Super fun trip for the whole family! So glad...
Aug 5 - Aug 17, 2023
Super fun trip for the whole family! So glad we did it. Gustavo gave us the best ideas, and the catalina island trip was definitely the highlight, while we didn't come at the peak season for Manta Rays, we saw a giant 15 ft Manta Ray on our trip!! Was so graceful!
Amazing hotel to be based to explore the area. The hotel is the closest to Rincon de la Vieja volcano which was our goal. What we didn't realize was that the hotel itself has so many waterfalls, and hiking trails to explore. Our favorite was the Orenpendola Waterfall, which is a huge fall that drops into amazing clear turquoise water!! The kids loved the hike down with the hanging bridges and cool water! The only downside of the hotel is that the food gets a bit repetitive after 3 days. While there are 3 restaurants, they are all from the same kitchen.
Amazing location, you are almost in the center of Tamarindo, and can pretty much walk everywhere. The hotel itself has some updated rooms, and some older rooms, see if you can get a room with the renovations. My only complaint is that. they need to spray the dinning area for bugs. You can't really lounge in the bar area without being eaten alive by the mosquitos.
Great hotel in the center of Arenal. Good location if you don't have a car. The rooms are newly renovated, and have great comfy beds, and a view of the volcano. The downside is that you don't really feel like you are in the rainforests, instead you are in the middle of a town.
My 8 year old needed to see a Toucan before he left Costa Rica. Given we didn't see one in the wild, we decided to visit Diamante on our last day. Well his wish came true! We saw 4 toucans! And what was even more amazing was seeing the sloths up close! We've seen a couple of the sloths before in the wild, and they were always just in the distance, but here at Diamante, at the feeding time, the sloths are actually moving - it was amazing. There was also a jungle gym obstical course that my son went on multiple times, so all in all a good day.
Was super fun! The instructors were all very helpful to make sure that you were able to stand up on your first wave. I wouldn't have been able to do that with out their help.
They are not joking when they say you might see giant Manta Rays!! The Manta Rays were 15 ft across. I wasn't expecting it, since we didn't come in the peak season for seeing them, but was spectacular.
Pretty good tour, and we definitely saw lots of wildlife such as monkeys and the most amazing thing was the bats hanging on the tree trunk that looked like pieces of bark. The guide was very knowledgable, and was able to spot the animals that even with his direction we had to really search for to see. However, the boat part of the trip was pretty short, probably an hour. And the rest of the tour was the restaurant, pottery etc. Which is not really our cup of tea.
Good for a quick stop over on the way through Liberia. We only spent 20 minutes at the waterfall, took a quick dip and left. There is no hiking or anything like that, you are really just coming for the waterfall. Worth it if you are passing by, not worth it if you are coming just for the waterfall.
Super fun for the kids to see the volcanic activity. Come early as it can get really hot during the day. Lucky there are some pretty nice trees to shade a good portion of the hike. It was just the right length for our kids (8 & 10).
Super fun! The hot springs range from 100 degrees to 145 degrees. So take your pick. The hot springs are set on the banks of the river, so it was nice and peaceful to look out at the river as you are soaking. We came at the end of the day and was nice to walk back with the twinkling lights lighting the path for the short hike back. The volcanic mud was also fun. Kids had fun painting themselves.
Easy hike down to the waterfall, and a nice place to spend an afternoon. It can get pretty busy though, as everyone seems to have the same idea.
The beach was amazing, I can see why it is known as the best beach in Costa Rica. Pure white and squeaks as you walk over it (because of the broken shells). I came super early, so I had the whole place to myself, and did a bit of snorkeling too. Lots of fish in the water, but that day the water clarity wasn't the best.
I wanted to visit the town of Guaitil but didn't get a chance, so was super excited to do a pottery lesson. Was super fun to learn how to use the tools (such as a corn husk) to help shape my piece. The lesson took 3 hrs, one hr each day, so it was easy to schedule into the rest of my schedule.
A beautiful hike through the jungle. The waterfall was amazing,, and as blue as it looks on the photos. But what was even more amazing was the hike to the start of the color pigments. At the origin (mixing point) you can see where the clear river suddenly turns to a turquoise blue! That was amazing.