Costa Rica Travel

Dec 8th, 2014, 07:48 AM
  #1  
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Costa Rica Travel

I just returned from a wonderful OAT guided tour of Costa Rica. All I can say is that without a local guide we would not have been able to see any of the animals and birds that are to be found here. The guides can spot them from a moving car, and on a walk. Things that me, with my untrained eye would have walked right past. I think anyone who plans to visit this country and travel on their own, would be well advised to hire local guides at various places to help them spot all the fun and wonderful natural things there are to see.
kleroux is offline  
Dec 9th, 2014, 06:25 PM
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Completely agree. We are currently in Monteverde and what our guide spotted today, in the Cloud Forest, I NEVER would have even noticed. We liked him so much we planned on a night hike with him tonight but the weather was too stormy so all we did was some brief sloth viewing from a couple he had spotted right in town (Santa Elena). Once again I would have driven right by them and they were hanging by the road.
Hikinwithasmile is offline  
Dec 10th, 2014, 11:01 AM
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I agree. We had a great guide in Monteverde. We arrived around 7:00 a.m. and were in the parking lot talking to our guide. We hadn't even paid our admission yet, and he said, "Would you like to see something amazing?" And we replied that we would. He pointed to a tree right by us, and there was a quetzal sitting right there. Never would have noticed it on our own.
volcanogirl is offline  
Dec 10th, 2014, 02:48 PM
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Yup, if you are in a forest you will see maybe 10% of what they do...maybe.

I finally got good at spotting sloths. They look like termite nests.
mlgb is offline  
Dec 11th, 2014, 11:11 AM
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Where did you arrange for your guides (well, for those not on an OAT trip). My kids have been, but we have not. They just found guides through wherever they were staying. We are going to San Jose in January for dental work, but plan to zip over to Playa Samara for 3 nights, with possibly a night before in La Fortuna.

Actually, we'll first stay at the place the dental practice runs, and have been told they can arrange anything for us.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Dec 11th, 2014, 11:19 AM
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We had our hotel arrange a guide for us in Monteverde, and it worked out great. In the Arenal/La Fortuna area we usually use Desafio or Sunset Tours; both have been excellent and have nice comprehensive websites that list all their tours and rates. There's tons to do in the La Fortuna area, nice natural hot springs too.
volcanogirl is offline  
Dec 11th, 2014, 11:34 AM
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If you stay at Arenal Observatory Lodge (which is on the far side of the volcano) they do a daily guided walk at 9 am, and have several guides in their employ.

I've heard good things about both of the agencies that volcanogirl has used, too.
mlgb is offline  
Dec 13th, 2014, 11:27 AM
  #8  
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As I understand it, all guides are licensed by the C.R. govt. They have to pass rigorous tests on Costa Rican history, geology and nature. I would always trust your hotel to provide a guide since its good for their business to suggest good guides. There are always guides at the entrance to major sites, but they want to hurry you through and pick up the next tourist.
kleroux is offline  
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