This year we decided to give each other a trip to Costa Rica as our Christmas gift. I mentioned to our travel agent that we enjoy photography and want to shoot birds and animals in the natural habitat. We really did not want waterfalls since we were at Victoria Falls a month ago.
Our agents greeted us at the San Jose Airport and gave us a Christmas gift and travel documents. Our driver was knowledgable and spoke English very well. He drove us to Arenal Volcano area. We were lucky to see the top of the volcano. The hotel had beautiful views, hot volcano heated pools, large suite with a hot tube viewing the volcano, delicious food and good, friendly service.
The Canoe Adventure was our favorite tour in Costa Rica. Our guides took the time to help us get great shots of the sloth, crocodiles, birds, bats, monkeys and iguanas. After the rafting trip on the Peno Blanco River, we had a snack of tortillas, cheese, plantains and coffee.
At night we had an Ecoterra guided night adventure which poured down rain so we did not see much. The homemade meal was ok.
The next morning at 5:20 am we went bird watching adventure which was a wash out. Just rained so we did not see many birds. Very disappointing since we got up so early.
Our driver picked us up and drove us to Bajos del Toro area to our lodge and spa. Even though he has broken English, he is a funny man who enjoys sharing the Costa Rica life with his clients. The lodge and property were beautiful and staff was very friendly. We enjoyed the outside hot tube, large cabin and snack time. We were disappointed that the chicken and beef were tough, trout was over cooked and not much on the farm to table menu that we liked.
Our guide took us on a guided hike to the waterfalls which was ok. Later that day I took the private guided Cultural Adventure with another guide which was ok.
We liked the Lodge and property but we felt it was not worth the cost compared to the other towns we visited in Costs Rica. We would have liked to spend time at the Corcovado national parks taking pictures of wildlife/Macaw birds.
We headed towards Manuel Antonio but stopped for the canopy zipline adventure. It was 12 lines and two of them we were at 50 mph. Very exciting adventure.
We enjoyed the hotel with the beautiful beach, delicious food, friendly staff and large room. On Christmas day we went on a sea kayaking adventure with our guide. He was very professional, funny but made safety first. We hopped out of the kayak to go snorkeling with the colorful fish. Our guide helped a family stuck on a rock with their kayak flipped over. We stopped along the beach to swim and have a pineapple. Later our guide took us to a local restaurant which had the best mahi lunch.
The next day we took the Manual Antonio guided tour with a new guide. He was very knowledgeable, had a scope to show us the toucan, iguanas, sloths, birds, monkeys plus capture the pictures on your cell phone. The park is his office for the past 15 years.
We were happy to see a familiar face, our driver who drove us back to San Jose Airport.
All the drivers are very professional, who give great service and educates you about their beautiful country.
I would skip the Bajos del Toro area and visit Corcovado National Park to see the brilliant Macaw birds.
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