San Jose in Costa Rica is many things to many people. Looming skyscrapers, glitzy malls, busy businessmen and a fast-paced lifestyle is perhaps the more obvious appearance to those visiting on work or for short durations. But San Jose can also be ... 

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nishijgd

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2016

It was a really good tour. The drive is long or it ends up being the afternoon before you actually get to the Volcano since they try to fill the tour with other random stuff. Our tour guide was great and very proud of his country. The view of the volcano is a hit or a miss, if you don't see it like we didn't then it could be a waste. The lunch and hotsprings were great. We had originally paid for the baldi springs but after the tour guide's recommendation and other people on our tour, we paid the extra 10 to switch to the Tabocon hot springs. They are so worth it. Overall, it was a nice experience but the drive is long and try to enjoy the rest of the activities because the volcano part could be a disappointment.

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

Estelle V

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2016

We enjoyed the trip overall. The bus trip was quite long and the bus was completely full, so we had to sit in the first row with no leg space at all, which was quite uncomfortable for the long trip. The boat trip was very nice. I would have preferred to have more time at the beach or in the little village, rather than spending 45 minutes at breakfast and another hour or so at lunch. However, overall we had a very nice experience!

Doing what: Tortuguero National Park

Shauna B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

This tour was so great! Between the food, the sights and the hot springs, you cannot go wrong. Please be prepared that weather is not necessarily cooperative and this is the rain forest, there may be rain and clouds. The clouds covered the volcano, but that has be a possibility to expect the guides have no control over this. The food was fantastic at both locations and I felt authentic to Costa Rica. I chose Tabacon over Baldi and other hot springs for the resort's reputation and I was not disappointed. Four hours at that paradise was more than amazing. Everything on the tour ran like a well-oiled machine. We got back later than I expected, but I didn't really care after relaxing in the hot springs, I just went right to bed at my hotel.

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

agasman6948

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

Great tour. Great food. Gorgeous scenery

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

Martin O

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2016

Lunch in the Orosi Valley was great. So was Lankester Gardens. The photo of the volcano seems out of date however.

Doing what: Irazu Volcano, Orosi Valley and Lankester

Pamela G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

WORTH IT!
Hot springs are unique. Excellent for couples in love. You need to spend the night in tabacon.

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

frances.marin

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

The tour to the Arenal Volcano was great. Our tour guide was Filander. He started our tour with a great amount of information of Costa Rica. He was very knowledgeable about different topics, and he spoke in Spanish and English all the time. We went to Sarchí, to Arenal and then to the hot springs.

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

frances.marin

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

Our tour guide was German, he was pretty funny and always tried to please the tourists. He had a lot of knowledge about his country and he spoke English and Spanish during the tour. We enjoyed a really good breakfast and lunch; it was delicious. At Tortuguero, we saw cocodriles, alligators and sloth

Doing what: Tortuguero National Park

Jaime D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

This whole day outing out of San Jose was a wonderful experience. It was just unfortunate that it was drizzling or raining for most of the entire day. We went to the top of Irazu and checked out the three craters then did the los Angeles cathedral at Cartago, the major pilgrimage site for Costa Ricans a great place if you're Catholic - and we were then the Lancaster botanical reserve, which was a pleasant diversion - although the much vaunted 1000 orchid varieties were nowhere to be seen since most of them weren't in bloom then to the old town of Orosi with its primitive very old church and finally, a very late buffet lunch beside the man-made lake. Food was quite good so no complaints there. And the whole trip was made pleasurable by the warmth, humor, enthusiasm, and bilingual dexterity of our wonderful tour guide Gaybin aka Jesus aka Chucho. Hard to imagine anyone else doing a better job than he did. Even while we had to stop on the way back because one of the passengers threw up all over the floor and he and the driver had to clean up, he never lost his affability. Great day with a great guide.

In talking with natives, they all thought this was a great tour they also recommended the Poas volcano tour with the oxcart town and coffee plantation. This will have to be for another day.

Doing what: Irazu Volcano, Orosi Valley and Lankester

Christina B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

Jesus and Juan Carlos took great care of us on this day! We learn much about the country and had a great time enjoying the beautiful Hot Springs! The meals were also delicious. Another amazing day in Costa Rica!

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

Edwin P

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2016

This was a great tour and great tour guides, could not have been better.

Doing what: Tortuguero National Park

Christina B

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2016

This was a very nice tour, with a beautiful beach experience. We also saw lots of wildlife, and enjoyed good food. If you have access to a car, I would recommend doing the drive instead. But for someone without a car, it is a very good way to access the Pacific Coast from San Jose.

