We just finished a twelve day adventure tour of Costa Rica and while it is likely that I will make several posts about the adventures, food and experiences that ensued, I think it is really important to make a separate post about the people that put the package together for us. Green Creations handled everything for us.
We really did not know exactly what we wanted to do or what was available but after a few emails we had our adventure package all done and the price was very affordable. One of the things I really liked about this agent was they gave us so much adventure and still stayed within the budget that we set at the beginning.
We were a two couple group starting the trip together but they were staying for only 7 days while we were staying for 12 days. The first 7 days the four of us enjoyed white water (class 3 - 4) rafting on the Pacuare River, transfer to Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast for a snorkeling tour of a coral reef and additional swimming and a hike through the Cahuita National Park led by a guide. We stayed in a nice rustic hotel just off the main street in town and went into town for tipical Costa Rican meals in various eateries. we discovered a bakery/breakfast located right on the beach on the last day of our stay here and that was very enjoyable.
We transferred by van to the Arenal Volcano area and visited the Tabacon Hot Springs and enjoyed a buffet dinner at the restaurant located on the property. We stayed at the Hotel Paraiso which was fabulous and every room is positioned so it has an unobstructed view of the volcano (that is if it is not cloudy!) The hotel property also has a series of hot springs pools that guests can enjoy..not as good as Tabacon, but still, if pressed for time makes a good substitute.
Our transport picked us up and brought us to the lake for a water crossing and van pick up on the other side for transport to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. The ride was a bit rough since the entire road was unpaved but the experience is like no other...you ride past coffee farms, climb mountains and get a reverse view of the Arenal Volcano along the way.
We arrived in Santa Elena, just next to Monteverde and found delicious food in the small town for dinner. The following day we went to Monteverde and did a Zip Line tour that covered over 10,000 feet of distance. This was my second zip line experience and was much faster and exciting than the first. Afterwards we did the canopy and hanging bridges tour. We caught our van back to our hotel in just enough time to grab the best hot dog this side of the Mississippi before going for a very enjoyable horse-back ride through fields and forest near Monteverde.
For dinner we grabbed a light meal and decided to celebrate with an exotic drink and listen to live music...that particular night it was the mirimba (one instrument and three players)!
The following day we bid goodbye to our friends and headed to Quepos on the Pacific coast.
We arrived a little bit before the room was ready so we hung out at the pool and checked out the area. After we got into our room we discovered that we had inadvertently left a camera on the van. Panic ensued but I called the folks at Green Creation and we had worked out a plan that resulted in the camera being delivered to our hotel by seven that evening. Pretty amazing, I thought! We stayed in a nice hotel (Mimos) that had a great Italian restaurant attached. We had arranged for another horse-back tour that also included a short hike to a secluded waterfalls...we saw lots of leaf cutter ants along the way. At the end of the tour we were treated a tipical Costa Rican hot meal of chicken, vegetables and pinto gallo, lots of fresh lemonade and beautiful pineapple and other fruits.
We took a transfer van ride to Ojochal on the Pacific coast, here the hotel (Villas Gaia) was and eco-lodge and was very nicely appointed, secluded and air conditioned. They also had a good restaurant attached to the property and a pool set on a rise that overlooked the ocean. There was also a rough hewn trail that led down toward the ocean, but because of tide issues I was not able to to take it all the way to the water. (note if you do this hike bring and use lots of bug repellent) it was a great hike with monkeys and other wildlife to be seen along the way.
We took a van ride to the Serpico River for a boat to the ocean and final destiny of Corcovado National Park. Here we took a 2.5 hour hike led by a naturalist and saw lots of wildlife. It was a bit warm and I found myself wishing I had brought a few snacks to revive my energy. But not to worry, we made it back to the rangers' station for a good lunch and lots of fruit and juices before our return to our hotel.
We left for San Jose the following day because we had one more day of tours before our return to the US. The final tour was of the Doka Coffee Plantation, the Poas Volcano and finally the la Paz Waterfalls. This final combination of tours was absolutely fantastic and I highly recommend taking this one if you are unsure of what you might like to do in Costa Rica.
The coffee tour included a breakfast before we toured the plants, beans and roasting facilities. It was on to Poas after that and that particular day we had lots of fog so did not see much of the volcano but the flora and fauna in the area were very enjoyable. The best of the best was the La Paz Waterfalls Gardens...this is an area of beautiful waterfalls but it also has gorgeous gardens and flowers. They also have several displays of animals...jungle cats and monkeys, frogs and insects, hundreds (no thousands) of hummingbirds and other birds and wildlife as well. As if that was not enough, the buffet lunch was delicious and presented in jungle setting that was very special.
Ok, that was it, we left for the US the following day.
Oh, one more thing. when we took the van from the Corcovado section of the Pacific coast I managed to lose my prescription sun glasses. the clip that held them to my pocket apparently broke. I knew where they were, but the van had already pulled away. Could our agent manage to do it again? Have a lost article delivered to our hotel? This time, no...the glasses could not be returned before our flight the next morning, so the agent has mailed to my home address.
Now, THAT is something to be very grateful for! Our agent was right there for us at every turn if there was the slightest problem or issue they were right there to provide a solution, that made our trip very enjoyable and comfortable. I highly recommend using this travel agent for any Costa Rican vacation package that you may be considering, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.