tours/tour companies C.R

Old Sep 26th, 2003, 12:51 PM
  #1  
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tours/tour companies C.R

I am planning my tour itinerary for my long trip to Costa Rica in January. I have been wanting to go for 4 years and I'm finally doing it! I already know what I want to do in San Jose. Whitewater rafting, Iruzu, Poas, LaPaz waterfall gardens and the catamaran tour to Tortuga Island. I was just wondering were there any tours or tour companies that were outstanding. Any negative experiences? I've heard the Tortuga Island tour is a really long day. Is it worth it? Also will be visiting Tortuguero, Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio each for multiple days. Any tours or tour companies you can recommend from these areas? I am traveling by myself so friendly/outgoing guides who will make me feel not so alone. I enjoy hiking, biking, horseback riding, scenic tours, beaches and may even do a canopy tour. Which canopy is the least scary? How is rafting on the Reventazon? Never been before. Don't want to fall out of the boat. Heard the Sarapiqui region is pretty. Should I try to take a tour there too? I know I'll be exhausted when I get back to Michigan. I just waited so long to take this trip that I want to see everything I can while I'm there.
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Old Sep 28th, 2003, 05:40 PM
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how long is this long trip of yours?
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Old Sep 28th, 2003, 05:42 PM
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Haven't rafted the Reventazon since they dammed part of it. It was a good trip and a lot of fun.
Most hotels have a desk or someone that can help you set up day trips. In La Fortuna Sunset Tours is good.
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Old Oct 8th, 2003, 05:09 AM
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Thanks for your replys. I have been off the board for a while cause I'm having internet problems at home so I have to sneak on at work! My trip is for 2 and 1/2 weeks. I am going to post a shorter version of my question so maybe I can get more responses
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Old Oct 8th, 2003, 07:24 AM
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In Monteverde we did the canopy tour with Original Canopy Tour and, from what I hear, it's way less "scary" than the SkyTrek (which is higher above the forest canopy. The Original Canopy Tour zip lines are right within the forest and you don't get the same feeling of height. While you're in Monteverde, I also suggest doing a night hike by flashlight (at either the Monteverde park, or another smaller preserve called "Hidden Valley" or at the Finca Ecologica) and also go to Selvatura to walk on the bridges in the cloud forest. Your hotel can probably arrange these tours for you... ours did. Since you're from Michigan and are used to colder weather, for Monteverde I'd recommend taking a couple of long-sleeved shirts and light jacket (maybe a light fleece or something like that). I was chilly on the night hikes (Monteverde can be a bit windy), but I'm from Florida! Still, the area is cool and drizzly year 'round.

In Arenal, I "second" Suzie's suggestion of Sunset Tours. They have offices in the town of La Fortuna (or your hotel can try to book for you). We did a spectacular late afternoon hike with them through the national park (and got to see lava as the sun set). They also offer many other tours, such as a float trip on the Penas Blanca river (not whitewater, just smooth... lots of howler monkeys, a stop for lunch), horseback riding, etc.

In Manuel Antonio, there are a ton of things to do and many tour companies. Again, our hotel booked for us. One hike I took there that I loved was the Rainmaker Reserve. Very nice rainforest with waterfalls and a fantastic hanging bridge. If you won't have a car, most tour companies pick you up directly from your hotel in a van. Although I didn't use them personally, I've heard Iguana Tours in MA is supposed to be very good, offering lots of different tours.

Most of the day-trip tours you'll sign up for will be with small groups of people (maybe a dozen, approximately, the time of year you're going). Every tour guide we had was well-informed, personable, and inclusive. Costa Rica seems to really have their act together when it comes to tourism. Even the drivers I had, who spoke little English, still pointed-out and named wildlife as we passed, and made every effort to communicate.

I think you'll do just fine and feel comfortable and make friends on each tour, if you have that personality. I still keep in touch via email with 4 people I met on various tours in CR last year, and I was only there for 2 weeks. The groups are small enough for this to happen naturally... it's a great way to meet people while you're traveling, and have the opportunity to join others for dinner or other activities (as we did a couple of times). You'll have a great time!
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