San Jose, Costa Rica
First of all, we weren't picked up until 10:30am and arrived back at our hotel after 8pm. We arrived at the rainforest around 1:30. We stepped off the bus right into a pile of fire ants.
They load us on the boat (what about lunch?) The boat ride was ok...we didn't really see a lot of wildlife...some monkeys, a few crocs, a bird and some bats.
Once we got to the canopy area, they hurried us off to canopy with no lunch. It's now probably 3:00 and I'm super starved. By the way, there isn't a hike or Canopy was a ton of fun and a nice distraction from being so hungry. The guides operated very safely and had fun with it. I felt like it offered the right amount of platforms at varying heights. A couple notes: it's very humid, so dress cool. Also, if you go first, you get back to the food faster!
After canopy, we finally got our lunch (it's now probably 4 or 4:30). It wasn't much food, so I was still left hungry. At least there was cold beer for purchase!
A quick boat ride back to a 2.5 hour bus ride to our hotel. One big disappointment is that the guide didn't talk much about the country on the long bus rides. Would have been nice, esp. the ride back since it was after dark and we couldn't do anything else (no lights to read by).
San Jose, Costa Rica
This tour was well worth the money! Donald was an awesome tour guide with 15 years of experience. He knows so much about the process at the coffee plantation, the volcanos and the waterfalls. He taught us a little Costa Rican, as well as telling us about the country while on the bus.
Even though we are huge coffee lovers, we had no idea what the process involved. I only have more of an appreciation for coffee farmers now. The breakfast was excellent too!
It happened to be cloudy at the Poas volcano, so we didn't see much. Instead we hiked up 160 feet to the other crater and saw the lake. Some of our group stayed at the original crater long enough to see the clouds part for a good view of the crater. We regret missing that a little. Note to people on the tour - when the guide says meet at a certain time, be there. Don't make him come looking for you because you made everyone wait 20 minutes!
The waterfall area was serene. It started with several "houses" of wildlife in which you could get up close to a variety of native wildlife. An excellent lunch buffet was next, offering traditional CR dishes as well as pizza, hot dogs and salad. The tour ended with the falls, which were gorgeous. Donald knew the tour so well, that he could tell us how many steps we would descend and ascend.
In addition to Donald's great tour guide skills, our driver was amazing - some of the roads were narrow, on a cliffsiode and full of potholes. I never once felt scared or unsafe.
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