the trip, I appreciated being able to continually customize my itinerary. I sent a lot of messages, questions, late night thoughts, etc, and Holden would immediately answer every message.

My goals were to have a week that was half jungle, half beach with a variety of activities along the way. I chose La Fortuna and Manuel Antonio, and they worked in all kinds of excursions from hanging bridges, zip lining, a chocolate and coffee making tour, beach time, and lots of wildlife viewing opportunities. They arranged all of the transportation, and everything was spot on punctual.

The two hotels they recommended worked out great. In a single evening at Volcano Lodge I could watch steam rising out of Arenal Volcano, keep an eye on my kids in the pool, soak in thermal springs, and have a fancy dinner all in one comfortable spot. And my stay at Costa Verde included a room and multiple restaurants with beach views, as well as a fun airplane atmosphere that the kids enjoyed.

Also want to give a shout out to Alex from Serendipity Adventures, who picked us up from the airport and drove us all the way to La Fortuna. And several days later he met us again and drove us the five hours to Manuel Antonio. We spent a lot of hours chatting and learning about his country!

Overall, the personal touch made the difference. They even provided their contact info and kept in touch with us for the duration of the trip. I highly recommend them for a family with young kids!

Local specialist: Holden Ketchum
Holden
Holden Ketchum
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Replied on Jun 25, 2024

Thank you Eric, I am glad that we were able to provide you and your family with the trip you were hoping for! It sounds like the activities were a hit and I think it's awesome that your 10-year-old challenged himself on the zipline!
I love your description of multitasking at the Volcano Lodge. It sounds ideal for a parent on vacation.
Thank you also for your shout out to Alex. He is as good at entertaining travelers as he is delivering them safely to their destinations.
Thank you
Holden Ketchum
Serendipity Adventures

Perfect, Seamless Vacation in Costa Rica with Two Young Girls
Costa Rica | May 31 - Jun 8, 2024

Keely
Keely G.
New York, NY | Reviewed on Jun 10, 2024
The trip was seamless from start to finish with Holden and Wilman’s help. They did a great job listening to my needs traveling as a mom with two little girls and each of our accommodations were outstanding, as were those of any local sights / restaurants to visit. Our tours were exceptional - Mariano was a great guide and very personable. We truly enjoyed the time with him tremendously as well as the pace he set for us, even stopping additionally for ice cream, lunch etc. Alex was also... Read more

The trip was seamless from start to finish with Holden and Wilman’s help. They did a great job listening to my needs traveling as a mom with two little girls and each of our accommodations were outstanding, as were those of any local sights / restaurants to visit. Our tours were exceptional - Mariano was a great guide and very personable. We truly enjoyed the time with him tremendously as well as the pace he set for us, even stopping additionally for ice cream, lunch etc. Alex was also helpful and our guides in Manuel Antonio were fabulous helping us see the wildlife and taking exceptional photos / videos to take with us! Additionally each transfer/driver was punctual and got us to our destination on time.

Hotel Reviews
Arenal Manoa & Hot Springs
Fortuna

Wonderful facility. Staff was warm and welcoming and went out of their way to help us - a staff member even stopped us one morning to show us an injured hummingbird! We enjoyed the low key nature of the resort and lounging in the hot springs each evening before bed.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Great location for tours - only drawback is not within walking distance to offsite restaurants.
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Some bug issues but worked them out :) It is Costa Rica after all!
La Mariposa Hotel
Manuel Antonio

Beautiful facility and great location, but the service was sometimes lacking.

Authenticity & Character
Beautifully renovated, incorporating lots of local feel.
Location
Beautiful views, walking distance to beaches, restaurants and markets.
Staff
Mixed experience. The evening restaurant service was amazing, and certain attendants at pool/bar were great. Front desk service was cold and transactional; we also struggled to get the attention of wait staff to order lunch at pool or at bar.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Was beautiful! Would be helpful to have a couple more patio chairs so that a family of more than 2 can sit at once to enjoy the patio. Also needed a few more drawers/hangers.
Activity Reviews
Arenal Mundo Aventura Ride- Zipline + Horseback Ride
Arenal Mundo Aventura Ride- Zipline + Horseback Ride
Arenal/La Fortuna
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Guided Nature Walk in Danaus Eco-Center
Guided Nature Walk in Danaus Eco-Center
Arenal/La Fortuna
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Catamaran Planet Dolphin
Catamaran Planet Dolphin
Costa Rica
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Guided Hike at the Arenal Hanging Bridges
Guided Hike at the Arenal Hanging Bridges
Arenal/La Fortuna
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Private Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike
Private Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike
Costa Rica
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Guided Hike in Arenal Volcano Park 1968
Guided Hike in Arenal Volcano Park 1968
Arenal/La Fortuna
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Holden Ketchum
Holden
Holden Ketchum
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Replied on Jun 10, 2024

