I enjoyed the tour, but I would have liked more time at Poas. The coffee plantation trip was rushed due to rain. The guide made some statements that were wrong according to the coffee worker (2 days later). Good value for the money
This is the perfect day tour as far as length. You will be picked up at 8am and dropped off by dinner time (~6pm). The volcano is a long shot as to whether or not you will see anything but clouds. Unless you take a tour that heads up to the mountains before sunrise it is not likely that you will see anything but clouds. It is very cold up there and will rain intermittently so being a water resistant jacket. The views on the way up to the volcano are amazing and I think the drive and the hike in the forest make up for not seeing anything once you get to the top. But don't count on a view at the volcano.
The coffee tour is great and very informative. The tour was somewhat shorter than I thought it would be but it is great. Lunch is provided at the coffee shop and is very good.
There is also a stop at a large Ox cart and touristy shop at the end of the day.
Overall this is a good tour if you only have a day and don't mind getting views from a bus window as it ascends the volcano. I enjoyed myself and the tour.
The things you learn when you have a great guide! We had a wonderful day, and the weather was perfect. The volcano and the scenery also impressive. Learned a lot about coffee at the Doka estate. Lunch was good and the view from the table was beautiful overlooking the lake. Sarchi Arts and Craft - Beautiful hand painted oxcarts and woodwork, hard to resist buying souvenirs. A great day and I highly recommend it.
Britt B, CA
Poas was marred in fog but the tour was exceptional. Doka was great and the Sarchi arts and Crafts was a typical souvie shop. Overall it was a very nice tour
No problems at all with this tour, the hardest part was the traffic in the return trip back to the hotel.
Tour van showed up over an hour late. Never called my hotel to advise that they would be late. Coffee tour interesting. Other destinations were disappointing.
Excellent value. Poas Volcano was magnificent (we were blessed with an uncommonly good day with great visibility). Plenty of time to experience the beauty. For the coffee lover, Doka Coffee Estate was like making a pilgrimage! The lunch there was wonderful ... a tradtional Costa Rica "casado" dish. I was also pleasantly surprised by the small stops along the way that were not on the itinerary. The only downside was the traffic in San Jose on the way home. This added about two hours to our expected arrival. We were located at a hotel downtown, however, so this was not a problem for those staying by the airport. I give this a very strong recommendation.
Our driver was an hour late. He was the person giving the tour at the coffee plantation and it was very short. We were brought into one small building where he spoke of how coffee beans where roasted etc then right to the gift shop. Prior to that we had a nice lunch but felt something had been cut from the tour.
I really enjoyed our tour guide and I liked being able to see different parts of the country - especially Grecia -a great little town. However, I thought that the coffee plantation tour would be more in depth which is the only reason that I did not give it a 5. However, it was raining so maybe they cut it short because of that.
Also the Sarchi trip to artisan area is not like a mercado in other areas. It is a woodshop with really cool stuff, but is just one vendor and everything in Costa Rica (and this place) is very pricey. I loved our tour guide - he was super friendly. Spoke clear spanish and english!
The tour was nothing to write home about. The plantation was pretty much empty. Our tour guide demonstrated all the stages of the process by himself. I thought we would see actual plantation workers, but none were present. Drive was LONG! Vehicle small and uncomfortable. Grecia was just a town with an iron church. Nothing to get excited about. Sarchi (the 'artisan' town) was just a town with a big colorful oxcart and a glorified souvenir shop. All in all, tour was...OK. Tour guide was interesting. Spoke English and Spanish...sometimes with a curious, rapid mixture that sounded like 'splanglish'. Food (lunch) was pretty good, though. All in all the tour was...OK. Not great, but not bad.
Great trip! I confirmed a week before and received an email the next day confirming the pickup time. A van arrived with a driver and bilingual guide. The drive from San Jose to the volcano took about 1 hour 20 minutes. Along the way the guide was very friendly and talked about Costa Rica. It's not much of a hike to see the volcano, easy 10 min walk from the parking lot. After viewing the volcano we drove 10 minutes to Doka Estates for the coffee tour - excellent, samples of coffee and chocolate covered coffee beans, butterfly garden, and great buffet lunch with local costa rican food. Sarchi tour is ok, stop at the workshop where oxcarts are made, 15 minute presentation, and then we had 45 minutes to browse the souvenir shop. Overall, it was a great deal through Viator.
This tour was split into three main parts and I will give my reviews on each - some were better than others.
1) The Doka coffee tour - the highlight of the tour. We were driven from our hotel to the Doka plantation, high up in the hills outside San Jose. We were greeted by a friendly member of the staff and given an hour long informative tour about coffee beans - how they're grown, processed and sold. And of course the opportunity to buy their product.
2) Grecia - a gothic-style church constructed of brick-red metal panes, built in Belgium and shipped to Costa Rica in the late 1800s. We had 20 minutes to walk around the church and take photos. Definitely worth doing.
3) Sarchi - billed as an 'artist's cooperative', this was the part of the tour I was looking to most - I imagined a bazaar-style setup with the artists there in person selling their items. What we got was a stop at a glorified souvenir shop (even stated on the sign in front). It was about 10% quality crafted items, and 90% mass produced cheap junk (T-shirts, cheap magnets, little trinket boxes, etc.) VERY disappointed here and didn't buy anything. I don't have a problem with souvenir shops per se, but I think there it could have been explained to us better.
The Sarchi stop is why this review is 3 stars instead of 5. But overall the tour is still worth doing.
First: You demanded us to confirm via email but you did not answer you had got our confirmation. Therefore we were anxious that no-one should pick us up. It is very important that you answer emails especially when we asked for an answer!
Second: We were pleased with the tour. We were lucky to see the volcano in sunshine. The guide was nice and ambitious.
This tour was superb! The Poas Volcano was beautiful! We enjoyed the coffee tour at Doka Estate as well. The Sarchi Arts and Crafts were remarkable! We recommend this tour!
Guide was very informative about coffee. I felt that we had ample time to ask questions and explore Grecia and Sarchi.
Loading more reviews