As the planner for our family trip (including my husband, 9 year old daughter and 7 year old son) I was honestly a little nervous booking with a company I had never heard of - but they delivered! First and foremost, they were brilliant with the basics. Before the trip the agent was very responsive and listened to my questions and requests. On the trip, when someone was supposed to meet us - for a transfer, a tour, etc. - they were there. On time. Friendly. Hotels were fabulous. Tour guides were friendly, engaged our kids. Everything was taken care of exactly as we'd expected. I felt taken care of every step of the way. While our travel planner gave us her contact information, we never needed to use it because every company and schedule listed on our itinerary was just as described. We split our 8 days between Arenal and Manuel Antonio. The agent had originally suggested an itinerary with a third destination (Monteverde) but we didn't want to spend so much time in transit (VERY happy with that decision; the trip from Arenal to Manuel Antonio is ~4.5 hours so didn't want any more transit than that) and she was flexible and modified the original itinerary to make it a 2-destination trip. If/when we visit Costa Rica again I would go with them again without question.
Our first morning in Manuel Antonio I walked onto the balcony. Within a minute I saw white-faced capuchins swinging from trees onto the top of our hotel - they were going to the other side of the building, so we saw them out our front door, too. Howler monkeys were howling (sounds more like barking) in trees farther off. And when we left our room to head to the monkey trail, we didn't even make it there because we stopped to watch squirrel monkeys (which are much more rare than the others) playing right over our heads - again, all on hotel property. So cool!
Other highlights: the Sky Trek zipline in Arenal (ziplining while viewing a volcano?!?), whitewater rafting, horseback riding to a waterfall near Manuel Antonio.
In Manuel Antonio we did the Damas Island boat tour. We had hoped to see a lot of wildlife, but the only thing we really saw were birds (lots and lots of birds). Great for the bird-watching couple who were on the tour with us, but not our cup of tea. That's obviously not the guide's fault...it was just a bit of a let down after all the wildlife we'd seen at our hotel. It was a pleasant enough boat ride, but I wouldn't do it again.
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"The itinerary from San Jose to Arenal to Monteverde to Manuel Antonio kept us active and engaged the entire time."
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