Most tourists will single out the Arenal/La Fortuna area as its own overnight visit. If your schedule doesn't permit that, AND you're OK spending most of your day in a van, this is a great option to visit that part of the country from San Jose. We were fortunate to have good weather which didn't interfere with the activities - all of which are outdoors -- and the guides/service providers did a nice job. Nothing about it is "luxury:" you'll be in the same kind of uncomfortable van/minibus that all other small-group tours use, and meals are "traditional" but basic. For perspective, we were picked up around 5:30am and were returned to our hotel around 9:30 or 10pm. About two-thirds or three-quarters of that time window was spent driving, so you need to be OK with that. Once you're at a given location - ziplining, volcano, etc. - it's great.
This tour was excellent. Alex, our driver and guide, was absolutely phenomenal! His kindness, sense of humor, and knowledge of the area were fantastic. Alex even pulled over on the side of the rode to let our 10 year old get out of the van cause he was getting car sick (normal for him). He also pulled over to show us a sloth and a coati. I'd definitely ask to have him if you can. We were a family of 5 that included 3 children aged, 10, 17, and 17. We chose this tour in part because there were several stops along the way from San Jose to the Arenal Volcano. We didn't feel that driving the 3 hours straight to the volcano would be much fun. Thus, having a few other stops along the way made the drive to the volcano much easier and more pleasing. By the time we got to the volcano, we felt like we had already done so much just in the morning. Everything was great. We especially enjoyed the views of the volcano, the waterfall (La Paz), and the hot springs to cap off the day. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone.
This is a FULL day of fun activities! The day actually was longer than advertised, considering the travel. Was picked up around 7:00am and returned to hotel by about 9:00pm. Tour guide (Juan) was very nice and informative. He would often spot animals while driving and pull over for us to see and photograph. Food was great! I had done other zip lines in Costa Rica so please note that this zip line company requires you to break yourself - not a big deal (very easy process), but not hands-free. Ending the day at the hot springs was SUPERB! I would recommend.
Alex was our tour guide. It was only my friend the birthday girl any I on this tour. Alex picked us up early and the adventure began right away and didn't stop until he pulled back into the hotel garage to drop us back off about 12 hours later. It was a long fun filled packed day. We had breakfast, a tour of a coffee plantation, tour of the city, stopped and took pictures, fed some animals sorry I really don't remember the name of them, had lunch with the best banana/pineapple drinks, zipped lined, lunch and then the hot springs my skin felt like silk. Alex was the MOST amazing tour guide. We talked and joked. He was so informative. We learned so much from him regarding the culture and different cities/towns. I recommend this tour and ask for Alex 100.
This was the best tour we had!! Alex Blanco is a spectacular guide. He kept the group entertain and informative all the time. He choose really good places for lunch and dinner with local food which was amazing. He knew a lot about his country and answer every single question the group asked. On the ride to the canopy he even had books with information about the wildlife, plants, etc.
Not a single moment was boring with Alex. He was very patience with all of us, and even during the ride to Arenal he spotted some wildlife and we were able to take pictures!
He was pointing all the time to the exotic plants, what they were for, etc.
At the canopy there were some people that did not want to do it, so he took them for a nature walk. My husband and I did the canopy tour and it was really fun. We got a little bit wet, which was expected of course, but we were able to finish all the lines. The people in charge of the canopy were really nice and even encourage everyone to try the rappel, which we have never done before. They have the canopy tour very well taken care of.
After that, Alex pick us up from the office and took us to the Aguas termales. Wow!! what an amazing place. They gave us towels and a locker. The place has showers with soap, a place to eat, a bar. and several swimming pools with different temperatures. We were very lucky it was not crowded, so we have almost all the place to ourselves.
After we finished, we had dinner along the road. It was very good and the people very nice.
We felt sad at the end of this wonderful day!!
If you are planning to go to this part of Costa Rica, is definitely worth to go with this GoTour company, and make sure to ask for Alex Blanco for your guide.
He really is one of the best guides we have had when we have booked a tour with Viator.
He made this trip one of the best we have had.
Wish we had more time in Costa Rica to see more places, but maybe in the future.
It was so worth it! My friend and I were picked up from the hotel promptly at 7:15 am and we joined a comfortable, air-conditioned van with 3 other people. By 12 pm, we had already covered a stop at a scenic point, coffee plantation, and waterfalls La Fortuna and San Fernando. Our tour guide, Alex, stopped the van at La Fortuna and we were able to sample some local produce and get up close to the waterfall while it was pouring rain. We stopped at a family-owned café where we had some authentic Costa Rican breakfast, and had the most amazing view of the San Fernando waterfall along with some special visitors - tucan, parrot, and hummingbirds! Next, as we drove towards the Arenal Volcano, we stopped along some local shops, the Iguana bridge, and had delicious lunch at a restaurant. For the next 2.5 hours we went ziplining and even rappelled off a cliff at the end! All of the instructors at GoAdventures were really helpful and fun. On our way back to the van, it started raining again, but that didn't stop us from relaxing in the natural hot springs. Definitely alternate between the hot and cold water temperatures. Finally, we stopped to have dinner at a restaurant and then I just slept the rest of the way back to the hotel because it was a tiring but exciting day! My favorite parts of this tour were the waterfalls, wildlife, and ziplining cost was included. We saw the Arenal Volcano from afar but did not drive closer, so this is a good tour if you want to experience just the highlights of Costa Rica.
