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