Thank you Keely for your kind words for all of the people who participated in making your trip a great adventure! I'm glad that the tours and activities we chose for you and your young daughters were exceptional and met your expectations! I know your trip was a long time in the making and I'm very happy to hear that you and your family had a wonderful timecreating memories in Costa Rica!
Thank you
Holden Ketchum
Serendipity Adventures

Amazing Costa Rica Trip - thanks to kimkim and Serendipty Adventures!
Costa Rica | May 30 - Jun 7, 2024

A
Avantika S.
San Jose, CA | Reviewed on Jun 09, 2024
We used kimkim to book a trip to Costa Rica (on a recommendation from a neighbor) and from the start to finish, it has been a wonderful experience! Holden was the local specialist from Serendipity Adventures who worked with us to come up with a high level itinerary and activities to do based on our interests, kids’ ages and his recommendations. I appreciate how flexible he was to make changes and adjust the itinerary/exercises when we changed our mind :) He was always around to answer any... Read more

We used kimkim to book a trip to Costa Rica (on a recommendation from a neighbor) and from the start to finish, it has been a wonderful experience! Holden was the local specialist from Serendipity Adventures who worked with us to come up with a high level itinerary and activities to do based on our interests, kids’ ages and his recommendations. I appreciate how flexible he was to make changes and adjust the itinerary/exercises when we changed our mind :) He was always around to answer any questions/concerns around the trip (for example: self drive vs. using private pickup/drop-offs), giving us all the options and impacts on time, cost, etc. Once we had confirmed the itinerary and the place tickets and made the payments, we were introduced to the Operations team of Wilman and Nancy from Serendipity Adventures. I was really impressed on how they were always accessible and available to answer questions, to give us gentle reminders, offer preparation tips and be the go-to support for the trip.

Our trip started with a hiccup when our flights had to be changed the day-of travel but just letting Wilman know the new flight details was all it took to ensure that our arrival in Costa Rica was smooth, without any more bumps. He and his team also helped to work with one of the hotels when we had some room issues and made the whole situation so smooth and less stressful. Wilman used to check in often to ensure that things were on track, communicate if a pick up was running late, gave reminders about upcoming activities or to request early breakfast! Really thankful to him and his team!

The hike guides (Mariano, Alex, Andres) and car drivers (Mariano, Alex) - were just great and really fun to talk with! We learned so much about the new country, its ways, the food and the amazing biodiversity with each of these individuals who enriched our experience, and ensured that we were safe, comfortable and had fun! All the activities that were organized with Holden’s help - the zip-lining, forest night tours, kayaking were great and thankfully the weather cooperated all along!

Thanks so much kimkim and Serendipity Adventures for this wonderful trip! Pura vida!

Hotel Reviews
Arenal Manoa & Hot Springs
Fortuna
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
El Establo Mountain Hotel
Monteverde
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Costa Verde
Manuel Antonio
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
The bathroom of our room looked like in need of an upgrade because of a broken toilet.
Activity Reviews
Guided Hike at the Arenal Hanging Bridges
Guided Hike at the Arenal Hanging Bridges
Arenal/La Fortuna
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Big Arenal Mundo Aventura Zipline + Tractor
Big Arenal Mundo Aventura Zipline + Tractor
Arenal/La Fortuna
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Rio Celeste & Tenorio Volcano Private Hike
Rio Celeste & Tenorio Volcano Private Hike
Bijagua / Rio Celeste
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike
Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike
Manuel Antonio
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Introduction to La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano
Introduction to La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano
Costa Rica
Sukia Nighttime Nature Walk
Sukia Nighttime Nature Walk
Manuel Antonio
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Monteverde Cloud Forest Guided Hike
Monteverde Cloud Forest Guided Hike
Monteverde
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Ocean Kayaking & Snorkeling
Ocean Kayaking & Snorkeling
Manuel Antonio
Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Holden Ketchum
Holden
Holden Ketchum
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Replied on Jun 10, 2024
Hello Avantika, please give our thanks to the neighbor who recommended us. I'm excited to hear that your trip was a great success and that the diligent work of our team at Serendipity Adventures created an amazing adventure for you and your family in Costa Rica. I'm glad to hear that our Operations Team was able to help you every step of the way to make sure everything was fluid and seamless as we met not only your expectations but even our own standards of excellence. It's good to hear... Read more

