Trip to Costa Rica - Dec 16 - Jan 1, 2019
The trip was well-planned by KimKim staff, and was very enjoyable. The few snags we ran into were quickly corrected. Randall was very attentive.
We especially enjoyed our time in Monteverde, perhaps because the chilly wind and clouds are what we're accustomed to in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. The day at Selvatura was fabulous - the nature hike, led by Juan, introduced us to many plants and symbiotic systems. Zip-lining was fabulous (team of about a dozen energetic guides). Grace and Renzo were excellent hosts at El Viandante, and gave very helpful advice on getting around the town.
We also enjoyed the hike at Volcan Arenal, led by Esteban. Our driver kindly stopped the van on the drive there so we could see howler monkeys and coati. Jimmy, another driver, was happy to answer our many questions, and he stopped so we could see a sloth up close at a produce stand. The chocolate-making tour and Proyecto Asis were interesting (guides Kyle (?) and Hector, respectively).
At Manuel Antonio we loved seeing all the animals right outside our hotel room. We never tired of watching iguanas and birds. Our tour of the national park, on Christmas Day, was too crowded to properly enjoy it. Our guide, Milo, was very good.
Rancho Corcovado was complicated. Our itinerary did not specify how we were to get from Sierpe to Rancho Corcovado, and our driver did not know where to leave us. When he learned where we would be staying, he knew which of the two boat landings we needed to get to. But we didn't know when our boat would arrive or how to recognize it. Between Randall's help and a call to the hotel, we got there. Boating on the river was pleasant, but getting through the surf was scary and unexpected (it took the driver two tries to make it through the waves). The hotel room had either no hot water, or scalding water. Sometimes no water at all. The food was very good, the trip to P. N. Corcovado was wonderful (Luis was an excellent guide) and the snorkeling was spectacular (excellent guides - Carol and a woman whose name I did not catch). There was an upsetting incident one night when angry people visited our next-door neighbors. All in all, the trip to Corcovado involved very good times and the least pleasant times, as well.
Our drivers were all good - Ricardo, Christian, Andres. The Hotel Don Carlos was a lovely secluded place in San Jose. We found a very good lunch at Cafe Rojo near the hotel, and spent a pleasant morning at Zoologico y Jardin Botanico Nacional.