Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Doka Coffee Tour, Grecia and Sarchi Day Trip from San Jose. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
Did not expect it to be this interesting or educational. LOVED IT. The coffee tour was interesting and Grecia is a beautiful town (we even saw a wedding at the church). Sarchi was an eye opener. A water powered business, talented artists. I intend to come back and purchase the furniture for my new house in a couple of years. The guide was very informative. THANK YOU!
Guide was very informative about coffee. I felt that we had ample time to ask questions and explore Grecia and Sarchi.
No problems at all with this tour, the hardest part was the traffic in the return trip back to the hotel.
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 and tour guide were excellent. The only problem was we were told to be at hotel at 10:15 AM and bus did not show until after 11:00 AM.
My first tour in Costa Rica. A great start I will never forget. Nature at it's best and great historical towns with lots to see. Simply beautiful.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We were very disappointed with this tour. There was an hour and a half drive each way with no commentary. Tours we've taken with other companies have had long rides too but always with on going interesting commentary.
We stopped to see the cathedral for about 10 minutes with no time to explore the town on our town.
The other stop was the oxcart factory. This was merely one huge souvenir shop, again with no time to tour anywhere on our own.
I doubt we would use Viator again.