3 independent reviews for Costa Rica vacation, encompassed

Reviews for Costa Rica vacation, encompassed

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review 25 Mar 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The most exciting part of the Costa Rica encompassed trip was zip lining above the trees in Monteverde Cloud Forest and abseiling down the waterfalls on a canyoneering trip outside La Fortuna. The most memorable parts of the trip were the stunning nature reserves with an incredible abundance of wildlife.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

It is only worth one full day exploring San Jose as there is not much to do in the city however the National Museum with a secret garden of butterflies is very well done and a trip to the National Theatre is very worthwhile. As this is an Adventure trip, although the first few travel days are with private transport later parts are with public buses so if you want a very lazy trip perhaps go with the Discovery trips. Going by public bus is interesting though and less like being a cosseted tourist but you have to be up for waiting for buses, possibly missing buses, and some standing on buses.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I felt that we got to meet some local people by going on some local buses but not a lot of other Costa Ricans if you didn't make much of an effort. A lot of the restaurants we went to were family run but only one of the hotels. I believed that the money on entering the national parks was going towards helping them being preserved but there are a lot of tourists in the country and going into the reserves sometimes feels very crowded. Costa Rica is a environmentally aware country on the whole but you will still see a lot of things that don't fit in with this and a lot of rubbish and pollution in San Jose. There was an option to go to an animal sanctuary and so do something to directly support the environment. On the whole though Costa Rica is very commercial compared to a lot of other Central American countries.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

I would rate the vacation as good. The vacation was very enjoyable but I felt it was two vacations that tried to be encompassed into one and therefore we missed one day by traveling and picking up new people. Also the first and last official day of the tour was in San Jose where it could have allowed more time in the place before. Therefore I felt the itinerary could have been altered slightly to make it even better.

review 12 Aug 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Definitely white water rafting on the way from Cahuita to San Jose. A great day out, the river was perfect. Lots of adrenaline and lovely refreshing water. An amazing lunch was laid on for us as well by the side of the river.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared for it to be touristy. Mostly we stayed in towns so don't go expecting to stay in the middle of nowhere.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Didnít really benefit local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Saw a good range of animals, lots of beaches, and some rather touristy national parks. A good vacation if you want to meet new people and have a good time.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Elaine, thank you for your feedback. We are surprised with your comment that our tours do not benefit the local people, as all accommodation is in small locally owned hotels, the transport is on local buses and we use local operators for all excursions - all things that benefit the local people and the local economy.

review 25 Mar 2006

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The most memorable part was going into the beautiful clear, turquoise and remarkably warm water of the Pacific ocean, for a swim just as the sun was setting - an amazing way to start the vacation. The diversity of the trip made many parts of it memorable though, we went from surfing in Pacific with 35degC temperatures to looking at amazing wildlife in the much cooler cloud forest, to staying in a small village on the Caribbean coast only accessible by boat or plane to sight seeing in the city in San Jose (and so much more as well).

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

The part I really liked about this trip was that you go to so many different places and see all of the country, the downside to this though is that you don't get to spend a lot of time in each place. Another thing I think made this trip good for me was that few meals and activities are included in the cost of the trip so you really can do and spend as little or as much as you want you're not restricted to what the rest of the group want. Make sure you budget for this though as it can add up after 3 weeks - they give all the info on prices for activities etc beforehand. Check the climate for the time of year you're going - going in the rainy season will make the trip considerably different also turtle watching is only available certain times of the year so check if this is something you really want to do.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. The country is very conscious about responsible tourism - they teach it as a subject in schools - and so much of the country is protected as National Park areas. Our accommodation was small and locally run and we used local guides and companies for activities in each place.

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