Arenal and Monteverde TOURS

Old Nov 29th, 2011, 06:57 AM
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Arenal and Monteverde TOURS

Where is the best place to do what?
-White Water River Rafting (we're leaning towards Rio Pacuare, unless someone has other recommendations!)

-Canyoneering
-Rapelling
-Canopying/Ziplining
-Horseback riding
-ATV
-Coffee Tour (recommedations? Anyone try Doka Estate? or another place?)

** Arriving SJO at noon on Sunday 22Apr, departing 7am either Monday 30Apr or Tuesday 1May?
is 7.5 days enough?

I would also love anyone who could arrange the above tours in a good daily combination...
can I do 2 things in one day?
masafami is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2011, 09:24 AM
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You´re correct the best river to white water raft in Costa Rica, is Pacuare. Tour operators offer you transportation to/from San Jose, including breakfast and lunch in the rate, which is very convenient. In this case you will need the whole day.
Most of these activities can be done in Arenal area, I would say you split it, one day in the rafting tour and then head Arenal and do the rest of activities. Doka State tour is very good also.
arenal.net, can help you to find info on Arenal and these activities.
puretrek.com, canyoning in Arenal, the best canyoning I´ve done.
explornatura.com, did my rafting tour in Pacuare with them and ended up very good. You can also check with Rios Tropicales, which are very popular on this tour.
Hope this helps!
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Old Nov 29th, 2011, 09:56 AM
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We couldn't fit the Pacuare into our schedule, so we used Rios Tropicales out of Arenal on the Sarapiqui and really loved it. Sky Trek is the most popular zipline. We loved the Doka Coffee Estate tour - we got to go out into the fields, pick cherries as they call them (seasonal), got to enjoy a tasting, and then were walked through all steps of the process. They also have a little gift shop at the end of the tour. It's a very pretty property.

The two best tour companies we've found are Sunset Tours and Desafio. Have heard that Pure Trek mentioned above by Enchanting is good as well. Check out their websites to see what appeals to you. The Cano Negro tour to see wildlife is also very fun - a nice boat ride along the Rio Frio. We've only done it in rainy season though. The waterfall hike is really pretty, and you can swim at the base; I know there's a horseback tour that if that interests you. You might also like the Hanging Bridges and enjoying the natural hot springs - Tabacon and Eco Termales are both nice.

In Monteverde, don't miss a guided tour of the reserve. Hopefully you can see some quetzals. There's also good ziplining, and we loved our night hike at Hidden Valley.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2011, 11:56 AM
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desafiocostarica.com for best adventure

skytrek.com MV for zip

dokaestate.com best working plantation tour
qwovadis is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2011, 12:08 PM
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There's also the Cafe Britt coffee tour...we hit that as we were leaving San Jose. Really cool. I had the best cappuccino of my life there with the provided lunch...
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Old Nov 29th, 2011, 04:48 PM
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We did ziplining in MV...used Selvatura and loved it!
Deb15July is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2011, 05:00 PM
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The better rafting is accessible from San Jose. We rafted the Rio Tinto out of Arenal--very technical Class III and IV rapids. From San Jose, we rafted the Rdevntazon (Class IV and V-very advanced) and the Sarapiqui (Class II and III-we went with our kids). Ironically, we have never rafted Pacuare, which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. I believe that it is mostly Class II and II rapids, with some IVs thrown in) There are some awesome overnight trips.

As for ziplining, sky trek in Arenal is the best, but is also the highest and scariest (not for the faint of heart). We also did canyoning/waterall rapelling out of Arenal, which was a lot of fun.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2011, 10:14 AM
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Has anyone done Desafio's tour that goes to the Proyecto Asis Animal Rescue Center and the Luna Nueva organic farm? If so, what did you think?
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Old Dec 2nd, 2011, 06:12 PM
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hip, I think I remember your doing this one. If you did, could you fill me in on what you thought?
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Old Dec 3rd, 2011, 05:35 AM
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masa, you don't say where you'll be staying in Arenal (if that's still your plan), but if you stay at The Observatory Lodge, a word of caution: book the tours yourself! It's easy to book directly. Though I absolutely loved the grounds, volcano view, and other staff at AOL, and would stay here again, the management when we stayed here a few years ago was very poor. They completely messed up our tours, among other things. It became pretty comical, but only in hindsight! I did a trip report way back.

This was the only place where we had a problem, in three trips!

volcanogirl, I too am interested in the Desafio's tours to the shelter and farm Are you revisiting Costa Rica again soon?
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Old Dec 3rd, 2011, 10:29 AM
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Cat, yes, we're eyeing a future trip! We'd like to try some new things since it seems like we've done all the standards. One of the best things we've done is hire Sunset Tours for a private early morning birding tour, so I'd definitely love to do that one again. Last time we saw toucans, howlers, etc. and even a peccary and an anteater.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2011, 07:52 PM
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Yup, Costa Rica is calling us back as well... a very special country.
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