Best of Costa Rica in 7 Days: Explore Jungles, Volcanoes and Beaches - Feb 22 - Mar 2, 2019
So first off, thanks to Olman for his great service. The trip that was planned definitely met our expectations. Below is our point by point review:
Arrival: all good, driver was able to accommodate all of us even though one flight was quite delayed. Overnite stay in the Radisson was fine as well. Early pick-up and xfer to La Fortuna went very smoothly.
La Fortuna/Arenal: Casa Luna was VERY nice, the staff super friendly and helpful. A little far from the center of town but still we enjoyed our stay there. The tour of Arenal was fine as well. We organized another outing the following day thru the hotel.
Monteverde: Xfer to Monteverde by car-boat-car the next day was fine as well. The replacement hotel was adequate but nowhere near the standard of the Casa Luna or La Mariposa, so we were glad it was only a one nite stay. The ziplining was fantastic though wet. We skipped the tour afterwards as we did something similar on our own the previous day after our arrival. As a result, we left earlier than planned and Olman was great in helping with that change. The xfer the following day to Quepos was fine as well, the driver very helpful and stopped off at the crocodile bridge for us.
Quepos: La Mariposa was easily the hilite of the stay hotel-wise. Great rooms, great views, great food (great French-trained Costa Rican chef). Super friendly staff. The day after our arrival we went to Uvita to dive. The club was super well organized, the staff very well qualified, high quality equipment. Having said that, this is a dive organization for beginner divers. So they were not really equipped to deal with experienced divers with computers that needed to be installed (a bit our fault as well as we should have had our own tools to do that – but we did not expect that the center would not have the tools either – somewhat surprising). The boat ride out to/back from to Isla del Caño was really fun and the island lovely. The two dives, however, were average at best. The usual marine fauna which is always nice but the flora was non-existent – a very degraded underwater environment, comparable to the Mediterranean but clearly lacking when compared to places such as the Red Sea, Rangiroa or Indonesia. We would not recommend this activity to intermediate and above divers. Plus we found out the there was a dive club at the Quepos marina, not sure if the dives were any better but it would have saved us the 2-hour transit to Uvita.
The rest of the stay at La Mariposa was great. We organized a tour of Manuel Antonio the last day and that was very nice. We made some last-minute changes which appeared to give Amazilia Travel a few problems: we switched the return to San Jose from 10:30 to 11:00, no problem there. But we changed my return as follows: instead of returning to SJ with the other two, I decided to stay at La Mariposa one more nite and xfer to SJO the following pm via air. We asked Amazilia to make this change, but it seems to have been too much: the SJ hotel resa and city tour were cancelled (we assume), the air travel from Quepos to SJO was handled fine, but Amazilia forgot to book an extra nite at La Mairposa or book xfer from the hotel to the Quepos airstrip. Oops. Fortunately it was not an issue and I managed to do everything on my own (although the airport xfer was done in extremis). Then there is the matter of cost: the extra nite at La Mariposa was paid directly by me so no issue there. But the flight to SJO was $65 and the xfer to the Quepos airstrip was $20. Perhaps I have missed something there but that would appear to a less costly initiative than staying overnite in SJ and then taking an all-day city tour. So you may want to have someone look into that.
Overall, an extremely enjoyable experience, and we would definitely recommend kimkim to others. Thanks again.