Doing what: Manuel Antonio National Park Day Trip from San Jose

Margaret C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2016

This tour was really fantastic. The lunch after a few hour bus ride was very good they gave you a choice of several options. The town of Sarchi was interesting, as well as the world's largest ox cart. The Arenal volcano was cloudy at the top the day we were there, but you could still see the volcanic black lava on one side very clearly. The hot springs was absolutely terrific, they provide you with dry towels and a medium size locker. You can turn your towel in for a dry one as many times as you want. I left my towel in my locker. The shower area was very nice and clean, but they only provided body soap so I was glad that I brought some shampoo and conditioner from my hotel. The buffet dinner afterward was equally delightful. There was a large salad bar, a hot soup, several kinds of breads, a pasta station, grilled steak, chicken, vegetables, and a dessert buffet. If I went back to Costa Rica again, I would do this tour again. Definitely worth the money, but be advised, it is a long day.

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

turner

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2016

The tour is well described by the tour information and the comments from those who have taken it. It was a great tour, but if you visit during the nesting season for the turtles September-October you should stay for at least one night if possible. You don't get to see any turtles on the day trip. It was a fairly long trip form San Jose to the park, and of course the same going back. But it was worth it.

Doing what: Tortuguero National Park

Patty

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2016

The hot springs was the highlight of the tour and the meal at the springs was wonderful. You could see some of the Volcano, but we did not spend much time viewing. It was partly cloudy also.

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

Derek S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2016

Excellent. Trip.guide.and.driver.very.helpfull

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

Morgan R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2016

The day of our trip, was extremely clear! It was absolutely beautiful getting to see the volcano. Our tour guide was very educated about Costa Rica and all of the things we saw. I didn't just learn about the volcano I also learned about Costa Rican culture, animals, history, economy, and much more. The majority of the trip is spend in the car due to the long drive. But we made many different stops as well. We also spent 3 hours at the hot springs, which were beautiful.

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

Barry F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2016

A great day trip and orientation to Costa Rica. Meals were great, the park was beautiful, fantastic scenery and warm water for my swim! Our guide George and driver Paulo were excellent. I particularly enjoyed learning more about Costa Rica through George's narrative. Its a lot of driving but well worth it.

Doing what: Manuel Antonio National Park Day Trip from San Jose

John O C

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2016

Good trip although very long day. A 2 day trip with an overnight stay may have been a better option but was not feasible with my timetable. Costa Rica certainly does the eco tourism scene very well.

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

John O C

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2016

Good trip although very long day. 2 day with overnight stop may have been better option but not possible with my timetable. Costa Rica certainly does the eco tourism bit very well.

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

Vipil

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2016

Good and refreshing. The travel guide was very helpful and took care of the entire group.

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

Bart C

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2016

Unfortunately, it was too cloudy/rainy to see the Arenal. Baldi Springs were excellent!
Very timely pick up, safe driving, nice guiding, delicious meals, no wildlife

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

Karen M

3 star rating: Worth doing
August 2016

What was advertised as an 8 hour tour became an 11 hour odyssey for us and even 12 for others in the group in a very uncomfortable van. Our guide Kenny was jovial, well-informed, and obviously fluent in several languages. He tried to keep everything moving as smoothly as possible but driving time throughout exceeded the expected by large increments, mostly because of traffic congestion. At the request of two historians on our tour, an additional stop at a ruined 17th century church was added. That church was quite interesting, however, we could certainly done without a final stop at the nondescript church that was actually part of the normal tour, not to mention the unadvertised 3/4 or so mile hike to get there. Irazu volcano and Lancaster Gardens were both stunning but the time at both seemed overly long and could probably have been cut by 1/3 to help keep us from getting so far behind.

Doing what: Irazu Volcano, Orosi Valley and Lankester

Bipin K

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
August 2016

Save your time, money and do not take this trip especially with these folks. This is run by a tour operator and that will make it even worse. First of all, this is a day trip and turtle will never come out during the day. You must enter the park in the early morning to get the best out of it but because of these tour handlers greed you will reach there around noon and then all animals are gone. They always start late, and then will keep on loading their bus until it gets full by picking passengers from all over the town. Passengers will enter from front and their suitcases will enter from side windows to make it even more uncomfortable. Their whole purpose of conducting this tour is to sell you their night tour. In our case, they kept on selling us their night tour from the minute we boarded the bus. By the time the whole bus was full few of us wanted to go for it but did not have enough cash. But instead of focusing on their main goal of what we paid for in advance the park, they kept on taking us from ATM to ATM in the search of a machine that can accept these couple of passengers cards to take cash out. Over all journey is not so comfortable because half of the road is horrible but they will still drive very fast. You will see plenty of flora, banana plantation at 60 mile speed and almost none of fauna. I tried to tell the organizers how they can improve via email, but their response was, this is not a private tour and there is nothing guaranteed in the jungle. The only good thing in this whole trip was the smooth sailing close to water river cruise very much like being in the amazon and the meals. But no surprise, both of them were outsourced to local folks. So the question is, why should we take this tour when there are plenty of other options? My recommendation, go with someone else, stay overnight if possible to see the animals at their peak, and take a night tour with night goggles if you happen to be visiting the park during the turtle season.

Doing what: Tortuguero National Park

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