Awesome Experience in Costa Rica!!! - Jan 21 - Feb 4, 2020
This was a fantastic trip! Our family was in Costa Rica for 15 days in January 2020. Our local guide was Randall Jiminez, and he was great.
The whole KimKim experience was really easy to deal with. We established how long we wanted to go for, as well as a preliminary budget. Randall gave us some ideas to start with, as it was our first time in CR.
We wound up doing what we later found to be (from other travelers) a pretty standard sampling of CR. We started in Arenal, staying in La Fortuna, then moved to the Cloud Forest of Mote Verde, and finished up on the Pacific Coast, near Manuel Antonio National Park.
Almost all of our experiences were excellent. The highlights that we would recommend to others would be:
- Proyecto Asis rescue centre. This was one of the first things we did, and remained in our top 3 for the whole trip. If you do this, make sure that you do the volunteer feeding part - that was special. Carlos, our tour guide for this one, was nothing short of superb.
- Cano Negro: This is a must on any trip to CR. We took a bus up to the wildlife area at Cano Negro, and from there took a two hour boat tour along the river, very close to the border with Nicaragua. We saw sloths, monkeys, and more species of birds than I can count, including some very rare ones. Also saw Caimans, which were cool. Had one of the best Costa Rican meals on the way back (Cosado, which is typical. You have to try it).
- Don Juan coffee tour - amazing, very tasty all around. Coffee, chocolate, and cosado. Very informative!
- Zip line - super day, did bridges in the cloud forest and then ziplines through the trees.
- Monte Verde Park: This was not arranged by KimKim, but I highly recommend it anyway. Get a guide, either private or through the park. They know what to look for, and will help you immeasurably.
- a bit more tourist-y, but absolutely beautiful. We were in easy walking distance to the beach, and our hotel was great. We stayed at the Costa Verde hotel, which has several restaurants in easy walking distance. The collectivo bus is also easy and cheap, and I wish that we had used it more (the temps were 35+C every day we were there.
- a note of caution: The Catamaran Snorkling tour that we booked was really a booze cruise. Dance music and drinks were the focus, with very little time spent snorkling, and that required us to wear life vests (a number of passengers had indulged a bit). The cruise was well executed, for what it was, but it was not what we were looking for. In retrospect, we should have more clearly laid out expectations for this activity.
We will definitely visit CR again, and I would have no hesitation recommending KimKim, especially to first-timers. Pura Vida!
Annie, Tom, and Joel