My 21 year old daughter and I returned from Costa Rica just over a week ago. We very much enjoyed our full-day combo tour. The tour company nicely agreed to pick us up at our hostel which was not one of the usual pick-up locations. We appreciated this very much. They arrived almost one hour late but it was supposedly due to traffic and an accident. I did appreciate, however, that the driver telephoned our hostel twice to keep us updated. I was only worried about whether we would get everything in due to our late start but we did get most everything in fortunately. Our driver, Juan, was very kind and friendly and did a great job at driving the twisty, difficult roads. On our way back to San Jose at night it was dark and foggy and he did a great job. I felt in capable hands and he seemed to be a safe driver. The transport van was comfortable and air conditioned. We had a lengthy ride but it was wonderful, beautiful and interesting. The scenery was fantastic. We enjoyed seeing the plantations, the lush fauna and seeing the 'real' Costa Rica that was off the beaten path. We stopped at a little coffee plantation and for some reason didn't get the coffee degustation tasting as described in the tour information but we did get to walk down into the plantation and Juan explained about the coffee growing process. We had a chance to purchase some coffee and see a traditional ox-cart and take pictures with the farmer for one dollar. It was a picturesque stop. We only wish we had been able to taste the good Costa Rican coffee. We stopped at the La Paz Waterfall and had time to get out and walk around and take photos. It was lovely. My favorite stop was at the next waterfall. I believe it is named the San Fernando waterfall. There we received a delicious snack and drinks and there was an observation deck with a wonderful view of the waterfall and there were several bird feeders hung up with numerous birds at the feeders. We san many interesting and colorful hummingbirds, other tropical birds and even an emerald toucan! Believe it or not, a tropical bird that we believe to be a parrot landed on my shoulder. I could have stayed there much longer as we were having so much fun. I wish I knew the name of the little restaurant because I would love to go back there when I get back to Costa Rica again. We saw the Poas Volcano from the distance and were very lucky to see it blowing ash that day. In fact there was a huge plume of ash coming out which was amazing. I wish we would have stopped for just a few minutes to get out and take photos but we didn't. Luckily, my daughter got one quick picture out of the van window but that is not something we see in the states ever day so we would have liked to take a minute to look at it and snap a photo. We stopped in a little town and saw iguanas hanging out near the road side. It was fun to look into the trees and under the bridge to find them as they can blend in very well. Juan also drove us into a little neighborhood and to some trees where we were lucky to see three sloths! We drove on later stopping for lunch near the base of the Arenal Volcano. It was in the clouds so we couldn't see it just then but later we did and it was wonderful. Lunch was delicious. In fact, I also wish I knew the name of that restaurant as it was one of the best meals I have ever had and the fresh pineapple juice with the foam on the top is probably the very best drink I have ever had. I had the pork and my mouth is watering just remembering it. It was a pretty restaurant, too. We then went to the zip-lining place and we had a blast. They gave us lockers, which was great. The guides were safety-conscious and fun. I'd recommend wearing a poncho even if there is no rain as the cable oil gets on you. The rappelling down to the river at the end was an added bonus. I absolutely loved every minutes we spent zip-lining. We also learned a bit about the Malaca tribe as well. In fact, on of our zip lining guides was Malaca. When we returned to the office, right out back was the majestic Arenal Volcano....out of the clouds. We took photos and just enjoyed the sight, the quiet, the horses in the fields at the base of the volcano, etc. It was a sight I will never forget. After zip lining we went to the Paradise hot springs. What a luxury. We received towels and a key to a locker and there were spotless changing rooms and showers...and enough of them to accommodate everyone. What a wonderful experience to go from pool to pool all of varying temperatures and just soak and relax surrounded by beautiful flowers, waterfalls and looking up at the conical Arenal Volcano. What a perfect way to wrap up the day. We had a long drive back to San Jose but, again, I loved seeing the scenery. We stopped for dinner at a traditional restaurant and the food was delicious again. I enjoyed every stop we made and one thing I loved was the ease of the day. Everything was taken care of for us
This trip was amazing and the highlight of our time while in Costa Rica. Our guide Augustine was bilingual and had such a great spirit. He was very knowledgeable about each surrounding area we rode through and very interactive with our group of 13. He was also very patient when it came to our group stopping and taking pictures of the amazing scenery. The ziplining company that is used staffs very friendly, funny, and amazing people that really showed us a great time. We traveled to the hot springs after our ziplining adventure and it was so relaxing. The trip was about 15hrs long but it did not feel exhaustive. Our stops for breakfast, lunch, and dinner were well timed and were at great restaurants. The service throughout our entire day was superb. An added bonus is that the company will go to where ever you are to pick you up for the trip, so arranging a meeting point was not necessary. We highly recommend this trip for anyone looking to experience the beauty that Costa Rica has to offer. If we go back to San Jose, I am positive that we will book this same tour.