Hello Avantika, please give our thanks to the neighbor who recommended us. I'm excited to hear that your trip was a great success and that the diligent work of our team at Serendipity Adventures created an amazing adventure for you and your family in Costa Rica. I'm glad to hear that our Operations Team was able to help you every step of the way to make sure everything was fluid and seamless as we met not only your expectations but even our own standards of excellence.

It's good to hear that our guides provided you with excellent tours including safety, conversation, and information about every location you visited. I hope you return to California with wonderful family memories or your trip to Costa Rica!

Thank you
Holden Ketchum
Serendipity Adventures

Awesome trip. Relaxation and Adventure!
Costa Rica | May 11 - May 18, 2024

G
Greg W.
Chicago, IL | Reviewed on May 20, 2024
I was a skeptic in the beginning, but Holden nailed it. We had an amazing trip. Resorts and activities were exactly what I was looking for. Spent 5 days on the beach and 4 day in the rain forest. Both were spectacular. Can't say enough about Holden and his team of advisors. Never felt alone or confused. Serendipity Adventures was the local specialist that helped plan, organize, and manage our trip. Holden, Nancy, and Wilman were awesome! Thank you!! Read more

I was a skeptic in the beginning, but Holden nailed it. We had an amazing trip. Resorts and activities were exactly what I was looking for. Spent 5 days on the beach and 4 day in the rain forest. Both were spectacular. Can't say enough about Holden and his team of advisors. Never felt alone or confused. Serendipity Adventures was the local specialist that helped plan, organize, and manage our trip. Holden, Nancy, and Wilman were awesome! Thank you!!

Hotel Reviews
Hotel Bosque del Mar
Playa Hermosa

Everyone was so helpful and friendly. Super clean and accommodating.

Authenticity & Character
Beautiful beach and secluded rooms.
Location
Close to the airport, but never felt busy or full of people.
Staff
Super helpful and friendly.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Very clean and well maintained property. Good food and drink selection on property.
Arenal Manoa & Hot Springs
Fortuna

I loved this place! It was quiet and easy to feel relaxed and comfortable. Close to all the activities. The views were so amazing. So many birds, animals and beautiful flowers right outside my door.

Authenticity & Character
Hidden away from the business of the cities. Felt like I was in paradise.
Location
So easy to come and go. Parked right outside my room. The drive from Libera was incredible, so much fun.
Staff
Everyone was super nice and took pride in there work and the resort.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Super clean and well maintained resort.
Activity Reviews
Tropical Sunset Sailing Adventure
Tropical Sunset Sailing Adventure
Costa Rica

We had a great time. The weather was just okay, but it was so nice to see the sites and swim in a private bay. Unfortunately no sunset to view that day. Crew was great, always there for questions and conversation.

Introduction to La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano
Introduction to La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano
Costa Rica
Guided Hike in Arenal Volcano Park 1968
Guided Hike in Arenal Volcano Park 1968
Arenal/La Fortuna

It was a great introduction to the area. Our guide was great.

Big Arenal Mundo Aventura Zipline + Tractor
Big Arenal Mundo Aventura Zipline + Tractor
Arenal/La Fortuna

This was a great activity. The views were exceptional. The staff was great and full of fun and information.

Local specialist: Holden Ketchum
Holden
Holden Ketchum
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Replied on May 20, 2024

Thank you Greg for your kind words. It was a pleasure working with you to put together the best trip possible. Sorry about the weather! But I'm glad that you enjoyed everything that we worked on together. It was teamwork!

