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This tour was the stuff dreams are made of. The hosts were funny, kind, adaptable, and knowledgeable about the rainforest and Rio Cuarto. I loved the oxen, Flaco y Gordo, as well as a whole host of wildlife seen while kayaking: hummingbirds, spider monkeys, parrots, vultures, horses, and much much more. I would do this tour every day for the rest of my life if I could! Muchas gracias a todos. :
It was an awesome and memorable trip. We did the horseback riding and then the Kayaking. The drive time was a couple hours but once the new road is in it will cut that down by about an hour. Even with the two hour drive from San Jose I would highly recommend this tour. This is the real rain forest and the natural beauty and terrific people that run and work at the place made it fun.
Definitely bring a change of clothes just in case you decide to do the Kayaking originally we were going to do the horseback ride and the walk but instead did the Kayaking. The howler monkeys were cool to see there were many other wild life of different kinds and species we saw along the ride down the river.
This tour is a bit long---12 hours from San Jose. Fortunately, the transportation was a van that was comfortable and the roads weren't too bad. The road back went over a mountain pass at 1800 meters which was an experience in itself. The staff at Cinco Ceibas were great---very friendly and helpful. We took the boardwalk tour of the rain forest, had a very nice lunch, and kayaked on the river. Very professional in every respect, I enjoyed the tour.
We had a great time on our tour, despite a couple of minor mishaps. The facilities at Cinco Ceibas are lovely. The snacks and lunch were simple, but delicious. We did our tour during the rainy season, and part of the boardwalk was flooded, so we could not go all the way around. It did not matter as we still saw a lot of poison dart frogs, 2 different kinds of snakes, bats, insects, flowers, and we heard howler monkeys all around us.
I chose to go kayaking as the second portion, and because of all the rain, the river was moving quite swiftly. Against my better judgment I still went, and tipped over and lost my kayak down the river. One of the guides walked me to a road where we called for help. So, despite that, we had a great day. Issac and Wilson at the Reserve were top notch. We did ask for an English speaking guide, which we didn't get, but he had some guidebooks in English so you could read about the things you saw. We were fortunate enough to be with Spanish speakers, so it worked out. The transportation was a bit lacking - a small, rickety tour van, but our driver got us safely through some very dark, rainy mountain roads, so I was glad in the end to be in a smaller vehicle. All in all, we had a great LONG day. We will definitely go back at another time to experience it again.
The highlight of this tour was not the destination, it was the long drive there and back. I am grateful to the guide that he took a different way back it gave me an opportunity to see a great deal of the country. The lodge at the reserve was nice and in excellent repair and the lunch was excellent, but the boardwalk through the forest was very poorly maintained and in need of repairs. At one point, I was warned of a slippery step, a moss-covered flat stone without no handrails. As careful as I was, I still slipped. The guide remarked that it happened all the time. Later, my foot went through a rotten plank. Shortly after that, the guide's foot went through a plank that was termite-ridden. Many of the information plaques were faded to the point of illegibility, and many of the plant and tree items those plaques were discussing were no longer growing in that spot. Other than bullet ants, I saw zero wildlife. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. To the credit of the person in charge of the facility, a friendly and knowledgeable man who obviously loves the reserve while recognizing its state of disrepair, I was gifted a nice polo shirt before leaving. I think he could tell that I was disappointed in the overall experience.
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