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It's a long drive from San Jose all the way to Arenal area, but the trip was in a very comfortable bus, so it was all good and so worth every single dime we paid for. The view of the volcano is amazing, but definitely the hot springs at the resort it was a must!!!
It's totally awesome!!!!
This tour is an ALL DAY tour. We were picked up bright and early at 5:25 AM. After picking everyone else up, we headed out of town. About an hour into the trip we stopped for an excellent Costa Rican breakfast of Gallo Pinto, fruit, scrambled eggs, coffee and juice. Before we boarded the bus, our tour guide showed us all a pair of blue jeans tree frogs in the plants out in front of the restaurant. Everyone took pictures and we hit the road. Farther down the road our guide had the bus stop and we all got out to find that he had spotted an mother sloth and baby hanging out in a tree only about 5 feet up next to the road. Once again, we were able to get some really good pictures, and have a very close encounter with the pair We left them alone, just oooohed and aaaaaahed alot. Back on the bus and on to the boat ride to Tortuguero. We saw several different kinds of animals on the ride, the best being a small flock of green Macaws that flew overhead. Tortuguero was not what we expected, but it was a neat little town, definitely driven by tourism since the original industry, banana farming, is long gone. Back on the boat and up the canal a little farther to lunch at one of the resorts in the area. Lunch was buffet style with plenty of options, and all of them were tasty. After lunch we ran into a spider monkey in the trees outside the dining hall eating his lunch. Out came the cameras, and then it was time to load up on the boat and head back to the bus and the ride back to San Jose.
Our tour guide German pronounced Herman and bus driver were excellent. Providing lots of insight and history about the areas we drove through. We are planning on going back to stay for a few days some time in the future, but if you only have a day, I highly recommend this tour.
Doing what: Tortuguero National Park
The tour was terrific! Our tour guide was so informative, and kept us entertained all day long!
Great day Highly recommended. Dinner was exceptionally good.
Had a great time on this trip. The food was wonderful, the guides entertaining and knowledgeable, and hot springs gloriously relaxing. I might have enjoyed a bit more of a hike or something at the volcano, because it was just an overlook, which was pretty, but I'd expected to see into the crater or something like that. However, it IS an active volcano, so I can understand why that wasn't possible.
This tour is completely worth the money. You will have a pretty long day, but its well worth it. The tour began by driving to breakfast and having a typical Costa Rican meal rice, eggs, cheese, tortilla, fresh juice, coffee, and fruit. The tour then made a brief stop at souvenir wood work shop where you can change into your bathing suit and pick up a few things. You depart and drive for about one hour and arrive at Manuel Antonio. There is usually a line to enter the park, but nothing longer than 30 minutes. While in line, you can pick up souvenirs and fresh coconut water. Once inside the park, you can choose to do a guided tour towards the beach or completely skip it and headed straight to the beach. I would skip it tour guide tells you about plants and tries to show you animals, but the animals monkeys or sloths, if visible, are very high up and not visible to the bare eye. The beach is great! Water is clear and sand is amazing. If you choose to do the Cathedral Point trail, you won't regret it it takes about 45 minutes to go and come, but be prepared for some steep hills and steps. They also feed you a sandwich for lunch prior to entering the park and provide you a departure dinner which is delicious. Ride back to San Jose is about 3.5 hours, with one stop at a Costa Rican candy shop.
We really enjoyed this tour ,beautiful volcano, it is very cold and windy, I recommend extra clothing, the valley is beautiful with lots of different plantations, not only coffee, house plants, chayote,bananas ,corn and many others, rivers and waterfalls.The Lankester garden is really beautiful, many exotic plants.We stopped in a small town and saw a very old church and went to Cartago and saw The Cathedral The lady of Los Angeles, beautiful german made glass stained on windows and many paints through the church columns dated way back early 1800.Our guide was very knowledgeable on history and culture of the country. We had lunch at coffee plantation, and it was very good and the location was very beautiful overseeing the plantation fields.
Doing what: Irazu Volcano, Orosi Valley and Lankester
The trip started at a stop on a large souvenir place where we bought coffee and other souvenirs,the prices were in the high end, what to expect is made for tourist, then we went to see Arenal,beautiful volcano, we went to an area what the called the Mirador, where you see the volcano from a distance , we can't get any closer, close enough for pictures and we can have a sense how big and magnificent it is. Love driving through the varies plantations, waterfalls and rivers, we end at Tabacon springs, very beautiful, nice hot water, and we had enough time to enjoy ourselves. They served a very nice dinner,buffet style,lots of choices. The bathrooms are large, showers with lockers and bathing suit drying machines.then it was a long drive back to hotel.The guide was knowledgable,organized and attentive to our needs.