Wonderful Time in Costa Rica
Costa Rica | Apr 4 - Apr 25, 2024

Larry
Larry R.
Newark, NJ | Reviewed on Apr 30, 2024
The Serendipity team of Holden, Nancy and Wilman provided excellent advice and support for our trip to Costa Rica, both before and during our three weeks in CR. They were knowledgeable, friendly and always responsive. The Kimkim website made it easy to plan our visit and communicate. We had to make a few changes ‘in real time’; these were done promptly and professionally. Thanks for helping us have a great experience in Costa Rica! Read more

The Serendipity team of Holden, Nancy and Wilman provided excellent advice and support for our trip to Costa Rica, both before and during our three weeks in CR. They were knowledgeable, friendly and always responsive. The Kimkim website made it easy to plan our visit and communicate. We had to make a few changes ‘in real time’; these were done promptly and professionally. Thanks for helping us have a great experience in Costa Rica!

Hotel Reviews
Rio Celeste Hideaway Resort
Bijagua

Beautiful room, great hotel staff, excellent food, very nice pool, pretty grounds with hiking trails. Saw a sloth when we arrived and colorful birds every day at breakfast!

Authenticity & Character
Design, rooms, staff, common areas, wildlife on grounds
Location
Lots to do and see. Rio Celeste river.
Staff
Very friendly and helpful
Cleanliness & Comfort
Everything!
Arenal Manoa & Hot Springs
Fortuna

Nice room. Friendly, helpful staff.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Off the main road. Pretty grounds.
Staff
Very attentive. Helpful during a temporary illness.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens
Monteverde

Nice room. Pretty grounds with trails. Comfortable restaurant and pool area.

Authenticity & Character
Natural setting with birds and some small mammals.
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel & Spa—Adults Only
Manuel Antonio

Very nice hotel. Beautiful views to the ocean.

Authenticity & Character
Layout of hotel restaurant, pool area and our room.
Location
Staff
Randall in the restaurant was great!
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hampton Inn & Suites San Jose Airport
Alajuela

Very comfortable, clean. Excellent staff. Easy in and out.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Near the airport. A little tricky to find on googlemaps.
Staff
Very helpful and friendly
Cleanliness & Comfort
Grano de Oro Hotel
San José

Very nice hotel. Excellent staff and restaurant.

Authenticity & Character
Charm
Location
Easy to get to; near other restaurants.
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Ecocentro Danaus Guided Rainforest Walk (without Transportation)
Ecocentro Danaus Guided Rainforest Walk (without Transportation)
Arenal/La Fortuna

Excellent guide. Interesting place. Rained all morning!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Tapir Valley Nature Reserve Night Walk
Tapir Valley Nature Reserve Night Walk
Bijagua / Rio Celeste

Very cool night hike! Saw tapir and her baby.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Rio Celeste & Tenorio Volcano Private Hike
Rio Celeste & Tenorio Volcano Private Hike
Bijagua / Rio Celeste

A strenuous hike of 3+ hours. Go early!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Guide helped us with trail challenges, shared cultural info., , not much re: flora and fauna.
Transport
Cloud Forest Reserve Privately Guided Hike
Cloud Forest Reserve Privately Guided Hike
Monteverde

Excellent hike with lots to see and learn.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Our guide Andres was great!
Transport
Day at Selvatura including Hanging Bridges and Fauna Exhibitions
Day at Selvatura including Hanging Bridges and Fauna Exhibitions
Costa Rica

Excellent variety of plants and animals. Awesome butterfly area. Very good lunch, too.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Local specialist: Holden Ketchum
Holden
Holden Ketchum
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Replied on Apr 30, 2024

Thank you Larry and Ingrid for your kind review. I'm so glad that everything ran smoothly during your trip and we were able to help you in the best way possible for all of your "real time" changes. It was a privilege to help you create such a memorable trip! And I enjoyed seeing all of your amazing pictures!
Thank you
Holden Ketchum
Serendipity Adventures

Well-organized trip
Costa Rica | Apr 6 - Apr 13, 2024

Marcia
Marcia J.
Redmond, WA | Reviewed on Apr 22, 2024
Well-organized trip. Having the transport arranged for us let us focus on family and CR, not navigating how to get around. Serendipity Adventures, the on-the-ground subcontractor for KimKim, was superb. KimKim found the perfect place for a family of 7 to stay for a week in Manuel Antonio. Read more

Well-organized trip. Having the transport arranged for us let us focus on family and CR, not navigating how to get around. Serendipity Adventures, the on-the-ground subcontractor for KimKim, was superb. KimKim found the perfect place for a family of 7 to stay for a week in Manuel Antonio.

