Wildlife & Beaches in Costa Rica - 10 Days - May 3 - May 16, 2019
I was impressed with the transport arrangements between and at destinations. People were there on time and were excellent drivers and this was arranged beautifully. The road to the Caribbean coast was not good and it was disappointing to see the lack of ongoing construction for what is an essential highway servicing the plantations and the North South link. This does no credit to the country and the government.
The Tortoguero experience was also excellent. Great hotel and a very good guide. The poor little village has a lot to learn if it wants to attract tourists and to get them to spend money rather than just walk through. There is so much competition in the world now for destinations that governments, local authorities and towns need to at the very least get on board or not bother and retain their own lifestyle.
The Caribbean coast would have been good for two days- five was too long especially at that time of year when the rainy season is starting. I am fit and active but not into dope, reggae, cheap food and surfing which seemed to be what was on offer. The hotel staff were a little surly ( one waitress was nice) . Despite being one of the few guests staying I was put into a dark downstairs room with no view of the sea ( there were balcony rooms which would have made the stay so much better) and the TV did not work. Very two star and was a low point in Costa Rica which coloured my overall impression of the country.
Avenal was a great area and I enjoyed the short time there. San Jose is clearly a city making a go of it in a period of transition. The Holiday In staff also need to go on a hospitality course. Just a few smiles would be good. The person selling tours in the lobby doesn't know how to smile. Facilities good and great location.
All in all Costa Rica was interesting. I stayed there about 5 days too long and while others have raved about the wild life, some huge conservation efforts are required to make it as good as Nepal, India, Borneo, Africa and the South Pacific, all places I have travelled. I got the feeling the country ( not Randall and the Kim Kim team) over promises and under delivers and I am not making making enthusiastic recommendations to others to travel there.