costa rica trip report 7th-14th april

Old Apr 17th, 2016, 02:19 AM
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costa rica trip report 7th-14th april

Most of the inputs for this trip came from the forum members. We booked all our transfers with They were very punctual and the drivers excellent. All lodging were booked directly and we booked activities once we reached the respective place.This being our first trip we were keen on bird photography as well as seeing other places of interest. Not keen on beaches and we did not have the time.
We flew in from LA on the 7th and landed at San Jose at 7.30am. Immigration and customs was quick and we our on our way to Poas volcano. Clear day with good views of the crater. Our next stop was Chnichona café. Lovely hummingbirds with the san Fernando waterfalls in the distance making it a nice setting. Quick lunch and we were on our way Nature Pavillion. Excellent setting for bird photography .This place is very well managed by Dave and the family.Spent a couple of hours and then proceed to spend our first night at Posada Andrea Cristina. Stayed at the tree house. Alex and his family were one of the nicest people we met. Dinner at Ara Amigua Lodge. Nice frog pond in the lodge.

On the 8th after breakfast Alex took us to close by place to see the green macaws. We saw 2 of them fly into the nest.
At 10am we proceeded to Arenal Observatory lodge. Clear views of the volcano as we got closer and this was the case for the 2 days we were there. Very nice place for seeing the toucans.Setting of this lodge is amazing. One can spend hours sitting on the deck and just strolling across the property. Had all our meals at the lodge which was decent.
At 3 pm went to Sky adventures for the zipline. Fantastic experience and the guides were outstanding. Later at night went to the frog pond to see the various types of frog.
On the 9th we went on the guided hike in the morning. The sunset on the deck is very popular and its breathtaking.
10th morning we took the bus/boat/bus to Monteverde. Reached our hotel Fonda Vela at noon. Very nice setting and it was very windy. Proceeded to the cloud reserve and got to see the Quetzals. It was nesting season and hence quite easy to see them as the nests are marked by the autorities. The café near the gate place is great for hummingbirds.
11th morning we had booked a guided tour with Jean Carlo Rodriguez for Curi cancha reserve. Fantastic guide and excellent sightings of various birds,owl,snake,monkey and of course the resplendent quetzal.
Later in the afternoon I had booked a canopy tour with 100% Aventura. Very popular specially the superman and tarzan swing.
12th morning we were on our way to Paraiso Quetzal Lodge close to San Gerrdo da dota. This was a long drive and we reached our lodge at 2pm. Very unique settings with steep climb from rooms to the reception. Very nice hummingbird area. It was freezing at night and despite the heaters and blankets it can still be very cold.
13th morning at 6am went for the quetzal tour. It’s a five minute walk up to a private property where you wait to see the male and female quetzals bring in food for the babies. We were told its not the right time for photography hence booked a tour in the afternoon at a different location and the guide Eric was fantastic.
After that we left for San Jose . Stayed the night at Holiday Inn express near the airport and flew out the next morning to Los Angeles.

I would like to thank the forum members for responding to my queries.
A few points to note since it keeps coming up

1. We used USD and credit cards everywhere. Departure tax was included in Delta Airlines.
2. We drive by ourselves everywhere but consciously chose to go in with private transfer.
3. One can spend a longer time at Arenal as it has a fair bit to offer.
4. Hotels are reasonably priced compared to other destinations we have visited.
5. All the people we met were hospitable and the service excellent.
ih is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2016, 01:57 PM
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Thank you for the report!
MichelleY is online now  
Old Aug 9th, 2016, 10:02 AM
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I missed this the first time around. Thanks for a great trip report. Glad you guys had a good time and had some good sightings.
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