Hotel Reviews
Gran Hotel Costa Rica
San José

Just a Hilton from the Curio Collection. Everything was spectacularly nice (to be expected from a 5 Star hotel), but also quite divorced from a Costa Rican Experience; once inside the hotel, we could have been in almost any country anywhere. Great breakfast. Great location. Interestingly, less-than stellar restaurant staff, some of whom were slow and indifferent. If you value the luxury hotel experience, change this rating to 5 stars.

Authenticity & Character
A luxury hotel that could be transplanted to anywhere in the world. Devoid of authenticity except the building is a bit historic.
Location
Staff
Good front desk, great porters, great room service, and a full sized crib for our toddler, not just a pack-n-play. Restaurant staff a bit indifferent.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Costa Verde
Manuel Antonio

A wonderful place for families. We were 7 and KimKim found us the perfect house (Casa Quinta) on the property. Multiple great pools. Monkeys everywhere, which we all loved.

Authenticity & Character
Location
It is indeed built on the side of a hill. Plan on uphill hiking or plan on multiple taxi rides (totally worth the extra expense).
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
The cleaning staff even washed our dishes!
Activity Reviews
Private Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike
Private Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike
Costa Rica

Not suited for young children. Mostly we saw small sleeping sloths only viewable through binoculars, which little kids can't easily negotiate. Defiinitely go early in the morning, before the heat sets in. Nice tour with a naturalist for older children and adults, with lots of teaching and explaining that bores the little ones and is great for others.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Damas Island Boat Tour
Damas Island Boat Tour
Manuel Antonio

Mangroves are cool for those of us with little experience with them.

Quality of Experience
Food
Simple and authentic dinner at an outdoor cafe afterwards.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
One of us left a phone on the bus and they brought it back to us almost before we even discovered it missing. Above and beyond service.
Local specialist: Holden Ketchum
Holden
Holden Ketchum
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Replied on Apr 22, 2024

Hello Marcia, I'm glad that you were able to enjoy the hotel in Manuel Antonio, keeping your whole family together. I'm sorry that the national park tour was a little too much for your little one, but it sounds like everyone was ablet to cool off and enjoy the pools at Costa Verde. I'm also glad to hear that there were lots of monkeys to keep you entertained and that your phone was promptly returned to you.
Thank you
Holden Ketchum
Serendipity Adventures

Just back from a 9 day trip to Costa Rica (Ar...
Costa Rica | Mar 12 - Mar 20, 2024

Martin
Martin L.
Canada | Reviewed on Apr 17, 2024
Just back from a 9 day trip to Costa Rica (Arenal/La Fortuna, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio). Loved the guidance that Serendipity Adventures provided us both before our travels (thanks Holden and Nancy )a we trip planned, and appreciated the support locally from Wilman while we were there. The entire experience was both spectacular and seamless, from the rental car agent meeting us at our hotel, to the various guides that met us as planned on the different parts and locations of our... Read more

Just back from a 9 day trip to Costa Rica (Arenal/La Fortuna, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio). Loved the guidance that Serendipity Adventures provided us both before our travels (thanks Holden and Nancy )a we trip planned, and appreciated the support locally from Wilman while we were there. The entire experience was both spectacular and seamless, from the rental car agent meeting us at our hotel, to the various guides that met us as planned on the different parts and locations of our amazing adventures (wildlife, ziplines, thermal baths, coffee plantations, and Pacific beach time to name a few). We appreciated having the peace of mind of a local contact for the trip as questions arose, as well as an after hours emergency contact number as well (which thankfully we did not have to use). The trip itinerary was detailed, and very easy to follow, and allowed us flexibility as we self drove from various parts of the country. Pure Vida ! Thank you!