Hot springs and active volcano is great! Tour guide's communication was not clear for me since his English has a strong Spanish accent and spoke very fast.
A little disappointing as it was very cloudy that day but that's Mother Nature nobody's fault. We would have like to have done a short hike closer to the volcano. The hot springs were great they are built within a hotel resort which was somewhat disappointing we thought they might be in the open jungle. However a must do we felt so refreshed after and the facilities were very comfortable. The Buffett dinner was awesome at the resort. Well worth doing this trip.
It was a wonder trip. We were a little tired when we got back to our hotel about 10:00 p.m. but it was well worth it. The transportation was a little rough. It almost felt like riding on a school bus, but the staff was great! Over all a nice trip.
This was the tour I looked forward to the most but it didn't quite turn out to be what I expected. Our guide Max was phenomenal, kept everybody entertained throughout the long ride and was very good at keeping us on time. From San Jose it is a 3.5 hr drive to Arenal where you stop for 20 minutes at the viewing area to take some pictures of the majestic volcano. The views are great no doubt but basically this tour is just one long drive to the Baldi resort where you are left on your own. If you are not that into a water park and hot tubs then this is not for you. Me and my daughter got sick the day before this tour and didn't want to go into the hot tubs because basically that's what Baldi hot springs is all about. Its a beautifully landscaped resort with about 20 hot tubs and some water slides. Its beautiful but all man made and although we were told that the water is naturally heated from the volcano it just felt like any other water park. I wanted to either cancel it or cut it short so we can return after visiting the Arenal volcano but was told I will get zero refund. If I wanted to come back early then it was extra 70 per person. If you have little kids who enjoy water slides or if you just want to soak into hot water and have some drinks from the super expensive bar then you will enjoy it. But be careful the water can be super hot. Dinner was a huge spread but tasted just OK, it was big on quantity but not on quality
I would rate my experience of the trip as 3.5 stars
Sarchi stop was just a visit to a gift shop nothing else.
The Arenal volcano view was over rated. I did not feel there is much to see but a distant volcano mountain covered in clouds
We enjoyed the Baldi hot springs. That Hot spring experience was amazing with a buffet dinner at the hilltop restaurant to end the day.
The tour guide Max was very good with humorous narrations throughout the trip.
The bus ride took almost 3 hours, and then we spent about 10 minutes at the volcano before they us to get back on the bus. We weren't able to walk around any of the lake area. Apparently, it's normally very cloudy, so a very rare occasion to actually see the top of the volcano. With the clouds it looked more like a regular mountain that you can't get close to. The hot springs were fine, felt like a resort, but was nice to sit and relax for a bit. Guides were all very nice.
We couldn't see the volcano as it was cloudy and raining. Tour companies should not organize such trips at this time of the year when the dry season has not fully started. Baldi Hot springs was good but I was not in Costa Rica to enjoy man-made hot springs.
I do not recommend this trip to anyone. I was staying at Costa Rica Marriott and my pick up time was 6:10 am. No one turned up till 6:40 am after which my hotel front desk called the agent and they picked us up at 6:50 am from the hotel. Then, for next one hour, they picked up tourists from four other hotels and transferred us to another bus. In this new bus, they picked up from another four hotels and started the trip at 8:15 am. It was a sheer wastage of two whole hours in the morning sitting in the bus , picking up tourists from different hotels. In evening, we faced the same ordeal. The trip was ended at 4 pm and we were dropped at our hotel at 6 pm. An 8 hour trip took us 12 hours with 4 hours sitting in the bus, which in my opinion, was absolutely ridiculous. At Irazu, it was very cold but there was no instruction in the website to carry winter gears. Also, the guide didn't accompany us to the volcano. Instead he was sitting in the bus with the driver and let us explore the place in that extreme cold weather and we weren't even sure what's the right vantage point to have a good view of the volcano. There was nothing much in Cartago city. The tour drove through Orosi valley and Lankester was less than ordinary. The lunch was ordinary too and the guide miscounted the number of seats . So we had to seat separately from the group during the lunch. This trip isn't worth 105 per person.
Doing what: Irazu Volcano, Orosi Valley and Lankester
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.
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
Great bus ride is long to get to volcano, but well worth trip. Hot springs best part of trip. Loved it.
We day trip was good. I tried to contact the local tour operator with the information provided on the back of the tour receipt and neither the local phone number or email address were good.
Great tour, Eugine was our guide and told a lot about Costa Rica, the different regions we crossed, the coffee, the coffee-process, animals and more. Unfortunately due to the weather we didn't get to see the Arenal Volcano. The Baldi Hot Springs were amazing, very lovely on a colder/rainy day, warming one-self up in the hot spings. Great tour, but a bit expensive for what was offered.
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.
Great tour. Great food. Gorgeous scenery
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