Local specialist: Holden Ketchum
Holden
Holden Ketchum
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Replied on Apr 18, 2024

Thank you very much, Martin! I'm so glad that the effort and planning paid off and you and your family had a great time making memories here in Costa Rica. I am happy to hear that you feel everything ran so smoothly and that you had some amazing experiences.
Thank you
Holden Ketchum
Serendipity Adventures

Our trip was amazing! Every guide and transpo...
Costa Rica | Mar 2 - Mar 12, 2024

Bobbi
Bobbi S.
McHenry, IL | Reviewed on Mar 13, 2024
Our trip was amazing! Every guide and transport was ready for us. Our trip was well planned. It went very smooth. One incident on our way to airport was resolved by Holden and Nancy immediately. It was a trip of a lifetime!!! Read more

Our trip was amazing! Every guide and transport was ready for us. Our trip was well planned. It went very smooth. One incident on our way to airport was resolved by Holden and Nancy immediately.

It was a trip of a lifetime!!!

Hotel Reviews
Arenal Manoa & Hot Springs
Fortuna

Absolutely amazing! The buffet was wonderful. Rooms were clean. Beds and pillows were too hard for my liking. Food was delicious. Beautiful volcano views. Seen a lot of wildlife, including a sloth on our resort.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens
Monteverde
Authenticity & Character
Beautiful grounds and hotel. Clean.
Location
Very peaceful.
Staff
Friendly
Cleanliness & Comfort
Very clean and comfortable beds and pillows.
Gaia Hotel & Reserve—Adults Only
Manuel Antonio

Hotel was a little dated and not as well taken care of as the first 2 hotels we stayed at. Beds and pillows were comfortable. Too hot to enjoy the roof top patio. The resort was laid out a little funky. Not enough staff to take care of things the way I expected. Nice place, but not exceptional. I did like that we had a 2 bedroom villa.

Authenticity & Character
Weird layout of resort and pools.
Location
A little far from beach and towns.
Staff
Very friendly. Private concierge was amazing!!!!
Cleanliness & Comfort
Need more staff. Pools needed to be cleaned more often. Villa was clean and comfortable. In need of updating.
Gran Hotel Costa Rica
San José

I did not like hotel. It was clean but no outdoor spaces to enjoy. Food was subpar compared to other hotels we stayed at. No privacy when using bathroom or shower from other guests in my room.

Authenticity & Character
Contemporary. Did not feel like authentic Costa Rica.
Location
Right downtown. Good for walking and sightseeing.
Staff
Language barrier. Did not talk to anyone really.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Very clean. Beds and pillows were very nice.
Activity Reviews
Private Hike in Arenal Volcano Park 1968
Private Hike in Arenal Volcano Park 1968
Arenal/La Fortuna

This was amazing. Our guide was knowledgeable. The hike was more difficult than expected. Very hard for my mom.

Quality of Experience
The view was amazing.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Patient. Went at our own pace.
Transport
Private Safari Float at the Penas Blancas River
Private Safari Float at the Penas Blancas River
Arenal/La Fortuna

This was one of our best experiences!!! Wildlife was amazing. Our guide was beyond amazing!! I would do this again with our guide! Surpassed every expectation!!!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Night Walk: Children's Eternal Forest
Night Walk: Children's Eternal Forest
Monteverde

I would not choose this again. We did not see wildlife.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Day at Selvatura, Hanging Bridges and Fauna Exhibitions
Day at Selvatura, Hanging Bridges and Fauna Exhibitions
Costa Rica
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Savegre Whitewater Rafting
Savegre Whitewater Rafting
Costa Rica

Loved this activity!!!

Quality of Experience
Food
Not great compared to food we had in other places.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Private Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike
Private Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike
Costa Rica
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Our guide was very excited. Made us smile just seeing his excitement.
Transport
Local specialist: Holden Ketchum
Holden
Holden Ketchum
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Replied on Mar 13, 2024

Thank you Bobbi for your honest review! I'm glad that you had a good time with your family and I will certainly take into account some of your feedback on the hotels and activities for future trips.
Sincerely
Holden Ketchum
Serendipity Adventures